Crystal grew up in the small town of Cliffwood--near Keyport, New Jersey. She didn't initially have her sights on attending college, but ultimately decided to do so. During college, Crystal was an accomplished student with high marks. However, after graduation, she found herself working a series of draining retail and customer service positions. While at work, she would often imagine what a better future would look like for herself that included a profession that she could find to be both challenging and interesting. Since childhood, she had been interested in games and games design, but she didn't discover coding until her work after college. At which point, she began to dabble with HTML & CSS tutorials on her own before encountering Code the Dream.