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 2021  | Download PDF Flyer


Babysitting 101
Tues June 1 | 9-12 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.

Bon Appetit
M-Th   June 7-10 | 1-3 pm | ages 5-8  | $40
This class will be making a 4 Course Meal throughout the week. First day focus on Appetizers, then Soups/Salads, Main Course, and finish the week with desserts!
Instructor – Christine Quist

Global Feast
M-TH June 14-17 | 1-3 pm | ages 8+ | $40
Learn to cook foods from around the world, Let’s travel the world together!
Instructor – Emma Baker

T & W June 15 & 16 | 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

Ocean Explorers
M-W June 21-23 | 9-11 am | ages 4-6 | $35
Our little campers will be exploring ocean themed activities.

A Little Sketch
M-W    June 21-23 | 1-3 pm | Ages 8+ | $40
A drawing class to learn different techniques.
Instructor – Dani Schwinn

Glass Etching
M-TH June 28-July1 | 9-11 am OR 1-3 pm | ages 8+ | $40
Master the art of etching artwork onto glass in this fun and challenging class. Instructor- Larry Roberts


Little Picassos
M-W July 5-7 | 9-11 am | ages 5-7 | $35
We will make art using several different techniques and create a Picasso masterpiece each day!

Magnificent Masterpieces
M-TH July 12-15 | 9-11 am | ages 8+ | $40
Let’s create art masterpieces each day doing several different types of art using different mediums.

Bakery Books
M-W July 12-14 | 1-3 pm | ages 4-6 | $35
Each day we will read a book and then make food to go along with the book we read for that day!

Camp Critters
M-W July 19-21 | 9-11 am | ages 4-6 | $35
Oh a camping we will go… we will have fun doing activities revolving around camping!

Mad Scientist
M-TH July 26-29 | 9-11 am | ages 5+ | $40
Get involved with hands-on science experiments, let’s get messy!

Kidz N Culinary
M-TH July 26-29 | 1-3 pm | ages 8+ | $40
Learn about each course of a meal starting with appetizers and finishing with dessert! Instructor- Emma Baker

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.