Here’s a look at what our Connected Youth Initiative programs have been up to in the past month.
Victor Rivas Rivers shares his story with Project Everlast Omaha
From a gang member sophomore year to class president senior year, Victor Rivas Rivers shared his journey to success and his gratitude for the village that helped raise him at Omaha’s Bike Union on September 11. Victor spoke to nearly 20 Project Everlast young adults before speaking at the Changemakers Luncheon the following day. Each young adult in attendance received autographed copies of Victor’s book, “A Private Family Matter,” and had the opportunity to talk with him and ask questions while sharing some pizza.
Investment Connection Nebraska
Nebraska Children was selected as 1 of 8 organizations to present at a unique funding event on September 21. Similar to “Shark Tank,” Investment Connection Nebraska brings together the banking industry and community services sectors for partnership and funding opportunities. Nebraska Children’s Jason Feldhaus presented the Nebraska Youth Economic Success framework, which would allow Nebraska Children to expand Opportunity Passport statewide and embed financial coaching into existing independent living and coaching services. Following the presentation, Investment Connection Nebraska will identify those financial institutions interested in funding the proposal and make the connection for future opportunities.
Nebraska ADK supports Camp Catch-Up!
Nebraska Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK) presented Nebraska Children’s Kevin Hensel with a donation to support Camp Catch-Up at the statewide meeting September 23. Alpha Delta Kappa is an international honorary organization of women educators dedicated to educational excellence, altruism, and world understanding. Kevin accepted the contribution from Melanie Malone, a music teacher from Grand Island Public Schools and member of Nebraska ADK.
Staff Spotlight: Ronda Newman
What is your role in CYI and how long have you worked at Nebraska Children:
Associate Vice President – Project Everlast
Omaha. Just over 2 years.
What do you enjoy most about working with the CYI at Nebraska Children?
The freedom to create! Creativity relies on a certain sense of “failure acceptance.” In other words, to be creative, there will be failures that allow you to learn and move on. I have never experienced this before to this extent. It is completely refreshing and freeing.
If you could be any other person for one day, who would it be and why?
I can’t pick one person, but I would have a charitable foundation. To be able to give money to people and completely change lives would be an amazing feeling.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Never compromise your integrity for anything or any reason.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
What does the idea of “youth voice” mean to you?
This has been a learning progression for me in the last 2 years. Of course, it means that youth voice drives our decisions, our initiatives, the way in which we operate – that is a given and always something we need to put at the forefront. But it has to be balanced with what we know to be true based on our life experience, best practice research, and our wisdom.
What is your favorite animal and why?
Dogs. They are smart and intuitive creatures, and the best example of living in mindfulness at all times.
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