What’s Up?! – October 2018

Come On Up!

We’re so excited to share our October newsletter with you and have officially tagged this one as the “Come on Up” issue because we have so many ways for you to get involved! On behalf of the students and staff, Welcome. We’re looking forward to seeing you.

On pumpkins, beer, and power of belief.

“Pumpkin Spice Season,” as we’ve come to think of this time of year, is not quite as busy or sentimental as the holiday celebrations yet to come.

But at Lead Up, it feels like we’re in peak season. Our student leaders just completed their projects with the Nebraska History Museum – showing off their maturity, creativity and commitment to their first and foremost responsibility as Lead Up participants: role model.

Extra sessions after school preparing for the Museum events kept us busy but there was no time to let down, and our seniors dug in to preparing for the October 27 ACT. As a staff team, we too turned our attention to shoring up mid-term grades, the ACT, and staying on top of college applications. And when we weren’t working with students, we have been all out getting ready for upcoming events.

Our college freshmen have been reconnecting during their fall break and words do no justice to the transformation they’ve had just mid-way through their first semester.  As much as a long-awaited pumpkin scone warms my soul, it can’t begin to compare with hearing a student say: “it’s even better than you said it would be.”

I am so proud, but I must admit, the last few weeks have been a bit overwhelming. Not because of the many projects in progress, or of doing our best work with our student leaders, but rather the belief our students, partners and supporters have demonstrated in Lead Up.

From the brewers and chefs who enthusiastically jumped onboard for the 3rd annual Hops for Hope, to the businesses that sponsored pumpkins for Carve Up – we are empowered by their belief in our young people and our commitment to help them succeed.

Before “PSL” disappears from our favorite coffee spots, we’ll host a Career-Care Fair that will reach 200 students, and a Leadership Conference at NWU for 100 more. Together with great Nebraska beer and cleverly designed pumpkin works of art, we will definitely be reaching a high peak. But nothing will top the trust we receive each day from our students, and seeing them believe in and work for their future.

Julie Allen

Founder and CEO

2018 Career – Care Fair


Seeking: Professionals who love their career and are passionate about inspiring the next generation of rising stars.

On November 27, Lead Up’s annual Career and Care Fair will offer North Star High School students the opportunity to help their community while exploring careers that align with their interests and talents.

We are seeking professionals from a variety of fields to participate in our hands-on, “fair-style” event, engaging students in career dialogue while working alongside them to complete projects that positively impact local and global needs.

If you’re interested in networking with students looking to learn more about the world of work, and working alongside them to help others – We Need YOU!

More info here. Or contact volunteer@leadupne.org

Spongebob Wins!

In a nail-biting race to the finish, Dora and Spongebob stayed neck and neck as the final moments of the election ticked down. Campaign ads full of promises such as a shorter school week, candy for lunch, and the end of bullying filled the airwaves and the candidates themselves were tirelessly stumping on the campaign trail as the students of Lead Up hosted an afternoon aimed at nation’s future voters.

Children and their families learned about democracy and the United States through fun activities at the Nebraska History Museum, Saturday, October 6th.  Read aloud, crafts and a reflection wall about Why Voting Matters accompanied a fun mock election demonstrating how voting works. Every vote counted, and future voters went home more knowledgeable about their country and their future civic duty: voting.

We are grateful for our partnership with Nebraska History Museum and their welcoming staff.  You have helped us provide another extraordinary experience for our students and given them the opportunity to learn and lead.

Now, it’s your turn. Don’t forget  to vote!

Admissions and Tuition and Dorms, Oh My!

Toshi Attends a College Fair

By Jocelyn Osborne


At Lead Up, we believe it is never too early to begin looking at colleges. Recently, Toshi, a Lead Up junior, attended her first Education Quest college fair at Southeast Community College. Here is what she had to say about the event:

What did you expect to see when you attended this event?

“When I went to the college fair, I didn’t expect there to be as many colleges as there were. I was also expecting to only see Nebraska colleges.”

With colleges spanning from Nebraska, to Missouri, to even Colorado and Arizona, Toshi was surprised by the amount of choices she had when visiting with admissions representatives from well-over fifty colleges and universities.


When you visited with admissions representatives from these colleges and universities, what questions did you choose to ask them?

“Some of the questions I asked colleges were, “What are dorms like?” and “Do you have a Photography major?” I was also asking how many kids are accepted into their school. Those were some of the things I was asking.”

Toshi went on to say that these are her greatest concerns when deciding where she wants to attend, prompting those specific questions. She also asked questions such as, “How many students find jobs within six months of graduation?” and “What financial aid options are available?”


What did you like most about the college fair?

“The best thing I saw was how all of the schools had something different to show what they offer. They were all creative instead of just handing you a pamphlet. Some even turned their brochures into origami or pieces of paper that looked like their school mascot.”


What advice would you give to any other people your age who are attending a college fair?

“Have some questions ready in advance. Do some research on what schools you might be interested in so you can maybe get to know that school. Go in open minded. If you go in thinking, ‘I just want to go to an in-state university,’ or, ‘I just want to go to a community college,’ that might limit your options and you might not find a college you like that is the complete opposite of what you want but is one you will really like.”

Toshi went into the college fair interested in only seeing out-of-state colleges, but became interested in many in-state options after attending this fair. Because she had a strong list of questions prepared to ask each admissions representative, she had an easy time beginning conversations and learning as much as she could about each college in a short period of time.

You’re coming, right?

Oct 26, 27 & 28 - Carve Up

Oct 26, dine out at Granite City and mention Lead Up

Oct 27 – 10:00 a.m. –  9:00 p.m.  & Oct 28 Noon to 5:00 p.m. 

When Black Cats Prowl and Pumpkins Gleam…

I’m not sure about the prowling cats, but if you’re looking for gleaming pumpkins, we’ve got ‘em!

Join us for Carve Up with Lead Up; a full weekend of family-friendly events to celebrate the season.

We’ll kick off the fun next Friday, October 26, with a pumpkin preview and Dine to Donate evening at Granite City restaurant. Enjoy your GC faves amidst an array of artful pumpkins – all the while helping Lead Up help talented high school students reach their potential.

Then it’s over to the Center Court at Gateway Mall on Saturday and Sunday (October 27 &28) where you can meet some of our terrific student leaders and wander a “patch” full of creatively decorated and carved pumpkins. Support Lead Up by voting for the “Top Jack” and “Best in Patch” winners.

A big thank you to our Boo-ti-ful event sponsors: Ameritas, Granite City, Gateway Mall and the Roca Berry Farm.  

Nov 9 - Hops for Hope

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm – SAC Museum
3rd Annual Hops for Hope

Seasonal Craft Brews, Bites and helping Dreams Take Flight

Tickets are selling out fast for this annual fall event. Held in the inspiring Strategic Air and Space museum, guests sample Nebraska brewed beer and bites from local eateries. Enjoy the vintage aircraft, meet the brewers who are putting Nebraska on the craft brew map and sample some tasty morsels from your soon-to-be favorite restaurants and caterers.  Hops for Hope celebrates the spirit of our community; beer, food and the unlimited potential of our young people. Click here for tickets.

Sponsored by: Hop Cat, Zillow and Stop N Shop.

Questions or more information?  Check out our webiste @ www.leadupus.org or, email admin@leadupne.org.