Crystal Rhoades has roots that run deep in Nebraska and comes from a strong Omaha family. As a mother, businesswoman and a lifelong resident of Omaha, Crystal knows the value of education and hard work.
Crystal graduated from Omaha’s Central High School, and received her bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Political Science as a Goodrich Scholar from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She also holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska.
As the Assistant Executive Director for the Neighborhood Center, Crystal is highly involved in the community where she supports and empowers neighborhood leaders to find solutions to crime, safety, housing, and health issues. Crystal has also served as the secretary to Morton Meadow’s Neighborhood Association and the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance since 2007. In addition she has worked on the Mayor’s Omaha Afterschool Alliance Advisory Board, the Building Bright Futures Advisory Board, Tree of Life Committee, Clean Solutions Omaha Saddle Creek Basin advisory panel, the Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance Housing Committee, the Omaha Community Action Group for Lead Safety, and the Omaha Chamber’s South Omaha Redevelopment Project.
Crystal was also elected to the Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors where she has worked to improve state funding, ensuring our local taxpayers are getting an equitable distribution of state aid for education, and created and implemented policy to protect taxpayer funds by ensuring overall responsible contracting practices. She has also worked to integrate green technology and sustainability components into the curriculum of many programs working to make MCC a leader in green education as we move toward a greener economy.
Crystal has also been a champion of the service learning programs. She believes that putting students to work in real working conditions provides them with an advantage when they complete their education and transition into the workforce. It also provides students an opportunity to experience the personal satisfaction of knowing that they were able to make a difference to people in our community and they help reinforce Metropolitan Community College’s commitment to our community. She has supported the efforts of the faculty, staff, and students who have used the skills they’ve learned at MCC to go out into the community through service learning projects to improve the neighborhoods they are living in by giving their knowledge and time to help those who are physically or financially unable to help themselves.
Crystal has also hosted the Metro and More Shows, with Kent Pavelka, bringing awareness about the work of many nonprofits, neighborhood associations, and city programs available to our community.
Crystal has been honored with a number of awards recognizing her efforts both at Metropolitan Community College and the Neighborhood Center. She received the Omaha Jaycees TOYO, League of Women Voter’s Making Democracy Work Award, John F. Kennedy Award, and the Nebraska’s First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service Award.