Cristal Brister, a former Program Specialist, has really owned her role this year as the Program Team Lead with the Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed). As the new Program Team Lead, she will be managing the Social Emotional Learning partnership with the Birmingham City School district, managing curriculum development, facilitating in-school programming, and building relationships with community stakeholders. While she notes how stretching the experience has been, she gladly welcomes the continual growth.
Cristal’s new growth comes from Ed’s desire for continual growth too. Cristal believes
that the Program Team Lead position will “keep Ed’s ear to the ground with what is going on in the district and will allow her to be a part of a larger collaborative network of various stakeholders all striving towards the same goal.” She’s invested in this new role with Ed because “Ed helps level the playing field through the various experiences we are able to offer our students. We are constantly innovating and looking for the best ways to impact students. They are the primary focus of all we do.”
Keeping the students in mind when thinking about her goals for her new role, Cristal hopes to see “how Ed can incorporate the vision for the district, as it relates to SEL, into our programming. I want BCS students to be informed of the ‘full buffet’ of options that are available to them post-graduation so they are able to make informed decisions regarding their futures.”
This feature was written by Kendal Harris, an English major with a Human Rights & Conflicts studies minor and Distinction in Leadership Studies from Birmingham-Southern College.