JAG Nebraska and Columbus Area United Way Join Forces to Empower Students

In the landscape of education and community empowerment, strategic collaborations have the potential to ignite profound transformation. A recent example of this synergy is the partnership between JAG Nebraska, the Columbus Area United Way (CAUW) and Community and Family Partnership – highlighting their joint dedication to fostering both student growth and community welfare.

This groundbreaking partnership is not merely symbolic; it’s action-oriented and results-driven. In a move that speaks volumes about their dedication, CAUW allocated $10,000 to support students in mastering the art of grant writing and responsible resource distribution. This isn’t just about financial aid; it’s about empowering the next generation with tangible skills and experiences that transcend the classroom.

“Early in the school year we were in the classroom with JAG students and heard from them on their concerns of mental health needs among students,” said Roberta Miksch, Collective Impact Director at Columbus Area United Way. “We wanted to bring the voice of youth into this important work, get their input and allow them an opportunity to be the voice in deciding which mini-grant applications they felt were best suited for our community and its mental health needs.”

The impact of this initiative ripples outwards, touching the lives of not only the students involved but also the broader community. “Hearing from youth, some of which may be close to the issue they are working on, is so important for us as we work to decrease the stigma of mental health and encourage us all to care for our mental health needs,” said Miksch. “Students created the application, released it, reviewed applications, selected award recipients and communicated with the awardees throughout the school year.”

Through a meticulous selection process, the Columbus JAG Nebraska program identified several deserving recipients for resources. Among them are organizations like the Northeast NE Suicide Prevention Coalition, Clarkson Public School – National Honor Society, GracePoint Institute for Relational Health, Big Pals Little Pals of Greater Columbus, TeamMates Mentoring of Columbus and the East Central District Health Department.

However, the significance of the partnership between JAG Nebraska and CAUW extends beyond the allocation of funds. By integrating real-world experiences into the academic sphere, the strategic partnership is enhancing educational outcomes and is nurturing a generation of proactive, socially conscious leaders.

At its core, this collaborative effort is about more than just writing grants or distributing resources. It’s about instilling a sense of agency and responsibility in students, empowering them to become catalysts for positive change in their communities.