Blog Archives

Kloreace’s Story: Opportunity Passport, Commitment, and Work Ethic Take Her Home

At 25 years old, Kloreace thought big and dreamt bigger. Six months after enrolling in Opportunity Passport™, she bought a house! A passionate school psychologist, she possesses many talents: she’s intelligent, driven, and compassionate. She’s also an advocate for the Opportunity Passport ™ program.

At 25 years old, Kloreace thought big and dreamed bigger. Six months after enrolling in Opportunity Passport™, she bought a house! A passionate school psychologist, she possesses many talents: she’s intelligent, driven, and compassionate. She’s also an advocate for the Opportunity Passport ™ program, which we oversee along with Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Happy Campers: Camp Catch-Up’s Virtual Vibes Still Brings Socially Distanced Siblings Together

Not even a pandemic could stop Camp Catch-Up! An annual event that reunites siblings who were separated by the foster care system, Camp Catch-Up Virtual Sibling Vibes was held this year on July 6 -10 via Zoom. All the children, youth, and counselors logged on - and then the games literally began! From Gaga ball to a talent show to storytelling, counselors and coordinators made sure that a good time was had by all. Read more.

Not even a pandemic could stop Camp Catch-Up! An annual event that reunites siblings who were separated by the foster care system, Camp Catch-Up Virtual Sibling Vibes was held this year on July 6 -10 via Zoom. All the children, youth, and counselors logged on – and then the games literally began! From Gaga ball to a talent show to storytelling, counselors and coordinators made sure that a good time was had by all. Read more.

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Posted in Early Childhood, News and Events

Crossing Over: New Connected Youth Initiative GOALS Program Helps Create a Bridge Between Youth and Supports

Imagine having experienced the foster care system. Maybe you connected with a family. Maybe you didn’t, and now you’re alone. You’re ready to live your best life, but are so focused on surviving, you’ve yet to approach thriving. The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, CYI, Central Plains Center for Services and The Sherwood Foundation have teamed up to create Granting Opportunities for Achievement and Lifelong Success (GOALS). This initiative supports young adults who are transitioning from extended foster care during and throughout the pandemic. Read more.

Imagine having experienced the foster care system. Maybe you connected with a family. Maybe you didn’t, and now you’re alone. You’re ready to live your best life, but are so focused on surviving, you’ve yet to approach thriving.

The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, CYI, Central Plains Center for Services and The Sherwood Foundation have teamed up to create Granting Opportunities for Achievement and Lifelong Success (GOALS). This initiative supports young adults who are transitioning from extended foster care during and throughout the pandemic. Read more.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Zeny: A Young Woman with an Incredible Work Ethic, Meets Her Goals and Says, “I Can’t Wait to Give Back One Day”

When Zeny and her husband moved from the small town of Hastings, Nebraska to Lincoln, she had to begin all over again. For anyone who has encountered not only a new chapter in life, but a new library, that transition can be scary, exciting, and abrupt. One CYI component that helped Zeny along her way was Opportunity Passport™, which is implemented in Lincoln by Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders County. Read more about Zeny's accomplishments.

When Zeny and her husband moved from the small town of Hastings, Nebraska to Lincoln, she had to begin all over again. For anyone who has encountered not only a new chapter in life, but a new library, that transition can be scary, exciting, and abrupt. One CYI component that helped Zeny along her way was Opportunity Passport™, which is implemented in Lincoln by Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders County. Read more about Zeny’s accomplishments.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Connected Youth Initiative: Kevin, a Motivated Young Man, Arrives at Success, Thanks to His Determination and a Little Help from Opportunity Passport

Kevin has been a participant in Opportunity Passport™ for over three years. He speaks three languages, plans to attend college, continues to demonstrate financial self-sufficiency. Given these skills, he’s already created a solid foundation but has built on these existing talents. Read more to see how he accomplished his goals!

Resources for Unconnected Youth: Connected Youth Initiative Grants Hope   During an unsettling time, our communities and youth with foster care experience matter. Despite these challenges, positive changes are happening every day both here at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and in the communities in which we work.   We’ve seen

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Project Everlast Omaha Launches Mobile Pantries to Ensure Youth Have Access to Food and Necessities

Long before the pandemic, Connected Youth Initiative’s Project Everlast Omaha, its partners, and the community has offered programs to assist unconnected youth. The term "unconnected youth" refers to young people between the ages of 14-25 years of age who have experienced the foster care system, juvenile justice system and/or probation, homelessness, or human trafficking. Find out more about Project Everlast Omaha's efforts to support unconnected youth!

Long before the pandemic, Connected Youth Initiative’s Project Everlast Omaha, its partners, and the community has offered programs to assist unconnected youth. The term “unconnected youth” refers to young people between the ages of 14-25 years of age who have experienced the foster care system, juvenile justice system and/or probation, homelessness, or human trafficking. Find out more about Project Everlast Omaha’s efforts to support unconnected youth!

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Posted in Middle Childhood, News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Reconnecting Youth with Foster Care Experience: Project Everlast and its Supporters Help a Young Man Remain Connected

Read more about how Project Everlast Omaha assisted a young man who had been released from incarceration.

As COVID-19 numbers rise, Project Everlast Omaha seeks out those affected youth in the metro, particularly those released from incarceration. For young members of our community, feeling excluded is hard enough, but being released into an uncertain, altered world is even more taxing.

Read more about how Project Everlast Omaha assisted a young man who had been released from incarceration.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Connected Youth Initiative and COVID-19: A Domestic Abuse Survivor Steps into Brighter Times

How did a young mother'and domestic abuse survivor's resolve and Connected Youth Initiative help her move into brighter times?

As we search for light in dark corners, we must acknowledge the struggles, strengths and triumphs of these youth. Each one has a different story; each one is capable of being remarkably successful, sometimes with a little support from CYI’s resources.

Recently, one young mother’s story arrives at a welcome time. Although her experience was not easy, and was perhaps exacerbated by the coronavirus, we are glad that she was resourceful and resilient enough to ask for assistance, and that CYI was there to help. Read this young woman’s story.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Connected Youth Initiative Completes Rigorous, Independent SIF Evaluation

In 2015, the Corporation for National and Community Service awarded a Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant to Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. The grant was used to expand our successful Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) model to rural communities across the state to help unconnected youth, including young people aging out of foster care, to become thriving citizens. We are energized to see that participation in CYI may be associated with some successful outcomes. We’ll explain all of that and more.

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Posted in News and Events, Systems, Teen/Early Adulthood

Legislative Days Provide Young Leaders an Opportunity to Make Their Voices Heard

 “My passion is helping other people,” Jacob said. “I’ve helped with [my peers] mental health, too. Sharing our stories can help others. I want to help others find their voice. I never had a voice. I was afraid of it.”  

The eighth annual Legislative Days program provides young adults with the opportunity to learn about and engage in the legislative process. Perhaps most importantly, these youth leaders are also encouraged to use their voices. 

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Posted in News and Events, Teen/Early Adulthood
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