Born in Houston, Texas and now a Valparaiso resident, Crystal Cartwright has become a familiar face to the Northwest Indiana community. She moved here when she was young for her father’s work. Fast forward to today, Cartwright is an active member in the community, and has been the Banking Center Manager at First Source Bank in Hebron for the past eight years.
Cartwright became career oriented when she started working at 16 years old.
“I started the day after I turned 16 and it was really exciting,” said Cartwright. “Back then, you could work at a bank at 16, now you have to be 18. My initial manager really mentored me. When you’re 16, you go with the flow. Now, looking back, I really appreciate how far she pushed me to learn to work in different areas of the bank. She threw me in situations that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to experience if she didn’t see my potential. Our current manager has done the same thing in pushing me to finish my degree and really just giving me the support I need to grow.”
Cartwright is an active member in the community. She is involved in the Hebron Chamber of Commerce, and believes it’s important to give back. She is also the treasurer for Rebuilding Together-Hebron. Their mission is to help low-income homeowners by improving the safety and health of their homes. They believe in helping those who were displaced by natural disaster, and to help those who cannot afford vital necessities and essential home modifications.
“It’s important to help those who need it,” said Cartwright. “We help the elderly and the less fortunate that maybe need a ramp so they can get in and out of their home in a wheelchair, we help the disabled. It really makes a huge impact on the people that live in the community. It’s a really good feel-good organization, when you see your work that’s done afterwards.”
Cartwright wants to stress the importance of giving back and how being involved lends a helping hand to everyone.
“If we don’t help each other, then who else is going to help us? It’s so important to help each other out,” said Cartwright.
For her, she was inspired to make a difference. Not just because she’s passionate about helping others, but also because she was inspired by her father.
“My father was self-employed for a majority of his life working,” said Cartwright. He was my role model growing up because he was always helping people, he was very generous and I was really inspired by that growing up. In my case, I want to help those that are less fortunate or helping those in need. It was really rewarding for him and it inspired me to continue that.”
Cartwright has a love for the cities she lives and works in, Valpo and Hebron.
“They are two totally different cities,” said Cartwright. Valparaiso is an amazing community to raise a family in. I have a 3-year-old daughter and she’s my world. With all the organizations here, it’s an amazing place to raise a family. What I like most about Hebron are the people. The people in Hebron are very welcoming, my clients are welcoming, and they are a very tight-knit and caring community, and I enjoy being around that.”
For Crystal Cartwright, she leads her life paying it forward. She wants to make a difference for the community and those impacted by struggle. To her, it's more than a lifestyle, it’s a passion to help and to give.
“By giving back, we’re making it a better place to live, a better place to be and we’re just making it a more positive environment,” said Cartwright.