What’s Up?! January 2019



As happens every January, the conversation seems to center around beginnings, and the fresh start that comes with 12 fresh, unwritten months ahead. Starting down paths to new goals, plans for new adventures or life changes….this is the time to focus on “the start of things.”

On the first Tuesday of 2019 we gathered, as we do on 1st Tuesdays, for our student leader planning meeting.   After the semester break, reconnecting was time well-spent as we caught up on new class schedules, holiday stories, and what the challenges ahead might be.

That’s when it hit us; only 136 days left to go this school year. Just 136 days until the seniors don caps and gowns and take the next steps along their journey.  

Endings suddenly crashed into beginnings and we all had to take a few deep breaths as the full understanding of how close the next big turn in the road really is.

But mostly, the moment was filled with excitement!

In the 136 days ahead, our leaders will continue to work hard, challenge themselves to learn more and try things that are not easy, or comfortable. They’ll be writing their stories; pushing hard to get to that best kind of ending – the one that’s the first step of another new beginning.  

Now is a great time to be a part of the Lead Up story. Run with us across the starting and finishing lines that make a lasting difference.  Join one of our lively student-professional networking sessions, come out and play at an upcoming fundraising event, or be a part of an advisory group that brings valuable career experiences to life.   

New adventures start here.   

Julie Allen

Founder and CEO

P.S. Don’t miss the ups and downs of the last days of high school, and first steps to college with the Lead Up seniors! Every Friday on our Facebook page #finishlinefriday.  


After two snow day cancellations, the second annual Stand Up With Lead Up event at North Star High School finally took flight! With the ringing of the end-of-day bell, students poured into the Bayou and stayed to complete on-site service projects benefitting hospitalized children, senior citizens, shelter animals, young readers, and the environment. Cutting, crafting and painting gave way to conversations about places to volunteer, internships and opportunities to build a resume and job skills, and careers that connect to focus areas of the projects.

Stand Up with Lead Up is one of the many ways Lead Up connects community to college and to career. It all starts with finding a passion and making the connections needed to bring it to life. How do we know that “a good time was had by all?” There was so much excitement for this experience that students have requested more opportunities to network and help others. Yes!

Are you Next Up?

“If I could write a letter to my younger self, my advice would run the gamut; how I should not let being shy hold me back, the importance of friendship and authentic living, the necessity of considering different career opportunities and seeking out real-world work experience through internships and jobs, and the importance of moral courage. I would explain to myself why building a network of people who could help me grow personally and professionally was a smart investment of my time. I would advise myself not to get so caught up in planning my future that I forgot to enjoy my present, and remind myself that I had inherent value to the world. “

-- Taylor Sinclair, J.D.

Do you have advice to offer a high school student who is seeking, searching and making plans for their future? Next Up is an on-line resource center Lead Up is launching in April. We’ve been busy building a dynamic site that will provide students in Lincoln (and all across the country) with the tools, advice, inspiration and resources they need to find their way to a successful future.

Community members like Ms. Sinclair are stepping forward to share their insight and wisdom and you can, too!  Drop us an email or message via our website and we’ll schedule a time when a student or duo of students can meet you for a visit. We’re looking for short workplace tours we can capture on video to share, nuggets of career advice, “insider” views of your profession and most of all, how to make the most of school, mentors, and other opportunities that have helped you become successful.  Are you Next Up?

Read Taylor Sinclair’s full letter of advice featured on our website blog, In the Lead.