On MLK day…a Challenge to Lead Up through Volunteerism

On MLK day…a Challenge to Lead Up through Volunteerism

The staff and student leaders of Lead Up join the nation in honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All across America, people are joining together to honor the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, compassion, dignity, humility and above all, service. Dr. King lived his life serving others. Following his example, millions of Americans will serve on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and countless others will continue to serve throughout the coming months. Every year volunteers help nonprofits all around the world make a substantial difference towards the missions they fulfill. While they’re helping others, they’ll also be improving themselves. According to research from the Volunteer Hub, volunteerism has been shown to reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and increase physical activity. The act of volunteerism also offers participants opportunities to strengthen or gain new skills needed in a competitive job market. Most importantly, when we volunteer our gifts and talents to others, we continue to build Dr. King’s dream of a nation that “lives by its noblest principles of justice, peace and righteousness.” No matter who you are, you can be a part of Dr. King’s legacy, and in celebration of this important commemoration, we challenge you to Lead Up through service to others this year. Lincoln is home to many amazing and impactful agencies that need your time and talent. Whether you are drawn to feeding the hungry, tutoring those who can’t read or mentoring a young person who is struggling, there is a place right here in our wonderful community to share your passion. Take your first steps “Up” at http://www.volunteerpartners.org/. Or, if you’re interested in propelling underrepresented students to college and success in career, contact us at volunteer@leadupne.org [gallery type="rectangular" size="large" ids="1356,1355,1354,1352"]
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Leading Up into 2018

Leading Up into 2018

Ah…the New Year.  That unique time when we are focused on reflections on the past and thinking about where we want to be in the future. For those of us in the “college business” January marks not a new year but the middle; one of the busiest times as each of our leader cohorts move towards important milestones on the journey to college and career. Our year-end reflection is yet to come, but we have many accomplishments to be proud of as we mark our 8th month as Lead Up. [caption id="attachment_1334" align="alignnone" width="769"]1-1 Nakia Our first leader to graduate, Nakia, will begin college this month. She will attend our partner university, Nebraska Wesleyan.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1336" align="alignnone" width="1024"]IMG_0465 In October we hosted a Leadership Summit for fifty students who were chosen by recommendation.  Students worked on developing their leadership capacities with a first class line-up of facilitators including Kim Rathe, Director of Sourcing at Gallup Inc, T.J. McDowell, Nebraska Wesleyan University Vice President and Clayton Anderson, retired NASA  Astronaut.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1337" align="alignnone" width="5184"]Clayton Anderson and Lead Up Senior Leaders (1) Also this fall, we successfully wrapped two fundraising efforts; Nebraska By Heart, a public art project celebrating Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial and our 2nd  Hops for Hope featuring 17 local brewers, which was completely sold out![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1338" align="alignnone" width="5184"]IMG_0812.CR2 November marked the completion of a multi-month application process, with two new cohorts of student leaders being chosen to be a part of Lead Up.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1339" align="alignnone" width="4334"]IMG_0708 We capped 2017 with “Stand Up With Lead Up” hosted by the Senior Leaders. The “career fair meets community service day” drew over 100 students and an interesting group of community professionals. We’re looking forward to the 2.0 version in 2018! See more of Stand Up with Lead Up  here… https://youtu.be/-kpZQNImv18[/caption] 2018 promises to be an exciting year for Lead Up as we continue to grow and realize the impact our efforts are having on our students, partners and the community.  Do your New Year goals include finding a new outlet for your passion to help others reach their potential? If so, I invite you to consider becoming a part of the Lead Up story; as a Donor, Tutor, Committee Member or Event Volunteer. From all of us at Lead Up – Cheers to a New Year: new graces, new opportunities and new chapters to write.
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Just Starting High School? Our Senior Leader’s Advice for Freshmen.

IMG_1617Just a few days now until the start of the new school year.  While many students are enjoying the last lazy days of summer, the Lead Up Senior Leaders have been hard at work planning college and career events for the first semester.

With such beautiful weather to enjoy, a group of Leaders took a stroll over to the UNL campus. Talk about the start of their last year of high school turned quickly to reminiscing them that not long ago, they too were starting high school for the first time. With a few years of perspective, here is their advice for freshman everywhere.

1. Every year of high school affects your future so it’s important to get off on the right foot academically. “I’ll turn it around next semester, or next year” is too late.

2. Get to know your teachers. You’ll need their help and advice along the way.

3. Look into clubs and activities. It’s a great way to make friends and find a place you belong.

4. This is a fresh start so be yourself. Go your own way. Make new friends, try new things, and show off your own style.

5. Respect the teachers and the staff. Disruptions cheat your peers, and playing the clown at a teacher’s expense won’t make you any more likeable.

6. High school is super busy. Time management is critical to your success.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Getting extra insight from a teacher or seeking out a tutor, shows how strong you are.

8. Sign up for challenging classes- not just as many easy ones as you can find. Likewise, sign up for classes that are outside of your comfort zone. You never know – you might find your next great passion.

9. Work to improve and develop your study skills. Your life will be so much easier.

10. Appreciate your new surroundings and celebrate diversity. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in an interesting community.

Have a great year and enjoy every day of high school ahead of you. Believe us, senior year is right around the corner. 

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Hope College Center a program of Boys Hope Girls Hope is now Lead Up!

Hope College Center, a program of Boys Hope Girls Hope is now Lead Up! Why the change? Over the past year, we have been listening to and learning from our community. In Lincoln, the number one problem identified by businesses expanding in our community is the availability of talent. Also, of the Lincoln Public School students that begin college directly after high school, only 38 percent graduate. With this knowledge, we realized we could build upon our experience, and design a program to address these critical issues. We believe that by altering our program, Lead Up will not only get more students to and through college but ultimately address a key issue facing our community: workforce development. Lead Up, our new organization, connects youth to college and career. Through the power of mentoring, peer leadership and academic support, we transform the lives of underrepresented students who become drivers of economic development and growth. The past year, our first class of students have become experts in college going and career attainment. Over the next few months, they will prepare for roles as peer leaders and through formal internships, will lead industry-based cohorts of their peers to become fluent in the same information. These cohorts will be sponsored by local businesses, which by investing resources into their corresponding cohort, will be developing their highly qualified employees of tomorrow.
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College-bound? Do this now!

classroom-1699745_1920There is a tremendous reservoir of information available to students in the last steps of preparing for college during the senior year. Reliable sources exploring how to prepare applications, choose a college, and finding financial aid are readily available on sites like www.collegeboard.org Should younger students be preparing for college, too? Absolutely! The freshman and sophomore years are key preparation periods and very important to the college choices yet to come. One important college-ready task is building your high school resume: volunteer, try out activities that interest you or step-up your involvement in a extracurricular club or hobby group. Being engaged outside the classroom helps you learn about yourself and develop new skills, but it also shows the colleges you are applying to what you’re passionate about. Volunteering at a homeless shelter demonstrates your desire to helping others. If you have a part-time job and your grades are strong, you are showing your can manage your time well. Leading a student organization gives you an opportunity to talk about developing your leadership style. Doing any of these activities consistently through high school signals your ability to make and keep a commitment. Don’t wait until your senior year – the sooner you get started the more interesting your resume will be. What are you waiting for? Go out and have some fun! P.S. If you’re still looking for a passion to follow, join us for Hope at 5:00 on November 15 to learn more about lending your talents to local causes that will leverage your skills to improve our community.
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Scholar Spotlight: Sara

IMG_0561Sara is a junior, she likes many of her classes this semester, but she continues to focus heavily on her art classes and her art in general, as she is hoping to take as many art classes as she can, eventually earning a place in the AP Portfolio class so she will have a portfolio to present to prospective colleges. She enjoys her art classes because they give her a chance to have fun while expressing herself creatively. Sara is still investigating her college options, but is very interested in attending an art school somewhere in California. After college, she wants to become a tattoo artist which would allow her to use her skills in a multitude of ways, also giving her the opportunity to do many different styles of art. What excites her about a career as a tattoo artist is being able to bring other people’s ideas to life for them, while still putting her own spin on them, that along with the often sentimental reasons behind people’s tattoos would make the job fulfilling for her. She likes the possibility of learning about people through art and getting to see what they care about. In addition, she would continue to produce other types of artwork outside of her job which she could display or even sell. Sara had fun on the trip she took to Colorado with BHGH this past summer and is looking forward to more trips and spending more time with those in the program. Outside of school, one of her favorite things to do is watch Tim Burton movies, an artist that inspires her because of his ability to think outside the box and approach a wide variety of subjects in ways that are out of the ordinary. She appreciates the way he creates kid’s movies that are atypical from the common Disney movie. She also enjoys books, TV shows, and movies that are on the fantastical side, saying that she loves how they are often able to pull you into the stories and characters in unconventional, but powerful ways. [gallery ids="225,228,229,230" type="rectangular"]
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Meet Our Americorps GO! Team!

Antwane- Community Resource Coodinator antwane Most of who I am can be traced back to my upbringing. I am the youngest for four (1 girl, 3 boys) to a single mom who did everything in her power to make sure all four of us had what we needed, and I owe so much of who I am to her. Her work ethic and perseverance in providing for her family inspired me to become a first generation college student/graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her never-ending ability to sacrifice and put others first is the reason I am so quick to offer help to anyone and everyone in any way that I can. It took me longer to realize than I would like to admit, but I know have lived a very fortunate life, surrounded by people who took time to care. This is why I chose to serve with Boys Hope Girls Hope. I see a lot of the scholars we serve, and I see myself. These are young people who are very intelligent and motivated, but need just a little support to reach their fullest potential. Now I was fortunate enough to receive a lot of that support in my home environment, but there are many others who cannot say the same. So I feel it is my responsibility to pay it forward in any way possible, and Boys Hope Girls Hope provides me with that opportunity. Alexis- Academic Coach alexisMy name is Alexis Lipson and I am an Academic Coach on the Americorps Go! Team. As a military child, it is hard to say I come from any one place, but I spent most of my childhood in Nebraska and Kansas. My immediate family lives in Abilene, Kansas – famous for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Old Abilene Town! I graduated from Doane College in 2015 with majors in International Studies and History and minors in Religious Studies and Philosophy. Throughout my time at  Doane I also took Russian courses at UNL. My father’s side of the family originally came from Russia three generations ago and I have always been fascinated by the language and culture of that area of the world. I found this position while looking for job options that would get me back to Nebraska following a year in Kansas – must’ve missed all the corn! I was excited to find a position that allowed me to achieve many goals: serve my country, share my passion for learning, and work with youth. It has been very rewarding thus far and I cannot wait to see how my year of service progresses! Aubrey- My Road Coach aubrey-shumakeAubrey is a Senior at UNL where she studies English, Film, and Psychology. She’s excited to be able to aid the scholars in their learning and growth this year and to take this journey alongside them. As the My Road Coach she’s eager to use her passion for writing to help the scholars express themselves, to articulate their passions, goals, and concerns so they can begin to effect the change they want to see in their world. In her free time she enjoys writing, watching movies and TV shows, and attending concerts. Other hobbies include: re-watching Parks & Rec, eating large quantities of pasta, petting dogs, getting excited about outer space, forgetting to exercise, & petting more dogs.
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