Youth Outreach and Education

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Programs and Activities

Strong youth leadership is an investment in the future of Hastings. Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) was developed from a HHS Youth Leadership Capacity Building Grant in 2000. Former Hastings Mayor Rick Sheehy and Cindy Strasheim, both graduates of Leadership Hastings, saw a need for a continuum of community leadership from 9th-12th grade. The YLA program works to enhance the knowledge and leadership skills of area high school students by motivating and empowering them to be committed to their community.

The YLA program provides an interactive, hands-on experience in which students focus on developing leadership skills and a life-long commitment to community service. Students have the opportunity to meet with community leaders from all areas of society and learn firsthand how youth leadership can make a difference.

All of the Hastings area High Schools are included: Hastings High School, St. Cecilia High School and Adams Central High School.

What Makes a Qualified Candidate?
Approximately 25-30 students are chosen by an Advisory Committee that includes school officials and community leaders, based on their application and two referrals.

To qualify for the Youth Leadership Academy program, a student must:

  • Be entering his or her 9th or 10th grade year of high school
  • Demonstrate an interest in and a potential for leadership
  • Show self-motivation with a willingness to contribute to the group process
  • Commit the time and energy required to participate in the program

Nine Seminars (September-May)
One half day class is scheduled each month of the school year. Each meeting includes a mini session on leadership skills, team-building and community service project planning time where students interact with community leaders.

Graduation in May includes a team report of the project planned and completed during the school year. Those who have completed one year of Youth Leadership Academy can apply for a second year to be an Alumni Leader if they will be in 10th grade.

Tuition for the program: $75 – covers operational costs and some food provided
Tuition assistance is available through a scholarship program. If an applicant would like to request a scholarship, that request must be made when his/her application is submitted.

From the graduates:
The graduates of Youth Leadership Academy sum up the advantages of YLA in three words, Food, Fun, and Friendship! They cooperate with students from other schools and form lifelong friendships as well as becoming official community volunteers. 100% of the graduates say they gained more confidence in self-expression of ideas and were less afraid to interact with adults on community issues involving youth.

group dynamics, team-building, social involvement, creative challenges,
passion and energy to do things for others


Follow the Youth Leadership Academy on Facebook

YW Girls

3:45 – 5:00 pm
1st Monday of every Month | $5 a Session

We are here to empower girls to become the best young women they can be! We will focus on kindness, self care, and inner confidence for girls Kindergarten – 5th grade. The topics will change monthly but will be coordinated to develop and practice these skills.

RSVP 1 WEEK BEFORE 402-462-821

United Way

Girls In Action

Girls in Action is a girls only club that meets at Hastings Middle School every Wednesday. We have about 60 girls from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade join us during their lunch period to discuss important topics, play games, and participate in fun activities.

We cover important topics like healthy relationships, personal hygiene, self-esteem building, relaxation techniques, conflict resolution, and random acts of kindness. By combining difficult topics with fun games and interactive activities, we put Hastings middle school girls in action to succeed.

For K-8th grade girls and boys | June-July 2020  | Download PDF Flyer


Upcycled Art
M-W June 1-3 | Ages 8+ | $40
Use outdated or discarded materials to create something beautiful!  We’ll use old CDs, magazines, cans, and plastic bottles and transform them into artistic decorations, fun toys, or useful items.

Sweet Treats
M-W    June 8-10 | 1-2:30 pm | Ages 5-8 | $30
Have a sweet tooth? Learn to make yummy baked desserts, including decorated cupcakes. Instructor- Christine Quist.

T&W    June 9 &10 | 9-11 am | ages 8+  | $25 for 1 day | $50 for both
Learn the basics of pottery and then create a masterpiece. Instructor- Nancy Fairbanks.                          

Have your Cake & Ice Cream too!
M-TH June 15-18 | 9-11 am | ages 9+ | $40
Learn how to make your own cake and ice cream for those special occasions or just because. Sign up today for a sweet week of homemade treats. Instructor- Becca Woolsey

Mixed Media Art
June 16-18 | 1-3 pm | ages 8+ | $40
Try your hand at various types of art techniques, including painting, collage, and mosaic.Instructor- Kelsey King, art teacher at Hastings Catholic Schools.

Double Trouble Science
M-W June 22-24 | 9-11 am | ages 5+ | $30
Get involved with hands-on science experiments making everything from slime and playdough to life sized bubbles and summer snow. Instructor- Becca Woolsey


YWCA Summer Games
W July 1st | 1 – 3 pm | ages 5+ | $20
Take the jump  and test your olympian skills with new games, obstacle courses and prizes that will be sure to get you movin’! Instructor- Becca Woolsey

Patriotic Colors
Wed July 1 | 9 am – Noon | ages 6+ | $20
Get ready to show your patriotic spirit at the YWCA’s 4th of July Parade. Tie-dye and decorate items in patriotic colors to wear or display in the parade. If you want a t-shirt, please bring your own. Other items provided.

4th of July Parade at Fisher Fountain
Saturday 10 am – 1pm | All ages! | FREE!
Join us at Fisher Fountain for games, raffles, food, and of course, the PARADE at noon!

Breakfast of Champions
M-W July 6-8 | 9-11 am | ages 5+ | $40
They say it’s the most important meal of the day but why not color it with fun! Learn how to make french toast, pancakes and muffins with a creative twist.  Instructor – Becca Woolsey

Barnyard Friends
Thur July 9 | 9-11 am | ages 2-5 | $15
What’s your favorite farm animal? We’ll create cardboard barns, use farm animal sock puppets, and decorate piglet cookies.

Glass Etching 
T-TH July 14-16 | 9-11 am OR 1-3 pm | ages 8+ | $30
Master the art of etching artwork onto glass in this fun and challenging class. Instructor- Larry Roberts.

Babysitting 101
Friday July 17th | 12:30-4 pm | ages 10+ | $40
Are you ready to babysit? This class will prepare you to make good decisions, solve problems, and handle emergencies that may come up while babysitting. There will be hands-on learning about toy safety and age-appropriate games and books, plus you’ll make a fun snack that kids won’t even realize is good for them!

Dog Dreams and Cat Naps
M-TH July 20-23 | 9-11 am | ages 7+ | $40
Are you a cat or dog person? Learn how to make cut-and-tie cat or dog beds, tasty pet treats, plus cat and dog toys using recycled materials. Some of these items will be donated to local animal shelters, but there will be items for you to take home as well.

T-TH July 28-30 | 1-3 pm | ages 8+ | $30
Join us in creating tickle-your-tastebuds appetizers and snacks using fruits, vegetables, and more. These appeteazers will not only taste good and look appealing but will be quick and easy to make.

Call to register for classes: 402-462-8821. Hours: 9am- 4pm, Monday – Friday.
Class cost for non-members is an additional $10 per class. No refunds, scholarships available.