Blog Archives

In Living Watercolor: Grai Gray Paints a Vibrant Future of Resilience with Connected Youth Initiative Supports  

Grai Gray (they/them) is making a name for themselves in every area of their lives. From featuring a watercolor piece in the University of Nebraska Omaha’s (UNO) spring juried art show to doing digital illustrations, Grai keeps their world busy and colorful.   

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

Full-Service Community Schools Deliver an Innovative Approach to Supporting Students, Teachers, and Families Alike!   

Nebraska Children and the Nebraska Department of Education are addressing pandemic-related setbacks through the Together, Better Initiative, a deliberate series of efforts geared toward strengthening students and families in the most essential ways. Among these efforts is the piloted project, Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS).  

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

Nothing to Hide: A’zja Reveals How Her Past Gave Her the Strength to Succeed

As a teenager, A’jza escaped her family and hid for three weeks in a friend’s closet. She’s also walked herself to therapy, deciding that she needed mental health support. She learned Omaha’s public transit system as a child, worked a job since she was 12, and has been mistaken for someone almost twice her age – with good reason.  Read about how, with a Connected Youth Initiative and Beyond School Bells internship, this remarkable young woman stepped into a thriving career.

As a teenager, A’jza escaped her family and hid for three weeks in a friend’s closet. She’s also walked herself to therapy, deciding that she needed mental health support. She learned Omaha’s public transit system as a child, worked a job since she was 12, and has been mistaken for someone almost twice her age – with good reason.  Read about how, with a Connected Youth Initiative and Beyond School Bells internship, this remarkable young woman stepped into a thriving career.

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Posted in Uncategorized

For Every Door That Closes, Another Appears: Americle Lends Former Foster Youth Her Secrets for Resiliency and Transformation

On her 18th birthday, the doors slammed behind her – and they were the doors to prison. Now, at 21 years old, Americle continues to focus on self-improvement. Part of her plan includes participating in PALS coaching, part of Central Plains Center for Services (CPCS), and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Connected Youth Initiative (CYI). An older youth initiative, CYI provides supports and services to young people like Americle who have experienced incarceration or foster care, among other challenges. Read about her transformative journey and supportive resources.

On her 18th birthday, the doors slammed behind her – and they were the doors to prison. Now, at 21 years old, Americle continues to focus on self-improvement. Part of her plan includes participating in PALS coaching, part of Central Plains Center for Services (CPCS), and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Connected Youth Initiative (CYI). An older youth initiative, CYI provides supports and services to young people like Americle who have experienced incarceration or foster care, among other challenges. Read about her transformative journey and supportive resources.

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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

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

Support Helps a Driven Young Woman with Foster Care Experience Continue to Thrive

Rosa is smart and talented. She also has foster care experience. What resources did she have to support her during her first semester of college when she relapsed into mental health issues?

Bright, capable Rosa entered the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a long list of scholarships. A trauma survivor who suffers from mental health issues, Rosa’s first semester of college marked a particularly difficult time. What resources did this capable young woman have to support her?

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Posted in News and Events, Teen/Early Adulthood

Surviving Versus Thriving: The Young Families Thrive Summit Brings Questions and Possible Solutions

“Thrive” is a word we use a lot here at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, especially in October. Our 2019 Changemakers keynote speaker, Michael Bonner said in a recent interview, “I don’t want to survive. I want to thrive.”    During the Young Families Thrive Summit on

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Posted in News and Events, Teen/Early Adulthood

Team returns from Argentina full of inspiration

In May, a small-but-mighty group of Connected Youth Initiative employees, young people, and partners traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a learning exchange with the Argentine organization Doncel. The trip was organized as part of the (Re)Connecting Youth initiative spearheaded

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

Lincoln Project Everlast hosts event for Foster Care Awareness Month

On May 16, the Lincoln Project Everlast Youth Council held a Foster Care Awareness Month event in partnership with The Hub, which provides space, support, and guidance to the youth council, and The Bay, another long-time supporter of the Project

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