Helping First Generation Students Like Her Web Director | November 6, 2018

Growing up, college was not on Crystal Leavitt 16’s mind as a future plan or even a conversation that she had with her parents.

“I didn’t realize it was an option for me,” said Crystal. “It opened so many doors for me and opened my mind to so many possibilities. They were once a small-town girl’s dreams, now they are a small-town girl’s goals.”

Crystal is from the small town of Phippsburg, Maine.


“No stop lights. One road in, one road out. Good thing everyone knows everyone. There is even a special wave in my town that all the ‘townies’ know.”

Crystal was once a first-generation student at Thomas, and now she helps students like her navigate college as Student Success Coordinator.

“I love seeing students achieve goals they have or get excited about something they didn’t think they could do,” she said.

As an academic coach, Crystal helps students succeed both in the classroom and in life.

Crystal is also the head girls’ lacrosse coach at Messalonskee High School.

“I love being able to help younger players develop, for the same reasons as in my day job,” said Crystal. “Being in the Student Success Center and coaching are very similar. You watch students/players grow, and it’s very rewarding. I get excited when I see a player get excited.”




Only a couple years ago, Crystal was a Thomas College student herself. She studied management, was a resident assistant, and played women’s lacrosse.

“My degree taught me a lot that has to do with my job  – for example, not giving up. I feel prepared helping students with their goals and dreams.”

As a former student of the College and now as an employee, Crystal has found a home here at Thomas. She says Thomas College inspires her because of how its staff and faculty care about their students.

“I didn’t have a lot of support from back home while I was in school; but, wow, did I ever have support here,” she said.

“The person that has always made me see better in myself was Provost Dr. Tom Edwards,” said Crystal. “I first met him as his work-study student, and ever since then, he has helped me grow as a person. His knowledge and experiences of life have inspired me to do so much more with mine. This guy still inspires me every day.”

Crystal is happy with her decision to choose Thomas College, and glad she’s still here helping students.

“Life is about connections, and I can honestly say whether it’s the provost or your accounting professor, you will make a connection that will last a very long time,” she said. “You will feel a part of something special while here at Thomas College. People here make you feel important.”