What celebration doesn’t have a pre-party? In honor of our upcoming Changemakers celebration, we look back in gratitude at our community members that have facilitated positive change for Nebraska’s children and families.
As we look back at these past few months, then forward to our 2019 Changemakers celebration, we see makers of change everywhere. A changemaker is a person who believes that prevention, opportunity, and collaboration will support adult’s and children’s emotional health and well-being.
Changemakers are parents and children. They are Senators Walz and Cavanaugh, who have given of their time to learn more about how we can support youth in care who are pregnant or parenting, and over 400 community leaders at the 2019 Thriving Children Conference, who led by Marti Beard, did the chicken dance in the name of early childhood programs.
They are rapping teachers like Michael Bonner (pictured in the middle, below). Of course, Changemakers are organizations such as the National League of Cities and the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. Carrie Lienemann from North Platte Kids Club is a changemaker, as is Elizabeth Troyer-Miller, a member of the Stick Creek Kids leadership team. Above all, a changemaker is responsible for providing children and family guidance and resources. Fundraising company or not, every person can help, either on his or her own or with an organization.
A changemaker is a young person who has experience in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems like Bobbi Taylor, who is an advocate and voice for pregnant and parenting youth. Young parents with children are as much changemakers.
Mary Pipher (pictured below), a bestselling author and active community member, is definitely a maker of change, especially in her work surrounding teenage girls.
Our First Lady, Susanne Shore, who has been a vocal champion for prevention efforts, is a changemaker. Our panelists at a recent screening of the FOSTER documentary are changemakers, too, including (pictured from left to right): Emily Kluver, First Lady, Susanne Shore, a youth advocate, Kathleen Stolz, Judge Michael Burns, and Mary Jo Pankoke.
Changemakers are also people like Barbara Bartle (pictured below), who will receive the 2019 Grace Abbott Award!
Andrew Long, the McCook Communities for Kids engagement lead, who wrote a blog about the key to successful early childhood programs, is most certainly a changemaker.
Finally, a changemaker is a cattle rancher named Jay Wolf. In a recent interview, he says that there’s nothing unique about him. Yet, we’re still trying to find more male early childhood education advocates like Jay Wolf in what appears to be a female-dominated field. Jay assures us, he can be found everywhere. And so, the search continues.
Last of all, changemakers believe that the good life can be cultivated for all our children, teenagers, and parents. Then, they utilize his or her gifts to give back, while inspiring others to do the same.
Subscribe to our blog to check out “Finding Jay Wolf,” our interview with Jay. We’ll also feature an upcoming interview with Mary Pipher: https://blog.nebraskachildren.org/