Youth Outreach and Education

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Programs and Activities

Every year on or around Nebraska’s birthday, March 1, the YWCA offers an educational speaker for area 4th grade students. Over eight schools attend the event and over 370 students served each year.

Nebraska State Days 2018 Nebraska State Days 2018

Girls Night Out

Offered every other month for girls Kindergarten-5th Grade During the school year

MUST RSVP 1 week ahead
$15 Members/ $20 Non-members | Call for details & to register: 402-462-8821

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.

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

July 2018

Culinary Kids | July 9-12
9-11 am; Learn your way around the kitchen and taste a variety of recipes to add to your culinary experience! (ages 8+) $40

Taste Bud Ticklers | July 9-12
1-3 pm; Cook and bake simple meals and desserts that will tickle your taste buds! (ages 5-8) $40Icky Sticky Science | July 16-19
1-3 pm; If you like to get sticky and enjoy learning through hands on science experiments this class is for you! (ages 5+) $40

Plentiful Paper  | July 23-26
1-3 pm; Paper is not just for painting anymore in this fun new class! Kids will get to discover new ways to create with paper, including Decoupage, Origami, and Paper Twirling. The fun doesn’t stop with art projects, as kids will also make paper airplanes, paper towers, and homemade paper! (ages 8+) $40

Kickin it with Kool-Aid | July 30-31
1 pm-3 pm; Come see how creative we can we get with Kool-Aid! (ages 5+) $20.

August 2018

August 10th | 12-1 pm
Art Show
All are welcome!