What’s Up?! July 2019

From the CEO


When displays of shiny new school supplies start to appear in my favorite stores, I find myself feeling a  bit nostalgic for that excitement of a new beginning, and the promise of new things to learn and experiences to come. You remember it too, right? New crayons, lunch box, a haircut…and all the exciting mysteries of what the next grade would bring.

What if that wonderful sensation of discovery and possibility could last all year long?  It can, and at Lead Up, it does. From our creative and innovative Career 360’s, to authentic and meaningful opportunities to build essential “soft skills” through community-based programming, Lead Up participants can walk toward new horizons all year long. After a recent event, I got some one-on-one time with one of our leaders as we waited for his ride home to arrive. We talked a little about the event and his reflections on how things went. After sharing his perspective, he paused and added, “Thank you for pushing us in so many new directions. I had no idea about all the possibilities I have in front of me.” That was a wonderful moment and a powerful affirmation that the investment made by our staff and supporters is indeed helping young people write new stories.

Stay tuned for the next chapters!

Julie Allen

Founder and CEO

Lead Up FAQ of the Month:

Why does Lead Up focus so regularly on community service?

I’m not sure what that has to do with preparing students for college and career.

Volunteer experiences are among the most effective ways for students to develop personally, academically and professionally.

The “community laboratory” allows volunteers to learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and to practice those famous soft skills that employers say are critical for success in the workplace.

Engaging in projects that help others often brings out or accelerates skills that students might not practice regularly in their more formal classroom experiences. These may include learning they have strong “thinking on their feet” skills or an ability to motivate others. Students consistently report that serving allows them to get their best practice at team work, communication, project planning and problem solving in real-life situations that demand them.

It goes without saying that when a young person helps tackle a community need, they become active and invested members in that community. It is also an effective way to support emotional and physical health while building self-esteem and a sense of their own value.

For those benefits alone, Lead Up invests heavily in engaging our leaders in a wide variety of meaningful service experiences. From reading to young children to responding to flood relief, we are committed to giving our students real-life ways to develop their talents while building their networks.

Lead Up leaders interviewing Lincoln seniors and archiving their perspectives and memories of the Apollo era. The collected stories were shared with NASA for inclusion in its compilation examining the Moon’s cultural and scientific influence over the last half century.

Notes & News

 Jobs, summer school, community service hours and just kicking back are all competing priorities for high schoolers during the sunny summer months. It’s also prime time for college prep activities and over the last several months we’ve been racing through the 2019 College Triathlon.

Leaders gathered at Eiseley Library for three sessions focused on their next steps on the road to college. The underclassmen tackled topics such as choosing a college, evaluating your academic transcript, exploring college majors and getting answers to many questions about the steps ahead.

Our newest collegians prepared for their first experience of higher education and learned about college life, managing college level studies, roommates and connecting to friends and networks. They also worked on their capstone project – an advice and lessons learned video for the students following in their footsteps.

College planning and college success are on-going and core parts of Lead Up’s curriculum so these sessions are just the beginning steps on a longer journey to earning a degree and launching a career. Best of all, it sure is fun to be a part of!

And Don’t Forget Your Popcorn!



“Out of This World” popcorns are on sale and one of the tastiest ways to get involved with Lead Up. Pop over to our “shop for more info and to order this limited-time treat.

You’re Coming, Right?

August 23 - Rockin' Summer Send Off

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.   –  Rock ‘n’ Joe  |  5025 Lindberg St,

Join us for a fab evening to celebrate the end of summer – 1969 style! Gather up your friends and get truckin’ to Rock N Joe for locally sourced beer, wine and tasty bites to enjoy while grooving to the soundtrack of the summer of love. We’ll also have fab entertainment that will have you laughing, learning and feeling groovy while supporting Lead Up’s important work to help talented but underresourced students build far out futures.

In the spirit of sixties spontaneity, no tickets are necessary – just head on over for all of the fun.  Peace, love and college. Can you dig it?

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