What’s Up ?! – February 2019

From the CEO

Raise your hand if you’re sick of winter! It’s definitely a challenge to stay motivated while braving these soul crushing cold temps, but with many new developments and activities in the works, we are rushing towards a warm and exciting spring. A new career capsule is kicking off with our first-ever e-book hackathon and the Next Up blog I wrote about in the last issue is taking shape nicely for an April launch. At the request of our partner school, North Star, we’ll begin a monthly version of our annual “Stand Up with Lead Up” career-service event on March 26th. I’m excited to share that Lead Up was awarded an AmeriCorps VISTA grant and with those resources, look forward to expanding our team and deepening our impact here in Lincoln. (By the way – if you know of someone interested in a year of service with AmeriCorps, there is more info on our website.) Check out the great workshops and events coming up, and as always, we invite you to get involved with our program and amazing students. Stay warm, and we hope to see you soon.

Julie Allen

Founder and CEO

Lead Up FAQ of the Month:

How are Lead Up Student Leaders chosen?

“Do you want to be a part of a community that pushes you to be your best? Motivated students interested in learning, growing, and pursuing their dreams are welcome to apply.”  

With graduation right around the corner, it’s that time of year when Lead Up selects a new cohort of Student Leaders to join the program.  With limited positions available in each cohort, what are the top things we’re looking for in a prospective Leader? Potential and motivation.

Things get rolling with recommendations from teachers and staff, counselors and our current Leaders. Recommended students are invited to complete a written application addressing questions about their academic goals and challenges, leaders and leadership, personal and career interests. Every application is read and re-read, especially our favorite question: “What issue or challenge in the community do you want most to impact with your talents and skills?”

But we don’t stop there. Bringing students and the Lead Up team together for group and individual interviews helps to round out the written application and provides a terrific opportunity to deepen what we know about each applicant; their hopes, dreams and what they plan to contribute to the Lead Up community.  

With a dramatically narrowed field, the last step in becoming a Lead Up Student Leader is a meeting with finalists and their families to reiterate the opportunities and responsibilities of being a part of the program.


Which brings us to the Lead Up starting line for another amazing group of young people embarking on their race to college and career.

High School High Stress.  7 ways to survive.


Getting into college, and finding the money needed to pay for it, is more competitive than ever. Balancing academics, the college process and extracurricular activities can add up to stress and burnout.

What should high-schoolers do to stay healthy, happy and successful? Lead Up has a few tips to share.

1.  Get enough sleep.

With so much to do every day it is hard avoid late hours. The reality is that lack of sleep has lots of negative effects including increased stress. Shut off the gadgets and turn in a little early for more peaceful, productive days.

2.  Eat well to feel better.

Nutrition and brain function go to together like peanut butter and jelly. No question, loaded fries and a sugary soda taste great, but that’s not the fuel the brain needs for peak work.

3.  Clear away distractions

A stressed mind gets worse with disorganization. To avoid “spinning in place” take a time out to clean and organize study space, backpack, locker…..now you’re ready to begin.

4.  Exercise

The science behind exercise tells the story: exercise produces mood-boosting endorphins, and moves more oxygen to the brain. It also creates momentum. Remember, “objects in motion tend to remain in motion.”

5.  Focus on small, immediate goals.

Yes, the big picture is a great motivational tool, but when there’s too much to do, smaller goals help students move forward. Break homework, projects and other to-dos into manageable chunks and lay out a realistic schedule to tackle the list.

6.  Get creative with your study

With the end of year coming closer, it might not seem like the right time to mix it up during study time but doing things differently can increase motivation and results. And remember, the more active the study method, the more effective.

7.  Protect your spark

People, images and ideas that bring out the best in you are positive lines of defense against negativity. And don’t forget to make choices based on your own ambitions and goals.


P.S. You can read the extended article on the Lead Up website and, follow the Lead Up Seniors in their quest for balance on Facebook; checking in every Friday with the latest on their journey to graduation and beyond.

You’re coming, right?

March 11 or March 21 - Ready, Set, Goal

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – The Foundry (211 N 14th)

Mid-year blues got you down? Senioritis setting in? We can help you jump-start your momentum!

  • Fuel your motivation by setting out a vision for where you’re planning to go.
  • Master the art of breaking down a big goal for greater success.
  • Learn how to recognize self-limiting beliefs that drain away your ambition.
  • Get tips and hacks for getting started (on assignments, projects and college-going tasks) when you’re completely out of enthusiasm.

This workshop is facilitated by Lead Up Founder and CEO, Julie Allen. Ms. Allen has helped hundreds of students across the U.S. achieve academic success and find their way to and through college. The Educational Policy Institute Blueprint named her approach among the “top seven in the nation.” Register here for March 11 or here for March 22 and get on track for a great ending to the school year. $29 includes materials, supplies and snacks.

March 22 - Girls night out

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm   – The Foundry (211 N 14th)

One of the great things about being out and about meeting people is describing all of the terrific activities that Lead Up creates to nurture dreams and empower goals. It’s rare when one of these conversations doesn’t elicit an “I wish you’d do that for me.”  So…… we will!

Girls Night Out is a fun and purposeful evening featuring unique and empowering experiences you’ll be smiling about for weeks to come! Part wine and chocolate, part create and dream, this is your opportunity to get into an empowered, joyful mindset and feel courageous, confident and kind. Destined to become a Women’s History Month classic! And did we mention chocolate?

Tickets are limited. Register here. All proceeds support the effective, life-changing programs of Lead Up.

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