Raised by her mother in Denton, Texas, author and motivational speaker Crystal Victoria was an intelligent, curious child who suffered from bullying and teasing and the hands of her peers. Her search for acceptance and purpose led her down a long, dark road of drugs, violence and self-doubt, taking Crystal from the Honor Roll to Texas jail cells and juvenile detention centers.
Through faith and perserverence, though, Crystal Victoria emerged from her trials and tribulations as a stronger person, and at the age of 25, she found her passion in the world of motivation, business, and writing. Today, she is the President and Founder of Target Evolution, Inc., an online educational institution and incubator that provides students with a quality post-secondary education and the tools needed to begin a sustainable and successful business enterprise.
In April of 2012, Crystal published her autobiography, From the Streets to the Skies No Limits: Diary of a Boss Lady, in which she recounts her journey through life. In addition, Crystal assisted in the development of the First Friday Program by Judge Jeanine Howard in Dallas County Criminal District Court, which helps young individuals get off probation and reduce the Dallas County inmate population. She is a member of the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce and a board member of Girls Living Life on Purpose, a nonprofit organization for the empowerment and education of young women.
Crystal’s next book, The Vicious Cycle: A Key to Unlocking the Revolving Door, is scheduled to release in the fall of 2014 and is a guide to assisting others with changing from a negative mindset to a positive one. Learn more about Crystal Victoria and her work at www.crystalvictoria.com.
What made you decide to write From the Streets to the Skies No Limits? Was there a particular moment when you decided that it was time to document your story?
My grandmother had been telling me for a few years to write a book. When I started Target Evolution, I needed to raise capital to continue operating and brand myself as someone who could help others. My book helped me to accomplish this.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
I love Oprah Winfrey. She is the epitome of success and the ability to do anything you put your mind to. I also love Michelle Obama and Tyra Banks. Dr. Farrah Gray is another inspiration who I found after reading one of his books. Currently, I enjoy Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, and Napoleon Hill books and tapes.
What inspired the creation of Target Evolution?
Target Evolution was created to help young aspiring entrepreneurs to start and grow a business. Over time, it has become a post-secondary education institute for aspiring entrepreneurs.
How has Target Evolution grown and evolved over the years?
Over the years, Target Evolution has grown into a for-profit educational institution for aspiring entrepreneurs, and we are currently working on scholarship and grant programs for our students. We have a team of six board of directors and two consultants and will be adding 14 people over the next few months. By next year, we look to have enrolled around 200 student entrepreneurs and growing. I’m excited about this progress and I’m grateful to be here. It’s been a long road.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work with Target Evolution?
The most rewarding aspect is seeing people who have forgotten how to dream or aged start dreaming again. They have an overwhelming sense of purpose and passion, and it feels good to know that they are chasing dreams and truly living their faith instead of their fears. It’s the thought of freeing people from the “norm” that excites me!
What were your goals with The Vicious Cycle?
The Vicious Cycle was written to give a detailed account of how I changed my life step by step. It addresses the mindset associated with being in a “vicious cycle” and how to reintegrate into society in a time not favorable to those whom have been incarcerated. I wanted to explain to others how and why I no longer indulge in negative behavior and help others in the process.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different because I choose for it to be. Of course, I start with positive things such as gratitude lists, meditation, and positive quotes. Then check emails and my schedule for the day. Most days I’m in meetings, workshops, speaking engagments, or other events. It all depends on what is going on in my community and where I feel opportunity may be. Some days I’m focusing more on my other businesses and doing paperwork. I still write business plans for others frequently, and a lot of my day is reading, writing, and talking. By the end of the day, I’ve gotten dinner, set my schedule for the next day, and then begin enjoying meditation and spiritual study.
From your perspective, what are the biggest issues that the city of Dallas currently faces?
The educational system has me very concerned, not just in Dallas but in several communities and public schools. I also think the lack of impactful positive role models for young women is an issue in our society, which has led to more young parents who are not ready for children. This in turn affects the behavior of children in school, making it harder for them to learn, and affecting the learning environment for others. Children are a blessing, but more so when parents are ready to handle the responsibility and have knowledge of who they are as a person.
If you could go back in time and do one thing differently, what would it be?
I would have enjoyed being a teen a little longer and differently. I feel I rushed to grow up too fast.
Do you believe in fate, or do you believe that we are each in control of our own destiny?
I believe we are each in control of our own destiny. God grants us free will.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?
Really do not recall. 21 & Over maybe… It’s hilarious!
What are you working on next?
Currently, I am working on launching the online platform for Target Evolution Entrepreneurship Institute and raising capital for operations. Once that is complete, I’ll be working on a book signing and speaking engagement tour.