I have spent this last year trying to figure out what “community” means to me.  After a year of investigation I have decided that community means opening your eyes to the poverty, low social economic conditions, children with low educational testing scores and homelessness.  Community is organizations coming together for the cleaning up and redevelopment of North Omaha, the organizations supporting our youth in the worst economic areas of Omaha with before and after school programs, and organizations continuing not only to supply the basic needs of our homeless but also to provide training and coaching for life skills and betterment.  Community is the selfless effort by many helping our at risk youth to get them on a better path, working with our low social economic daycares to introduce toddlers to curriculum to stimulate brain development and teach parents of low education background how to work with these toddlers to continue to stimulate growth.  Community is being aware of all the opportunities you have been given and feel the true desire to find a way to give back whether it be monetary, in a volunteer capacity or even as a strategic thinker or a board member helping drive a vision.

I truly feel that I have been blind to all the great things and selfless acts our great city of Omaha and surrounding cities do to support the growth of each individual as well as the growth of the city.  Through this year I have found my passion revolves around helping our youth in low social economic communities.  Many of these families have had five generations in poverty and the children follow in their parent’s footsteps.  I believe if I can change one child’s life and allow him or her to see how it is possible to have a good education, see future college opportunities, see aspirations for a successful career then that one person can turn and help another and hope that will break one family cycle.