August/September 2018 News

Beyond Train to Gain
William Faulkner said, “Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.”  We believe our quality works is just beginning.  We have accomplished many things over the past three years, and have only reached the tip of the iceberg.  As we continue to strive to become the envy of the nation in the after school world, we must attract and develop quality staff to work with students and families.   We will be using two resources, “High Performance Habits” by Brendan Burchard to better equip staff on their own professional development journey.  We will also use fellow Nebraskan, Cy Wakeman’s book, “Reality-Based Leadership” as a tool to help leaders coach staff at the site level.

Summer Leadership Institute 2018

During the week of July 30th, we kicked off another year of our quality improvement system by hosting our Summer Leadership Institute.  More than 65 leaders attended this two day workshop to gain a greater understanding of the six habits needed to become a high performer.  As one of the participants stated, “I didn’t know what to expect, but now that I know what the habits are, I look forward to growing myself and helping my staff do the same.” 

Since our genesis, we have relied on data to make educated decisions about how we program for students.  YPQA Basics is an important component needed to create the foundation for a quality program.  This year our new Site Directors were led by our Weikart consultant bob McNeil, through a hands on workshop to prepare and equip them to conduct program self-assessments.   

We also partnered with Anne Herman and Noni Williams from the United Way of the Midlands to host our first Data Utilization Workshop.  We know how important data is to our sites, but if the data is not interpreted correctly, it can become frustrating.  At this half day workshop, participants had the opportunity to learn and explore how to use and make educated programmatic decisions. Additionally, we explored practical ways to share relevant data with stakeholders to impact the quality of their system.

As we continue to expand our borders, we understand that the smarter we become the more efficient we will be.  Creating the right balance is important as we press to create more positive outcomes for over 7,400 students and their families we touch each year. 

Advancing Afterschool Professionals Awards- Submit Your Nomination!
Collective for Youth is seeking nominees for its Advancing Afterschool Professionals Awards 2018, honoring exemplary individuals for their work in the field of afterschool. Recipients will be recognized for their commitment to quality standards, dedication to the children and contributions to the afterschool field at the Advancing Afterschool Awards on Friday, January 4, 2019, at the TAC Building 5th floor. 

2018 Afterschool Professional Awards recipient Donna Beasley

Collective for Youth fosters professionalism and excellence in the field of afterschool and encourages you to participate in the Advancing Afterschool Awards 2019 nomination process using the following form. It’s a wonderful way to recognize the outstanding achievements of people in this fulling field!

Collective for Youth will honor Afterschool Professionals and their commitment and dedication to providing high-quality out-of-school time programming for students in Out of School Time programs.  Collective for Youth is looking for Afterschool Professionals to nominate their peers for awards in the following categories:

  • Caring Adult in Afterschool (teacher, administrator, parent, or any other caring adult)
  • Exemplary Achievement by an Afterschool Frontline Staff Member
  • Exceptional Achievement by an Afterschool Director
  • Exceptional Achievement by an Afterschool Assistant Director
  • Inspiring Leadership by a Middle School Youth
  • Inspiring Leadership by a Elementary Youth

Purpose: These awards recognize outstanding performance and achievement by individuals

Eligibility: Recipients must show strong support for high quality after school performance; exceptional leadership in managing school programs; commitment to educational quality and student achievement; commitment to professional growth; and creativity and innovation in dealing with issues and problems facing public education.

*If you have questions regarding the eligibility of a nominee within a category, please contact Gwyn Williams.

Nomination Process: Nominations must be submitted in writing/or email to Collective for Youth. After reviewing all nominations, the Awards Committee will recommend one nominee in each category which makes the final selection. All recipients will be honored at the January all staff meeting at TAC building. Click here to nominate an afterschool professional.

Deadline: Deadline for submission of all nominations is December 15, 2018

Please send all nominations to Gwyn Williams at  or to the Collective for Youth office at 105 North 31 Avenue, Suite 103, Omaha, NE. 68131

Stuff the Bus


Last month, Collective for Youth participated in Stuff the Bus with First National Bank, Two Men and a Truck and WOWT!   The supply drive started on July 19th and culminated with a big drop off event at First National Bank on August 8th.  Thank you for your overwhelming response to the request for supplies. We live in an amazing community.  With your help we were able to provide nearly 2,000 students with new backpacks, pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, highlighters, colored pencils, markers, and crayons.   We were able to ensure that Omaha’s students were equipped with the right supplies and ready to learn.

Community volunteers helping CFY stuff back packs. Stuff the Bus 2018

Get Connected CCLC Conference

The Get Connected 2018 Nebraska Afterschool Conference on September 28th provides an opportunity to learn more about planning and implementing a quality afterschool or summer program. Sessions offered throughout the day target a variety of audiences including program leaders, program staff, teachers, school administrators, community partners, and others interested in afterschool and summer learning opportunities for children and youth.

Some of Collective for Youth’s very own afterschool professionals will be presenting at this conference. Register today to get a front row seat to hear directly from Gwyn Williams (CFY), Nicole Everingham(CFY), LaRon Henderson(CFY), Kim Bradford (Urban League of Ne.) and Bryan Sharkey (DREAM/Nathan Hale)
Click HERE to register as an individual attendee or a group!

Lights On Afterschool 2018

Please join Collective for Youth and our partnering agencies for our annual Lights On Afterschool celebration at the Sapp Fieldhouse on UNO’s campus on October 6, 2018 between the hours of 10 and 2 p.m. to celebrate Lights On Afterschool. This event will highlight the activities and the providers that are in all 31 of CFY after school programs on each school day between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Lights On Afterschool is an annual event that takes place in hundreds of locations throughout the country. These events highlight the importance of high quality afterschool programs and the youth who attend them. Each year, CFY has hosted this event with great success. Over 1500 youth and adults gather to enjoy lunch, hands on activities, community exhibits, parent activities, and performances by local talent and youth from various afterschool programs in the community.