Growing up, Crystal Davey spent much of her early childhood moving from home to home and school to school. Before she had even celebrated her tenth birthday, Crystal attended over 40 different schools and although she always had a thirst for knowledge, it wasn’t until she came into the care of Dilico Anishinabek Family Care that her life finally began to turn around.
“Dilico helped me achieve my goals and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Dilico and my foster parents,” she says. “With a stable, loving foster home, I was able to thrive and focus on my education.”
Crystal always knew a career involved with helping others was in her future. Getting good grades and doing well in her classes were always priorities, but it was the idea that she could set a positive example for the younger children which served as her greatest incentive to work hard. At the time, Crystal was one of the first children in care to graduate from high school and enter into university.
“At our education incentive celebrations, I realized that I could make a difference by being a role model to other foster children,” Crystal says. “With hard work and a little support, the sky really is the limit for us all.”
When it came time to choose a program of study, Crystal entered into a three-year compressed Bachelor of Science in nursing program where she achieved first class standing. She then began work as a fulltime pediatric registered nurse and went on to complete a master’s degree in public health nursing where she also earned a nurse practitioner certificate.
Throughout her career, Crystal never strayed too far from Dilico, working as a day camp leader, prime worker, relief worker and student health nurse with the agency’s community health program. Crystal is now happily married with a beautiful daughter and step son and is a practicing nurse practitioner with Dilico’s Family Health Team where she continues to help others every day.
“My love for education, nursing and caring for others has led me to continue into higher education and a career that I love,” she says. “I hope that I am a positive role model for all Anishinabek people but most importantly for children in care.”
Although she has already come so far, Crystal’s story is just beginning. With plans for a medical school application in her future, she is excited to see what the next chapter will bring.
Mazinaajim makes it possible for Aboriginal children and teens to pursue higher education just like Crystal. You can help by making a donation in support of youth in pursuit of their educational and career aspirations through the Foundation’s Rising Eagle Bursary Fund.