Crystal Ngumezi Starts a NonProfit in Austin to Empower Young Women Founder of The Proverbs 31 Women's Organization Becomes Candid About How God Gave Her Purpose To Serve Young Women
June 18, 2017
Name: Crystal Ngumezi
Hometown: Houston, TX
Occupation: CEO and Founder of The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization
Instagram: @p31womenorg @crystalngumezi
Fun Fact: “I’m a singer lol. I’ve actually been singing since I was a child.”
Crystal Ngumezi is a former mechanical engineer who has worked with various Fortune 500 companies such as Union Pacific Railroad and Pratt & Whitney. A graduate from The University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she unapologetically found her true calling from God and started her own nonprofit, the The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization. The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization is a 501 (c)(3) organization that provides free mentorship and professional etiquette training to underprivileged young women in the Austin and Houston area. While on her journey as an entrepreneur, she hopes to raise future leaders and properly equip young women for the world ahead of them.
MN: So Crystal, how did you get the name “Proverbs 31 Women”?
CN: The name of my organization honestly came from God. The purpose and mission behind the creation of The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization was revealed to me a long time ago in one of my quiet times alone with God. He gave me insight into the people’s lives my life was meant to touch, and he told me that I would raise up young women in his image. I love the Proverbs 31 woman listed in scripture because in my opinion, she personifies the full essence of a woman – strong, caring, loving, entrepreneurial, financially wise and articulate – she is someone who is respected among her community and loved within her family. I wanted to give the young women who would be apart of this organization a strong visual of the life they could have – one that is purposeful and meaningful, and one that will speak volumes long after they are gone.
MN: Coming from an engineering background, what made you want to start a nonprofit organization?
CN: I do come from an engineering background and got my professional start in corporate America, so the nonprofit sector was a business sector that I was unfamiliar with, and in my opinion, extremely unqualified for. When I moved to Austin, TX back in 2016, God pushed me to start this nonprofit organization. It wasn’t my idea at the time, and it wasn’t in my plans to start this organization so soon. I always knew I wanted to start a nonprofit organization that helped people, but I didn’t plan on starting it at this age. I thought I would work in corporate America for awhile, save up enough money, gain more experience and then plan to start up a non-profit organization. The fact that God’s plans were clearly different than my own just shows how God’s intentions for your life are always bigger than your own.
“The biggest fear I had at the very start of this journey was failure, and that fear was eradicated the moment I said yes to God.”
MN: When did you realize that this organization was important to you?
CN: This organization has always been important to me because it was birthed out of destiny. Starting this organization was a destiny move – one that I honestly could not have started had it not been for my relationship with God and my obedience to his voice.
MN: What are some of your current challenges? Biggest fear?
CN: I have a lot of challenges (lol). One of the things I am learning as an entrepreneur and as a true Christian, is that there is no purpose without challenges. One of the current challenges I face now with the organization is low active participation. I have been blessed however in this area to have gained so much support in such a short amount of time. I am not an Austin local, so for this organization to have gained so much support from this area has been amazing. However, it is still a challenge maintaining the support and finding ways to keep people involved and actively participating in all that we do. Gaining sponsors and partnerships is another challenge that most nonprofits face starting up, but I am confident that these challenges are merely stepping stones for us as an organization, and just opportunities for God to show himself in a more powerful way.
I really don’t have any fears to be completely honest with you. That is to no credit of my own. How God typically works is that he will put you in positions where you and fear will have to battle face on. My experiences with him and through life have shown me that fear is a tactic of “the other guy” to keep us from pursuing purpose. Fear does come, but God is very intentional with me when it comes to fear, so he never lets me allow it to stop me. I am always confronting fear, and God gives me the victory over it every time. Fear is a weapon that is used to disarm, harass, torment, and keep people in bondage. I am reminded of the scripture in Ephesians chapter 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…”. The biggest fear I had at the very start of this journey was failure, and that fear was eradicated the moment I said yes to God.
MN: What has been your most proudest moment in your career so far?
CN: I am what you would call a “perfectionist” (lol), so I really don’t think about stuff like that very often. But if I had to choose, I would say that starting this organization has been my proudest moment so far, simply because of all the opposition I had to face because of it. When I received the vision and inspiration to start The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization, I was in a season of my life that closely resembled the wilderness season of the Israelites found in scripture. I was beginning a new start to my life, one that was fully led, guided and directed by God, and I was still figuring things out. I moved to Austin a year ago simply because God told me to, and I didn’t even know I was going to start this organization until I moved there. (I hope this shows you how important it is to trust God’s voice when he tells you to move or to do something). I was unemployed at the time I started this organization, so I didn’t have the money to logically start it. It simply didn’t make sense to start this organization at that time. Honestly, the only thing I had as confirmation that this organization would work out was God’s voice and his promise to me. I had no support, no money, no experience and no logical reasoning or explanation for what I was doing – it was simply a FAITH move – and I am most proud of that.
“As a young woman of color in a predominately white male discipline, I had to work extremely hard for the level of success I achieved as a young engineer. I didn’t ‘look’ the part, but I practiced and mastered the part.”
MN: What did you learn about yourself as you go through your journey as an entrepreneur? Anything you wish you knew before you started?
CN: I have learned that God has put in me a level of faith that has to be matured, developed and cultivated. Faith is what has brought me this far and faith is what is going to keep me.
I wish I knew I wasn’t going to stay in Austin for as long as I had planned (lol). I didn’t know when I moved here a year ago that I would only be here for a year and then move again, as God leads me. I would have saved some money on all the stuff for my apartment I bought (lol). But honestly, I don’t think there’s much I wish I knew before I started. The things I have learned along the way have made me more qualified for the position that God has set up for me. The motto I live by is: “You live and you learn.”
“I would also advise women to know their strength. We as women are very powerful when we know what’s truly inside of us. We were God’s last creation .. and I think that’s pretty amazing.”
MN: What was the best advice you received when you started P31? What advice would you give to women who want to become an entrepreneur or a community leader?
The best advice I received when I started P31 was from a childhood friend of mine who didn’t really know what he was saying to me when we were talking. He told me to “just start it.” We were having a conversation about starting nonprofits and he didn’t even know that he was being used by God in that moment to inspire and encourage me.
Advice I would give to women who want to become entrepreneurs or community leaders would be to follow God’s voice and to follow God’s leading. This is the personal advice I always give to the young women God graces me to cross paths with. I have achieved this level of “success” in my life, not because I knew what I was doing, but because I knew God’s voice and I followed it. I would also advise women to know their strength. We as women are very powerful when we know what’s truly inside of us. We were God’s last creation .. and I think that’s pretty amazing. I would also encourage women to do their research. Faith without works is dead, and God cannot use you if you are not willing to work hard – very hard. One of the most important things pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering taught me was that hard work pays off. As a young woman of color in a predominately white male discipline, I had to work extremely hard for the level of success I achieved as a young engineer. I didn’t “look” the part, but I practiced and mastered the part. It wasn’t just because God’s hand was on me that I did so well professionally for my age, it was because I worked my butt off (lol), as graced by God. Following God’s leadership and practicing proper discipline will serve any man or woman well in any endeavor.
MN: So let’s step outside of your organization…besides being superwoman, haha, and speaking into existence a successful entrepreneur, what do you like to do for fun?
CN: Haha, I definitely have A LOT more to do in this world before I deem myself “successful”, but my definition of fun is probably different than most (lol). I am a nerd at heart, so I honestly enjoy reading really good books full of wisdom and experience, and I’m a Taurus, so I have an innate love for nature. I love being out in nature, biking, running, walking, taking photos – anything i can do outdoors I’m with it. I’m also a creative, so I really enjoy photography, singing and photo editing. AND I love to travel and eat really good food (lol).