Skip to main content

About Us

How We Do It

Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) and its many cross-sector partners offer services and support to Nebraska's Connected Youth that empower young adults, including young parents and families, to voluntarily engage in strength-based, trauma-sensitive programming that best fit one's individual needs and goals.

The following core components and focus areas of CYI are part of Bring Up Nebraska Community Response:

Central Navigation – a one-stop, coordinated approach in which a young person only has to tell their story one time and can access an array of supportive services in the community to meet their needs and achieve their goals 

Coaching – youth-driven, goal-oriented, and strength-based 1:1 coaching (e.g., case management) support for young people

Economic Mobility & Housing – financial education and housing support for young people 

Education & Post-Education – postsecondary preparation, bridging and first year (and beyond) personal growth and academic support for young people interested in pursuing education or training beyond high school or GED

Leadership & Engagement – opportunities for young people to engage in their own community, be a civic leader, and use their voice to advocate for change not only in their own community or neighborhood, but also in state and national public systems that impact them 

Anti-Trafficking Support – services and supports available to young people that identify as survivors of sex and/or labor trafficking and/or exploitation through a one-stop central navigation approach to ensure survivors tell their story one time and access all the resources and support they need to thrive 

All organizations, partners, and practitioners offering support to and in partnership with young people via Nebraska’s Connected Youth Initiative (CYI) follow the Youth Thrive™ Guiding Principles. 

In Nebraska, we believe: 

  • Young people are best supported by those who understand and recognize the importance of self-awareness and self-care in their own professional practice.  
  • Young people are best supported by those who are aware of the impact of traumatic stress and understand the need to use trauma-informed and healing methods.  
  • Young people are best served by those who focus on assets and use strengths-based approaches with an awareness of current research regarding neuroscience and child and adolescent development.  
  • Young people are best supported by those who understand that attachments, connections, and relationships are a primary source of growth and learning. It is in relationships and through the use of relationships that we experience ourselves, learn, practice new skills, and grow as humans.  
  • Young people are best supported by those who understand the role of race, racism and bias and the ways in which race, other identities, privilege, and power shape a person’s life, as well as the practitioner’s own life.  
  • Young people are best supported by those who understand and provide culturally responsive services. Being culturally responsive means, we consider our culture, the culture of those individuals we serve, of the larger community and the culture that is created within our programs and organizations.  

Want to learn more about Connected Youth Initiative’s systems change efforts in partnership with older youth? Visit Nebraska Children's website.