Oklahoma mortgage banker and NHSOKLA Board Member Crystal Craig recently started a “Making Education Life” mentoring group to help students reach higher education goals, but her ties to giving back to the Oklahoma City community go well beyond that.
The “Making Education Life” mentoring group mentored 8-12 youth from John Marshall High School, as well as, a few other students from other area high schools. The group started last year after Craig’s former coworker, Shawn Moore, brought the need to Craig’s attention.
“The group was geared towards a college prep, life skills, and education experiences,” Crystal said. “Shawn, who is the mother of two of the girls, focused on college prep while I took the girls on their first experiences to the Oklahoma Museum of Modern Art, the Western and Heritage Museum, and the Sam Noble Museum. We also utilized an event at the Boys and Girls Club in April that allowed the youth to pick out their very first formal dress for school dances for free,” she said.
In addition to those activities, Craig provided the group with an introduction to financial education using NeighborWorks America Financial Capabilities curriculum, and she had the group take their first practice ACT test in December of 2015.
The creation of this group is just one of many community projects associated with Craig. She serves on the boards of two other area nonprofits – Neighborhood Housing Services Oklahoma and Smart Start of Central Oklahoma.
She teaches financial and homebuyer education classes at Neighborhood Housing Services Oklahoma, Community Action Agency of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, and Family Self-Sufficiency and has since 2007. Her passion is clearly bringing financial education to homebuyers.
“I am absolutely passionate about those organizations that are working within the community to build up people and families,” Craig says. “Neighborhood Housing Services Oklahoma reaches so many low-income families through homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention. The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agencies Family Self-Sufficiency program helps those receiving Section 8 housing assistance not only purchase their own home but also creates an action plan that eventually leads that family to working themselves out of needing public assistance!”