Skip to content
Crystal Colon ’17

Crystal Colon ’17 has been awarded the Independent Sector Student Community Service Award for her commitment to community service and positive impacts on the local community. Colon—an English major with a focus in language, media, and communication—is one of 10 recipients from New York state to receive recognition by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. She will accept the award at a reception in Albany on March 6, accompanied by Dean of Students Matthew Burns, her mother, and her aunt.

“Everything I do is geared toward education and youth, education and youth—that’s where my passion lies” says Colon, who graduated from East High School after moving to Rochester from New Jersey during her junior year. “It’s really cool to feel like you’re making an impact in the lives of kids in the community around you.”

Colon has committed her college career to improving the education system in the Rochester area through activities both on and off campus. Since her sophomore year, she has dedicated more than 600 hours as a tutor for LEAP (Learning and Exploring at Play), a University early childhood literacy program run through the Rochester Center for Community Leadership. With the University’s Urban Fellows program, Colon spent a summer coordinating the Summer Safe Haven program at Cameron Community Ministries, helping to keep urban children safe, occupied, and learning during the summer months.

In addition, she holds leadership roles as the youth leader and youth counselor at her church, Overflow Christian Ministries, and the administrative assistant for Rochester Youth Association, where she has organized collaborative events with other youth leaders from churches around the city.

student holding a plaque, standing with her mother and the dean of students
Crystal Colon, center, poses with her mother, Mari Perez, and Dean of Students Matthew Burns. (Provided photo: Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities).

“Younger students need to see that there are people that went through the city school district who are minorities and are now in college and accomplishing things,” Colon says. “They can do it as well.”

For all of her passion and dedication, Colon has received multiple awards and scholarships from the University including the David T. Kearns Scholarship, the Brady Scholarship, and the Dean Ruth A. Merrill Award from the Susan B. Anthony Center for Community Leadership for her extensive engagement and service in the Rochester community. Next year, she will enroll in the Warner School to pursue her master’s degree in teaching and curriculum as she works to become a high school English teacher, and eventually, she hopes, a superintendent of schools in Rochester.

“Crystal has proven herself to be dedicated, reliable, caring, conscientious and persistent in her community service activities,” says Glenn Cerosaletti, assistant dean of students and director of the Rochester Center for Community Leadership. “Her service has prepared her to achieve great things as a leader in our community.”


Return to the top of the page