Keeper of the Dream: Krystal Davis


Oakland University senior Krystal Davis understood the meaning of the word sacrifice from a young age.

Both of her parents worked full-time jobs to provide as many opportunities as possible for Davis, as well as the many children they fostered. Through the opportunities Davis’ parents have bestowed upon her, Davis became a Keeper of the Dream Award (KOD) recipient this past January.

“My family used to do this foster care thing where we would bring people in and take care of them,” Davis said. “We would literally treat them as family, and if they left, they would still come back and call us and all that and say, ‘hey, I miss y’all, when’s the next meetup?’”

Davis refers to the foster children that have been in her life as her cousins, connecting with one named Maria, particularly. Davis cites Maria as the inspiration for the future career endeavors she has in mind.

“[Maria] is part of the reason why I am trying to become a family lawyer,” she said. “She would tell me, ‘you have a big family, a huge happy network — I want that, and it’s hard to get that kind of network in systems that don’t really support us whatsoever.’ The foster care system is just terrible.”

Davis works with the Center of Multicultural Initiatives (CMI) as a peer mentor and as a resident assistant in Hamlin Hall. She also works at the Recreation Center as a membership assistant, and was an orientation group leader this past summer. 

The importance of Davis’ work as an orientation group leader was evident; she felt she could be a friendly face to let students like her know it’s okay to be themselves. 

“I want to be in a community with people that can accept me,” Davis said. “I wanted to make sure that every freshman or whoever’s here has that same experience. When they come to OU, they see my face and they’re like, ‘oh, I don’t have to act fake. I can be my authentic self.’ I think that’s important for me.”

It came as a shock to Davis when she discovered she would be a KOD recipient. She felt she didn’t have as extensive of a resume as the other applicants. She’s thankful the experience has introduced her to the other KOD recipients, who remind her she’s not the only one at work.

“There’s so many people who have the same goal — to just spread that diversity and equity throughout campus, on and off, everywhere,” Davis said. 

As she nears graduation, Davis is highly motivated to make as many connections as possible to strengthen her network. Working toward her goal of becoming a family lawyer, Davis recognizes that there is still so much work to do in regard to racial inequity and inequality.

“[KOD] is an opportunity for me to spread that ideal as I move forward,” she said. “That’s my overall plan for when it comes to being a lawyer — just dealing with those social issues and being that person that most of those foster kids don’t see in the system.

“They can look at me and say, ‘that’s my person, that’s someone I can rely on,’” Davis said. “That’s the person that I want to be.”

This article is part of a series of articles about the 2023 Keeper of the Dream Award recipients.