Crystal Aston

Senior Field Coordinator

Rural Community Building

“My work is personal; it’s not just a job. I’m a stakeholder in the future of my rural community.”

Crystal Aston sees herself as a bridge between rural community builders, philanthropy, regional networks and wide-ranging resources. As a field coordinator based in and serving Siskiyou County, California, she supports local communities working for long-term, sustained action.

When Weed, California, was devastated by the Boles Fire in 2014, Crystal was instrumental in growing the community food program and played key roles in providing assistance to survivors. After joining the Foundation in 2016, she again saw the benefits of community building efforts during the 2020 Slater Fire. “I’m continually amazed by the ‘bootstrappiness’ of rural communities,” she says. “All of the skills we practice through community building help me go on ‘autopilot’ during a disaster.”

Crystal is a lifelong resident of Siskiyou County, with deep ties and relationships in the region. She is a community builder herself, having spent more than a decade providing community services through Great Northern Services in Weed. She earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from California State University, Chico.
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