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Support for Young People

Leadership and Engagement

Youth and young adults are the heart and soul of Nebraska's Connected Youth Initiative and there are lots of ways to get involved and engage in leadership activities and events!

The goal of CYI leadership and engagement is to provide youth and young adults - just like you - with opportunities to build social connections, develop life skills, gain leadership skills, and advocate for systems change.

CYI Youth Leadership operates with the following core values: 

Leadership – preparing young people to deal with the problems of tomorrow. 
Unconditional Inclusion – giving young people equitable access and opportunities without discrimination and intolerance and providing them with a safe and loving environment. 
Respect – where young people’s voices are valued and lifted, and young people are cared for and supported. 
Relationships – young people have opportunities to develop meaningful relationships and social connections with peers, Adult Supporters, and the community. 
Hope – young people feel a sense of trust, security, and reason to keep moving forward.  

Want to get involved?

Connected Youth Initiative Chapters

Project Everlast Omaha is a youth-led Connected Youth Initiative program and youth chapter committed to providing resources, connections, and support to young adults in Omaha as they age out of foster care. Project Everlast’s services help ensure a smooth transition from foster care to adulthood with a goal to empower young people to build successful lives as thriving, independent adults. Project Everlast Omaha is also the place to go for central navigation in the Omaha Metro Area.

Project Everlast Lincoln youth-led chapter and program is in Lincoln, Nebraska. Project Everlast Lincoln – located at The Hub – is also the place to go for central navigation in the Lincoln Metro Area. 

Southeast Nebraska Collaborative Youth Chapter: The FYI Center houses the programs of Southeast Nebraska's Connected Youth Initiative including the CommUNITY Connections, SE Nebraska Connected Youth Initiative (CYI), and Opportunity Passport, a financial literacy program.

Buffalo County Youth Advisory BoardBuffalo County Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is a program and a philosophy that recognizes youth as valuable resources in the Kearney and surrounding communities and partners as equal community members to bring about positive community change. Buffalo County YAB, governed by a board of youth and adults and supported by local funders, provide grants for youth-initiated and youth-led community projects.

Norfolk 3D Leadership: Norfolk's 3D Leadership (Dedicated, Determined, Driven) provides leadership, engagement and advocacy opportunities for young people involved in Connected Youth Initiative in and around Norfolk, Nebraska. 

North Platte LEAP: North Platte's Leadership Experience Active Participation - or LEAP - provides youth in Lincoln County with the opportunity to build social connections, develop life skills, gain leadership skills, and advocate for system change. LEAP has groups and events that create a place for everyone from junior high to postsecondary.

Panhandle Youth Voice - The purpose of the Youth Voice group is to provide resources, connections, leadership opportunities and support to young adults who’ve had foster care experience or experience with probation or homelessness. The members who are a part of this group are provided regular opportunities to connect with their community and each other in Scotts Bluff County and support coordination of Youth Leadership in surrounding counties. The goal of doing this work with the youth who become involved in the group is to allow the youth to become a self-sufficient adult who is leader oriented and recognizes what it takes to utilize their leadership skills in several facets within their lives. 

Fremont Youth VoiceFremont Youth Voice is an advocacy group serving unconnected youth ages 14-24 in Washington and Dodge County. On the most basic level we are a peer to peer support group. Our work consists of learning how to be good self-advocates and how we can make an impact of the systems that served us. Join us! We need your unique voice. "We Matter, We Deserve, We're Better Together & WE ARE THE SOLUTION"!

Camp Catch-Up

Camp Catch-Up reunites siblings, that may have been separated by foster care, for a weekend of fun, adventure, and connection at camp sites across Nebraska.  

Camp Catch-Up also offers paid and volunteer leadership opportunities for older youth and young adults interested in giving back to the community and serving others. Look for an announcement on the Current Opportunities page when applications open up! 




Did you participate in a CYI leadership event, meeting, or activity and receive an honorarium or stipend for your participation? 

Instructions: Please receive confirmation that the event is eligible for an honorarium or stipend prior to the event and check with the leader (CYI staff) of the event for the rate and confirm if your transportation and childcare costs are also reimbursed. Once confirmed, complete the online form at the link below.

  • Mileage is paid at the federal rate for the most direct route to and from the meeting.
  • Childcare must be pre‐approved by the event lead and will only be paid for the duration of meeting and time spent getting to/from the meeting.
  • All request will be reviewed and participation confirmed with the event lead prior to payment.
  • Once approved, payment will be made via mailed paper check or Venmo. Please allow up to 10 days for payment.

Complete your online form HERE.

Questions about your payment? Contact Lincoln Arneal, Vice President of Youth Leadership, at