In 2014, Chrystal and her daughter visited YDO to explore our STEM programming, and from that day on, she and the entire Pennisi family have been dedicated members of the YDO community. As a Lawrence native, Chrystal understands and is deeply committed to supporting YDO's mission and impact--providing youth with opportunities she could have never dreamed of. She joined our staff as creative arts coordinator in 2017 after having served as a devoted volunteer, for which she was honored with YDO's Parent Volunteer of the Year Award in 2015.
As the coordinator, Chrystal provides invaluable support on a wide range of YDO activities and programs and leads YDO's annual participation in Destination Imagination (DI, a global competition in which participants tackle project-based challenges designed to build confidence and develop creativity, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills). To honor her commitment to making DI possible for Lawrence youth, Chrystal won the Spirit of Destination Imagination Award at the regional competition in 2017. And, under her leadership at the 2018 regional competition, YDO's middle-school team took home 3rd Place, while our elementary-school team finished in 1st Place and moved on to compete in the Massachusetts state finals (a first for YDO).