Blog Archives

Saying “I Do”: A Husband and Wife’s Commitment Provides Housing and Winter Essentials for Young People Experiencing Homelessness 

Usually, when a married couple says, “I do,” they utter those words on a special day, also known as a wedding. For Sara and Blair Riffel, the phrase has echoed throughout their commitment to their communities. Read more about how Nebraska Children's Connected Youth Initiative Vice President, Sara Riffel, and her husband Blair put their heads and hearts together to spread holiday cheer.

Usually, when a married couple says, “I do,” they utter those words on a special day, also known as a wedding. For Sara and Blair Riffel, the phrase has echoed throughout their commitment to their communities. Read more about how Nebraska Children’s Connected Youth Initiative Vice President, Sara Riffel, and her husband Blair put their heads and hearts together to spread holiday cheer.

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

To See and Be Seen: Denise Daugherty Leaves Her Difficult Past Behind to Find Inspiration, a New Career, and Outlook

Denise Daugherty reveals how she pushed beyond foster care and incarceration and into her dreams with Beyond School Bells, Connected Youth Initiative, and Central Plains Center for Services' coaching and support. Read more.

Meet Denise Daugherty.

“Now I do what makes me happy. I’m not worried about others. The reason I got into trouble was that I needed to love and protect people.” Denise Daughtery reveals how she pushed beyond foster care and incarceration and into her dreams with Beyond School Bells, Connected Youth Initiative, and Central Plains Center for Services’ coaching and support. Read more.

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

Strong, Strong…Nebraska Strong: LEAP fellows and Nebraska Children Staff Share LEAP Strategies for Success 

We’re so glad that our staff and Connected Youth Initiative participants joined leaders from across the nation for a two-day LEAP convening on November 3-4, hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and organized by LEAP Young Fellows and partners.  Read more about how LEAP creates positive change for young people who experienced foster care.

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

Connected Youth Initiative Congratulates Nebraska’s Jim Casey Fellowship Recipient, Nedhal Al-kazahy  

Meet Nedhal, Nebraska's new young leader: “Helping more than I could before in the foster care system is amazing. I’m hoping I can better prepare young adults to feel comfortable being on their own and becoming an adult.”   

Meet Nedhal, Nebraska’s new young leader: “Helping more than I could before in the foster care system is amazing. I’m hoping I can better prepare young adults to feel comfortable being on their own and becoming an adult.”   

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

Fall Transitions: Connected Youth Initiative and Partners Identify and Address System-Involved Young People’s Needs 

Starting in March 2020, Nebraska Children and partners listened to these young people’s voices. One thing became apparent – they wanted to be heard and find ways to meet their needs. Together, we and our co-collaborators leveraged our supports in response to these essential needs and challenges. Read about the headway we and our partners have made to respond to young people impacted by COVID-19.

Starting in March 2020, Nebraska Children and partners listened to these young people’s voices. One thing became apparent – they wanted to be heard and find ways to meet their needs. Together, we and our co-collaborators leveraged our supports in response to these essential needs and challenges. Read about the headway we and our partners have made to respond to young people impacted by COVID-19.

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

Camp Catch-Up Reunites Siblings Separated by Foster Care Placements for an Overnight at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo 

The third summer session of Camp Catch-Up kicked off from July 28-29, this time, with 40 campers. Camp Catch-Up is a Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) program that reunites siblings between the ages of 8-19 who were separated due to foster care placements.  

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

We Meet Again: Camp Catch-Up Kicks off its First Summer Session to Reunite Siblings Separated by Foster Care Placements 

When life gives you rain, you play foosball.  Such was the case for this year’s Camp Catch-Up (CCU), anyway, which is no stranger to obstacles.  A Nebraska Children and Families Foundation program that operates within Connected Youth Initiative (CYI), CCU remains as resilient as its campers.  Throughout the pandemic, the CCU staff continued to find creative, innovative ways to reunite siblings between the ages of 8-19 separated by the foster care system.  This year’s first Camp Catch-Up summer session, Camp Moses-Merrill, kicked off in Linwood, Nebraska from June 10-13. Read more about how campers and staff enjoyed creating fun, tie-dye shirts, and memories!

When life gives you rain, you play foosball. 

Such was the case for this year’s Camp Catch-Up (CCU), anyway, which is no stranger to obstacles. 

A Nebraska Children and Families Foundation program that operates within Connected Youth Initiative (CYI), CCU remains as resilient as its campers. 

Throughout the pandemic, the CCU staff continued to find creative, innovative ways to reunite siblings between the ages of 8-19 separated by the foster care system. 

This year’s first Camp Catch-Up summer session, Camp Moses-Merrill, kicked off in Linwood, Nebraska from June 10-13. Read more about how campers and staff enjoyed creating fun, tie-dye shirts, and memories!

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

Resiliency in the Time of COVID-19: Americle Participates in Connected Youth Initiative and Pulls Through

Americle, a Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) participant, pushes through obstacles and continues to be her best self.  Although her journey hasn't been easy, this young woman who experienced foster care went on to accomplish great things, thanks to her resolve and Connected Youth Initiative programs.

Americle, a Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) participant, pushes through obstacles and continues to be her best self.  Although her journey hasn’t been easy, this young woman who experienced foster care went on to accomplish great things, thanks to her resolve and Connected Youth Initiative programs.

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

Raising Awareness: Sarah Experienced the Foster Care System and a Thriving Adulthood

This May, as we recognize Foster Care Awareness Month, we bring you Sarah’s story. As an organization that envisions all children, youth, and families thriving, we love to share stories like these. A young mother whose resiliency enabled her to push through life challenges as well asthe pandemic, Sarah has been a state ward for, in her words, "as long as she can remember."   Read more about how Sarah utilized her resolve and Connected Youth Initiative program to transition into a thriving adulthood.

This May, as we recognize Foster Care Awareness Month, we bring you Sarah’s story. As an organization that envisions all children, youth, and families thriving, we love to share stories like these. A young mother whose resiliency enabled her to push through life challenges as well as the pandemic, Sarah has been a state ward for, in her words, “as long as she can remember.”  

Read more about how Sarah utilized her resolve and a Connected Youth Initiative program to transition into a thriving adulthood.

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

Meet Lauren Ward: Assistant Vice President of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Shares Her Empowering Approach

How do you and Lauren Ward, Assistant Vice President of Trafficking and Violence Prevention, support human trafficking survivors? Lauren describes how you can go from helping to empowering. Read more. 

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Posted in News and Events, Teen/Early Adulthood
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