Young Leaders can Share talents with State

June 24, 2016 | Original Post

Last year’s Civic Health Index for Nebraska showed that millennials — people around age 30 and younger — are the least likely to volunteer, register to vote and show up to the polls, or contact public officials. The first-ever study of its type in Nebraska revealed that, as a state, we need to get our younger Nebraskans civically engaged.

Nebraska’s towns and cities thrive when their residents ask, “How can I help?”

The Civic Health Index report raised a red flag, but it also amplified the fact that young Nebraskans possess a wealth of untapped potential to powerfully strengthen their communities. How? By joining organizations that address basic community needs. Church groups, athletic leagues and chambers of commerce are great outlets for young people to put their strong backs and new ideas to work.

Young people have a slew of opportunities to boost the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors, grow our state’s economy and retain residents.

The University of Nebraska’s recently launched Rural Futures Institute understands and appreciates the potential effect civically involved millennial can have on the state, and for that reason, the institute is organizing a leadership summit for fall through the Connecting Young Nebraskans statewide network. CYN is building a network of 550-plus engaged young Nebraska professionals and is continuing to develop new relationships across the state.

The fall leadership event — 2016 Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit — will unfold under the theme, “Creating Life Balance!” The event will be Oct. 28 in York’s Holtus Convention Center. Keynoter Lisa Gunderson is certified to deliver reality-based leadership programs to audiences of all professional levels.

Gunderson will be just one of the engaging speakers who participants will hear. The summit also will offer interactive breakout sessions that will include Senior Gallup Researcher Shane Lopez presenting on the science of hope.

On the evening of Oct. 27, the day before the summit kicks off, mentalist and entertainer Arthur Fratelli will help early arrivals break the ice and begin networking for sessions on the following day.

For millennials looking for ideas and encouragement to be involved, the CYN event offers a lot of promise. Best of all, it’s geared to the people who, sooner than they realize, will be leading Nebraska into the future.