What’s Up?! – October 2019

From the CEO


Reading. That’s it.

This week I had the pleasure of being a guest on a local radio show, talking about Lead Up and how parents can help their children achieve academic, career and life success.

Many factors contribute to learning and to life success, and with thousands of books and studies out there, I could’ve gone on all day. But the simple answer is: “Read!”


Reading develops empathy and provides a safe haven for experiencing and expressing emotions. Reading introduces perspectives, life experiences and cultures that are different from your own. In our diverse classrooms and globally-orientated workplaces and not to mention, healthy relationships, these are essential.

Reading is access to information. Information changes lives. Open a book and you can learn new skills or become a better person. From taking charge of your health, to discovering art, to farming – anything that you want to learn, you can read about in a book.

There are many tactics to getting good grades and being successful in college, and at Lead Up, we invest a lot of time teaching those.

Yet the most important thing we will do for Lead Up students is to help them become strong, active readers. Our goal is to develop them as scholars, who are thirsty to learn.

How do we do that? We help each one find books they love; the ones that make them a reader.

What book made you a reader? This month on our social media and website we’ll be exploring that question and I hope you’ll drop by and share the titles that have inspired, challenged and supported you in your journey to success.

On November 16, through the generous support of Barnes and Noble SouthPointe, you’ll also have an opportunity to put the special book that made a difference in your life right into the hands of a Lead Up student eager to follow in your footsteps and receive the wisdom you found in its pages.

Reading. That’s it.

Julie Allen

Founder and CEO

I never thought I could…

Those words have been repeated again and again this fall as student leaders have reflected on their Lead Up experience.

In September, leaders acted as guest hosts for the Nebraska Children’s Book Party. Planning engaging activities, greeting families, and providing fun activities to bring books to life for young readers were among the many tasks they carried out to make the festival a success. Working alongside guest authors and librarians brought new careers to life and provided an important event to promote reading to children.

And just a few weeks later, the leaders began their training with the members of the Prairie Astronomy Club in preparation for the International Observe the Moon Star Party they hosted on October 5. Sharing stories about the night sky, providing facts and information about the planets and guiding guests on the use of the telescopes kept the team on their toes.

These experiences were extraordinary opportunities to build highly-prized workplace skills such as teamwork, project management, public speaking, and leading others. They were also extraordinary because they challenged our leaders to take risks and “put themselves out there” in ways they never thought themselves capable of.

Moving from “I don’t know” to “I’ll try” and ultimately hearing the words “I did it” is what Leading Up is all about!

Thank you Leaders for serving your community

and for the great enthusiasm you brought to these extraordinary experiences.

Notes & News

Wanna Launch A Satellite?

Lead Up helps students develop a BIG and BOLD vision for their future. If you’re looking for an experience that will inspire you to dream beyond the stars, we’re looking for you!

30 high school students from across the city will be chosen to join our team of Dreamers, Drivers and Doers (D3) to design, build, market, test, launch, track and recover a high altitude satellite.

The team will be coached by working professionals from all across the space industry and get hands-on guidance from local engineers, project managers, and scientists.

This opportunity isn’t just for students interested in traditional STEM careers. Are you interested in entrepreneurship, marketing and communications or leading project teams to success? There is a place on the team for you, too.

Applications are due November 15

The D3 team will be announced in December.

Email admin@leadupne.org for more information.

Announcing a new Hops for Hope

Lead Up is known for its unique and innovative model to help students-in-need succeed, and we’re always looking for ways to keep our approach fresh and on the cutting edge.

And that includes our fall beer event, Hops for Hope!

This year we’re going mobile, and inviting you to be our guest on a one-of-a-kind craft beer adventure we’re calling the Beer Hop.

Beer Hop is an insider VIP tour of four hand-picked spots where you can sip, sample and delve into the history of our local craft beer scene. Learn more about how your favorite beers came to be and become an expert in tasting, evaluating, and pairing beer from one of Nebraska’s only Cicerones. Best of all you’ll get a chance to connect with the people making some of the most delicious beer in Lincoln!

The tour includes four tasting stops – each featuring a mini-flight of our host’s unique beers paired with delicious snacks to enjoy with your sampling.

With chartered bus transportation provided, you can drink and we’ll drive while you relax with in-transit beer-themed entertainment, water and soft drinks, and a few surprises. Each guest will receive a tour bag complete with special offers, beer swag, and other fun extras.

Best of all, the tour supports Lead Up’s important work to help talented, motivated students overcome barriers and pursue success in college and career

Our hosts for the 2019 tour are Cosmic Eye Brewing, The Happy Raven, and Zipline Brewing Company.

To ensure that Beer Hop is an exclusive experience, tickets will be limited so don’t wait too long – this one will fill up fast!

We look forward to seeing you as we “Hop for Hope” again this year.

Send “glowing” thanks to all of our 2019 Carve Up sponsors:

Mindy Haugen

…and our annual pumpkin transportation team, the Ekelers.

Thanks for “Carving it Up” to support Lead Up and we’ll see you all next year!

You’re Coming, Right?

November 15 - Book fair to benefit Lead Up

10am – 8pm   – Barnes & Noble – SouthPointe Pavillions

 “Something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” – J.K. Rowling

Especially when that book (or books) also helps the talented and motivated students leaders of Lead Up reach their full potential.

Whether you’re building up your winter book list or getting an early start on holiday gifts, November 16 is the perfect time to shop.

Lead Up staff, students, and volunteers will be on hand for special activities, read-alouds, creative book crafts, and more. We’ll even help you choose great reads for the young adults on your list with displays featuring the best young adult literature, college-bound guide books, and inspiring career planning titles.

Barnes and Noble will donate a percentage of all of the sales in-store for the day – including gifts, cheesecakes, and other non-book items.

Come out and say hi and “read some support” for the work Lead Up is doing to help Lincoln grow and prosper by developing its youth. 

P.S. – Can’t come? Your on-line purchases between November 16th and 20th are also eligible. Just click this link, and use this code when checking out:  12551594.

November 30 - Beer Hop

12am – 4pm



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