Opportunity Youth

Helping Disconnected Youth Realize Their Full Potential

Who are Opportunity Youth?

Opportunity Youth are young adults between the ages of 16-24 who are disconnected from school or work.

 

There are more than 8,000 Opportunity Youth living in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area alone.

Youth can become disconnected for many reasons, including:

LACK OF FORMAL EDUCATION

LIMITED ACCESS TO FINANCIAL RESOURCES

DIFFICULTY ACCESSING MENTAL HEALTH AND OTHER HEALTHCARE SUPPORTS

INSUFFICIENT JOB SKILLS, TRAINING OR CERTIFICATION

AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE

But they all have one thing in common – their desire for a bright future.

We believe in these youth and recognize their untapped potential.

And we’re not the only ones. Donors, volunteers, nonprofits, companies and community members like you are all in their corner. That’s why, as part of our effort to provide financial stability supports, we’re proud to serve as the convener of the Opportunity Youth Alliance.

The Opportunity Youth Alliance

The Opportunity Youth Alliance (OYA) is a group of more than 50 nonprofit partners, school districts and government agencies from across the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro who are dedicated to helping Opportunity Youth.

Its main goal?

Connect Opportunity Youth to basic needs services, education and employment.

The challenge? 

Opportunity Youth are often facing difficult obstacles with little to no support system. For these young people, finding and accessing all the services that the OYA partners provide can be overwhelming – especially when those services are at different agencies with different eligibility requirements.

The solution?

The creation of the Opportunity Youth HUB, which is housed out of Project Everlast-Omaha at the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. The HUB helps youth navigate the services provided by the OYA partners.

Meet Gianni

Gianni, a young woman in her early 20s, has always had a plan for her life. Her biggest goal? Obtaining her nursing degree. But when she found out her husband lost his job a few months into her pregnancy, she felt as if her well-laid out plans were beginning to unravel.

“I was four or five months pregnant, working crazy hours, 60 hours a week trying to keep up with bills,” she said. “We were just really desperate.”

How the HUB works

Looking Forward

With help from community members and donors like you, the Opportunity Youth initiative aims to do the following:

Collect more program data and share it among OYA partners

Utilize the recently hired Community Liaison to help more youth who are looking to enter the workforce or educational/training programs in the metro

Share information about Opportunity Youth with the business community and encourage companies to assist, promote or provide other opportunities to youth

You Can Change a Young Person’s Life Today

As word about the HUB spreads and referrals to the program increase, so does the need for initiative funding and support. Help a young person succeed by donating to the Opportunity Youth initiative today at www.unitedwaymidlands.org.

United Way is honored to have its Women United affinity group raise funds for the next two years for Opportunity Youth.
“What the partnership with United Way tells me is that we’ve got a lot of young people out there that are under the radar, they can’t find the resources to make them get up on their feet and stay there.”
– Rhonda Newman, Project Everlast Omaha Associate Vice President

United Way of the Midlands   |   2201 Farnam Street   |   Omaha, NE 68102   |   402-342-8232

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