What’s Up ?! – April 2019

From the CEO

It’s official, Lead Up is Two!

The last few months leading up to our birthday month have been quite remarkable as we’ve watched our leaders spread their wings, achieve long-worked-for milestones, and when they’ve fallen short, stand up and try again. As I reflect on it all, I am reminded of this quote, “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

Like the young people we champion, Lead Up has spread its wings, reached important benchmarks and pushed forward when the challenges of starting something different and unique haven’t progressed just as planned.

From the vantage point of our 2nd birthday, I can confirm the aphorism to be true; not easy but absolutely worth it.

With another year behind, we are fully focused on looking ahead. Here are a few exciting things on the near horizon.

After months of preparation, our nationally-reaching Next Up blog is ready for debut. Next Up will be bursting with “all things college and career” and feature the research, writing and insights of our very own leaders alongside expert advice from contributors all across the country.

And while you’re browsing the best college and career forum on the web, you can snack on Lead Up’s very own signature treat, “Out of This World” a popcorn creation developed by Amaizen Popcorn just for Lead Up.

Our second career capsule, Space, will kick off this summer. Imagine the opportunity to view the night skies with astronomers, build and launch a satellite with engineers, conduct scientific data analysis with chemists and biologists and delve into the 60’s and the space race alongside historians. Is it just me, or does that sound “Out of this World?”

So here’s to TERRIFIC TWO and all of those who have helped us grow and provide first class career and college experiences and preparation to our students. Watching Lincoln’s next leaders develop and thrive…absolutely worth it!

Julie Allen

Founder and CEO

Lead Up FAQ of the Month:

Seems like there are lots of jobs out there.  Why does Lead Up matter?


Employers in many critical fields are experiencing challenges finding employees who are ready to contribute and thrive in this evolving, skills-focused economy.  

Now more than ever before, the economic vitality of our city, state and nation depends on having a workforce from which employers can tap a diverse and talented labor pool.

Leading economists estimate that two-thirds of all job openings in the next decade will require at least some postsecondary education or training. While most young Americans aspire to higher education – too few manage to complete their studies.

Lead Up answers the urgent need for developing talent and building pipelines to great careers – especially accelerating bright, motivated students who have been historically underrepresented across the workplace landscape.

Since our launch in 2016, we’ve been introducing students to the professional world and the educational paths they can follow to get there. With a better understanding of the working world, Lead Up participants discover their interests, envision how they fit in and make better choices about their education beyond high school.

But we don’t stop there. Through robust community-based service learning, Lead Up gives students key skills for success in any field such as communicating confidently, thinking creatively and critically and working effectively on a team.

Lead Up is proud to be among the pioneers developing innovative school-to-workforce initiatives. Our on-going, sustainable strategy to meet Lincoln’s innovation and entrepreneurial needs will help secure a vital, prepared workforce and provide a significant return on the community’s investment in education.

Notes & News

Lead Up is recruiting for open AmeriCorpsVISTA positions and we’d love it if you would share this opportunity with soon-to-be college grads or others who are searching for a year of service in Lincoln. Applications are due by May 15. Here are a few of the many benefits:

  • Skills and experience applicable to success across career paths and professional pursuits
  • End-of-service Education Award to fund college, grad school or pay student loans.
  • Forbearance of student loans for the service year, including payment of interest accrued.
  • Opportunities to solve a critical community need.
  • Making a life-changing difference for young people reaching for college and dreams beyond.


Click here for more info.

Shout out to Nebraska Wesleyan for hosting our students for a great evening out on their campus April 12. After taking in a little college life with dinner and hanging out in the student center, students were treated to the truly wonderful performance of the stage adaptation of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. At the conclusion of the presentation, the cast, faculty director and even Wilbur, the canine star of the show, graciously greeted the Lead Up leaders to discuss the play and their performance. Opportunities make the difference and we are grateful to NWU for welcoming our student leaders and offering new options to explore.

Photo credit: NWU Theatre


After many hours of reading a daunting pile of applications and two weeks of interviews, we are proud to announce the selection of our new cohort of Student Leaders. An outstanding slate of 21 students have earned a Leader position for the coming year, and they are already jumping in on all of the spring opportunities. You can meet the new leaders on Mondays via our Facebook page where they’ll be sharing their favorite #MondayMotivation. Congratulations to all of our new Leaders and Welcome to Lead Up!

Photo by Miguel Maldonado on Unsplash

You’re coming, right?

June 7 - An Evening with The Mule: The Cool Kid Cocktail of the 1940's

7pm – 10pm   – The Copper Kettle

Lead Up invites you to “kick” off the summer with us at our first ever Mule Party, Friday, June 7. Learn all about this delightful cocktail with Mixologist and Chef Adam Dodworth and taste some specially mixed Mules prepared just for the evening. Perfectly paired snacks, some fun history of this iconic libation and much more add up to a great night out at The Copper Kettle supporting Lead Up. Tickets will go on sale May 3rd on Eventbrite. 

Questions or more information?  Email admin@leadupne.org.