Revive Fall 2014 Leadership Edition

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An African-American Lifestyle and Community Empowerment Magazine

REVIVE! Spirit, Mind & Body

Jami Anders-Kemp

Director of Omaha 360 focusing

on Collaboration & Results

Progress Update North Omaha Village Zone

Leadership Edition

Leaders On The Move


Boys Town Family-Teaching Couples Help Kids Picture a Better Life

– Family-Teachers Tony & Simone See stories of our Family-Teaching Couples at

Together, you and your spouse will have the opportunity to change a child’s life forever! When children are loved and valued, they respond in truly miraculous ways! At Boys Town, Family-Teachers® help make miracles happen every day by providing America’s youth hope for a bright, successful future! Living in one of our Boys Town Family Homes, you will create a positive family environment for six to eight at-risk youth who are hurting and without hope. Through providing compassionate, effective care, you will help youth learn essential life skills, build healthy relationships and focus on their education. With so many youth currently in need, Boys Town is seeking additional couples to take on this life-changing mission. If you are looking for a rewarding career and have a true passion for helping kids, this may be the perfect opportunity for you!

Family-Teaching Couples at Boys Town receive: » An annual starting salary of $50,400 - $63,000 (varies by location) » Fully paid living expenses, which include rent, utilities and a monthly household budget » A no-wait benefit package that includes health, dental and vision insurance; a 401K retirement plan; paid vacation and sick leave » A company vehicle

To learn more about Boys Town, our Family Home Program and opportunities to serve youth as a FamilyTeaching Couple, please visit

» Relocation assistance,

» Opportunities to earn college credit while working

» Extensive training and support » Career advancement opportunities within the organization » The satisfaction of helping children start a new life

call 1-877-639-6003 or email


in this issue…

VOL. 7 | ISSUE 2


An African-American Lifestyle and Community Empowerment Magazine


President & Publisher Willie D. Barney Vice-President & Co-Publisher Yolanda M. Barney

Spirit, Mind & Body

Chief Financial Officer Greg A. Johnson Desktop Publishing & Design Kate M. Rice Research & Copy Editor Yvette Coppage Billing Manager Anita Johnson Contributing Writers: Tawanna Black Rev. Darryl Brown Yvette Coppage Lisa L. Laday-Davis John Ewing, Jr. Viv Ewing Janice Gilmore Dell Gines Greg A. Johnson Angela Jones Rev. Bruce Norris Jo Giles Julian Young Alisa Gilmore Contributing Photographers: Herb Thompson Lovely Nai Photography Surreal Media Tim Davis Al Viola E’lazhia Gray Bryan Bell Ron Coleman Larry C. Crider Michael C. Williams

Jami Anders-Kemp

Director of Omaha 360 focusing

on Collaboration & Results

Progress Update North Omaha Village Zone

Leaders On The Move

Leadership Edition

ON COVER: JAMI ANDERS-KEMP • Photo by jason fischer of surreal media

Letter from the Publisher


Events Calendar


Revive! Your Spirit


Renew! Your Mind


Restore! Your Body


Reclaim! Your Family


Rediscover! Your Purpose


Reprioritize! Your Finances


Rebuild! Your Community


Omaha Rewind


Revive! Omaha Magazine is a publication of SMBEnterprises, LLC and is distributed via mail and selected locations throughout the Greater Omaha area and beyond. ©2013 SMB Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the Publisher, is prohibited, excepting individually copyrighted articles or photographs. The views expressed herein, whether expressed as fact, fiction, opinion, advice or otherwise, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of SMB Enterprises or Revive! Omaha Magazine. Manuscripts and photographs submitted for publication are welcome and should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope if their return is desired. We reserve the right to edit, use, or not use materials submitted. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited materials. The publication of any advertisement in this issue does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s products or services.


P.O. Box 540880 • Omaha, NE 68154 (402) 490-1542 • Email:

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FEATURES: Preparing Our Children For Careers in STEM 20 Mentors Rising To The Challenge 22 Collaboration And Results 24 Leaders On The Move 26 National Leaders Convene 29 Progress Update: North Omaha Village Zone 30 Small Business Spotlight 32 Business/Service Directory 34 Church Directory 36

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REVIVE! Omaha | 1

REVIVE! Revive! Omaha Magazine is pleased to present this year’s Leadership and Progress edition. Six years ago, we made a commitment to chronicle the story of African-Americans and Community Empowerment in Omaha. We thank God for our incredible contributing writers, photographers, designers, advertisers and partners. Most importantly, we are eternally grateful for the readers and supporters of Revive! Omaha Magazine. In this edition, the Revive! team highlights African-American leaders who have recently stepped into new and expanded roles. Some of them are very visible in the community while others prefer to work behind the scenes. One thing is for sure, you will definitely see and hear from them more in the coming years. They are part of a growing and expanding group of collaborative leaders set to help make unprecedented change in Omaha and beyond. One of those leaders is Jami Anders-Kemp, who joined the Empowerment Network as the Omaha 360 Director in 2013. Learn more about Jami, the Omaha 360 Collaborative and ongoing efforts to continue reducing gun violence in the city. This issue also highlights progress with the community-based North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan which was approved unanimously by the City Council in July 2011. Large scale developments are occurring on North 24th Street/24th and Lake, 30th and Parker/Lake, 24th and Cuming and updated master plans have been created for the Adams Park/Malcolm X neighborhood. Be sure to check out the feature article on preparing our children for careers in STEM. And, there’s an exciting update on new and expanded mentoring initiatives. The recent horrific tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri not only highlighted the importance of seeking justice and addressing community police relations, but also put a spotlight on voter participation. While the city is nearly 70% African-American, they represent very few of the elected officials in the community and the voter turnout is extremely low. Please read the articles inside concerning the importance of voting in local, county and state elections. If we want a better community, we must register and vote in large numbers. Engage in the process. Over the years, I have always closed my publisher’s letter with the comment, “It’s Time for a Revival, Let it start with you.” Here in Omaha and across the country, African-Americans are rising up to lead major transformation initiatives in their cities and working as equal partners to make measurable change. National leaders recognize Omaha as one of the cities on the forefront showing sustained collaborative efforts are possible. It’s time for a Revival, let it continue with you.


Willie D. Barney President/Publisher Revive! Omaha Magazine

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©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine



Friday, October 10, 2014

Hope Center for Kids Gala Century Link Center Keynote speaker: Bob Goff Reception 6:00 pm Dinner and Program 7:00 pm For tickets go to: 402-341-4673

Friday, October 17, 2014 Taste of Leadership Presented by Banister Leadership Academy Fundraiser to turn leaders into legends Security Bank 108th& Pacific 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are welcome. RSVP by October 15. Call 402-991-9930 ext. 103

Sunday, October 19, 2014

5th Annual Cops and Bobbers Benson Park, 72nd and Ames Kids ages 8-15. Registration deadline is October 6th. Contact Theola Cooper 402-444-3367

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Do You Want… More jobs and businesses? Better wages? Better schools, housing and roads? Safer and healthier communities? An arts and culture district? Do Your Part! Raise the Vote! Speak with your VOTE!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

All In For Justice & Equality Freedom Fund Banquet Mike & Josie Harper Center at Creighton University 6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. Tickets $75 (includes membership and 1 year subscription to Crisis Magazine) For more info go to: or call 402-345-6227

Sunday, November 9, 2014

National Coalition of 100 Black Women Father - Daughter High School Scholarship Luncheon Ramada Plaza, 3321 S. 72nd St. 1:30-4:30 p.m. For more information, email: or 402-203-3406

Sunday, November 30, 2014 Omaha Beautillion Presented by Omega Charitable Foundation Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs Tickets: $20 Adults | $10 Kids (Ages 2-10) For more information go to

Friday, December 5, 2014

Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon Presented by the Urban League of Nebraska Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass St. 11:30 am-1:00 pm Keynote speaker: Sherrye Hutcherson, OPPD For tickets or more information contact 402-453-9730 or

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Empowerment Network presents… 4th annual Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake Noon to 5 pm Open to the community. Indoor and Outdoor activities planned for children, adults, and families. For more information:

Friday, December 12, 2014

8th Annual State of African-Americans Summit Metropolitan Community College 11:00 am to 1:00 pm For more information go to:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

8th Annual State of North Omaha Summit Metropolitan Community College 9:00 am to 11:30 am For more information go to:

Every Wednesday

Omaha 360 Collaboration Omaha Home for Boys • 4343 N 52nd St, Wurdeman Center 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Open to the Community

Revive Your Spirit

fishing holes of today

You get a line and I’ll get a pole honey. You get a line and I’ll get a pole Babe. You get a line and I’ll get a pole and we’ll go fishin’ in the crawdad hole honey babe of mine. As a child in school, we used to sing this little song all the time. There were plenty of little water ponds where we could go to catch a polliwog or try and get a crawdad! Back then, they were just living things we could catch, keep for a while and then release if they didn’t die first. Little did we know back then that in today’s society frog legs and crawdads would be a huge business for the food industry. I might have paid more attention to them had we known. I had the opportunity as a man of going back to one of those little water holes. My desire was to wax nostalgic and possibly see if there were still some crawdads or fresh polliwogs to be had. Unfortunately, progress had occurred and the water hole was now a housing

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development and a playground stood where my youthful exuberance was once spent. The opportunity to relive a childhood memory is now forever lost to me. I could probably find another area which had a water hole and the probability of it containing polliwogs and crawdads ‘might’ be a possibility, but the memory of my fishing hole will never be the same. Life has a way of being like that. Things change right in front of our eyes that we are unable to stop. Parents with children will attest to this. One moment they are holding a baby in their arms, and the next moment they are buying a cap and gown and attending graduation for a young man or a young woman. Change is inevitable and it is not a respecter of persons. Change does not care if we agree with it, and it does not ask our permission to carry out its purpose. Change is going to occur, whether for good or for bad.

©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Consider this: Twenty years ago, a smart phone belonged to Agent Maxwell Smart from the Get Smart television series. A tablet was a pill or writing paper. There was one television in the living room, and you watched television as a family. Neighborhoods were the place where children spent most of their time playing outside with each other and not glued to video games inside. Personal computers were just beginning to grow in popularity, and a laptop was where grandchildren enjoyed the love of their grandparents. Cameras still used film and a well-placed finger on the lens ruined many a family photo. Mr. Coffee ruled the coffee market, and satellite television required a massive satellite dish in the back yard to get a signal. Fast food was a weekend treat and not a daily staple. Television and music could be watched and listened to without a ratings system, and cartoons were cartoons and not animation series. The water hole represents a way of life that the majority of us grew up in feeling safe. We cherish the memories of those times because they remind us of a time when things were safe and life was not so complicated. But of this you can be certain: Time stands still for no one. And like it or not, change also accompanies time. Values which were once cherished alter with the passage of time, and new generations cannot understand the importance of

them. Dreams which once impassioned our hearts begin to fade with the realization of their manifestation passing. The fishing holes of our youth are being supplanted with the onus of progress: our pasts are but a treasured memory, never to be duplicated or appreciated by the current generation. But there are new fishing holes which can be found. And we who understand their value must pass along to those who do not, the enthusiasm of discovery and the joys of achievement. The fishing holes of today may not be in the same locations as those we grew up with, but they still represent opportunities for creating relationships with others and knitting together the relevance of the past and the future. Crawdads and polliwogs will always be around; they are just in different places now. We who hold the knowledge of how they unite a community must seize the openings as they present themselves to instill in the current generation the power of culture and the promise of the future through solidarity and unity. If we allow the crawdads and polliwogs to move on to other communities, our community will have no frog legs or crawdads to establish businesses and relationships. We will forever be reliant upon the business owners of other communities to share with us a portion of their own bounty found in a plain old fishing hole.

If after your mammogram test, you are told that you have an abnormal result, call for a navigator right away. The process of following up abnormal results can be overwhelming and confusing. And, this is a critical time for making important decisions about breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Don’t miss out on the chance to make informed decisions. Women facing abnormal mammogram results can have trained navigators go with them to health care appointments.

Renew Your Mind

It’s time to change the mindset in our community. Unfortunately, too many African-Americans are not voting in local and state elections at the same level that they do for national elections. African-Americans voted in record numbers to elect President Barack Obama. These same voters have the power to determine the outcome of local and state elections if they come out in large numbers. The upcoming election is vitally important. Not only are there competitive races for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and other county and state races, but there are important issues on the ballot that will have a major and direct impact on you and your community. Do you want to improve the schools in your neighborhood and city? Do you want to increase wages for workers? Do you want to see your community improved? Do you want your tax dollars used to fix roads, improve housing, reduce violence, address justice issues, and generate more jobs and businesses in your neighborhood? Whether we realize it or not, local and state elections have the greatest impact on our daily lives. Elected officials determine where dollars are focused. Also, be sure to vote up and down the entire ballot. There are important issues that have a significant impact on our community at the bottom of the ballot. 6 | REVIVE! Omaha

Don’t complain if you don’t vote. SPEAK your mind with your VOTE! RAISE THE VOTE! Get educated on the candidates and issues. Register, vote and make sure others get to the polls.

OPS Board moves forward with historic vote to improve schools… now in the hands of voters. Following months of meetings with the community, parents, teachers, administrators and other stakeholders, the Omaha Public Schools Board unanimously approved putting a $421 million bond referendum before the public. It’s the first bond approved by the OPS board in over 15 years. In comparison, other school districts in the area have approved several bonds at a much higher rate per student within that time frame. In reviewing the bond proposal, it’s easy to see the need to have doors on classrooms, replace aging heating systems and window air conditioning units, improve access to technology for all students, and address overcrowding issues and use of portables in many schools across the district. In their efforts to keep improving academic performance for all students and closing the achievement gaps between racial groups, these much needed improvements must move forward. ©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

The historic OPS vote prioritizes safety, security, technology and badly needed repairs in the elementary, middle and high schools throughout the district. The initial assessment of building improvement needs was over $1.1 billion. The board worked with the community and other stakeholders to reduce the size of the request and also decided to do it in Phases. The OPS district has agreed on aggressive academic achievement goals for the next five years through the newly approved strategic plan. Over the past 10 years, OPS has made measurable improvements by improving graduation rates; increasing reading, math and science scores; increasing school attendance ; and, reducing drop-out rates. The building repairs, improvements and investments identified in the bond proposal are an important part of what is needed to help accelerate the rate of success and prepare students for careers, college and life. 51,000 students attend Omaha Public Schools. The success of these students will help determine the future of Omaha. It’s in the best interest of all residents in the metro area and state of Nebraska to make sure these students have the best opportunities available to them. Be sure to support our children on November 4, 2014! Every child deserves a quality education in a safe, secure building with the proper technology to succeed.

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Restore Your Body by Yolanda Barney

alzheimer’s DISEASE AND the african american community

There is a silent killer within our community and many of us are unaware it exits. Alzheimer’s is not a disease that is talked about in our community, and in most cases, it is rarely represented in the media as effecting African Americans. This notion however is far from the truth. The risk of Alzheimer’s amongst African Americans is much higher than Whites. African Americans are two times more likely to develop late onset Alzheimer’s disease than nonHispanic Whites. In many cases, they are less likely to have an early diagnosis, which prevents early treatment. The condition of the patient is oftentimes considered just “old age” and the disease is left untreated. Alzheimer’s disease is considered the 6th leading cause of death and it is estimated that 5 million Americans have the disease. It is a form of dementia which interferes with an individual’s memory, thinking and behavior. In the beginning, it slowly interrupts the individual’s daily life; getting worse as the disease progresses. Simple tasks such as getting dressed, eating and remembering the names of loved ones is impossible at the late stage of the disease. Although most individuals are diagnosed at age 65 or 8 | REVIVE! Omaha

older, those younger than 65 can develop the disease. Individuals with a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease than those with no family history.

The Effects on African Americans

The number of African Americans suffering from the disease is much higher than other racial groups. Research has shown that vascular disease is considered to be one of the reasons that Alzheimer’s is thought to be most prevalent with African Americans. The African American community has long been plagued with weight issues and diets high in salt and fat, leading to high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Studies are now indicating that individuals with a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Those with both risk factors are four times as likely to develop dementia.

Viv Ewing, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association said “African Americans have a 25% greater risk of developing the disease.” ©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Alzheimer’s is not considered a normal part of aging. It is important for both those with the disease and their loved ones to know the difference between the signs of Alzheimer’s and the signs of typical age related change.

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s The following information is provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. • Memory loss that disrupts daily life • Challenges in planning or solving problems • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure • Confusion with time or place • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships • New problems with words in speaking or writing • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps • Decreased or poor judgment • Withdrawal from work or social activities • Changes in mood and personality, including apathy and depression

Typical Age Related Change

fruits and vegetables. This also means monitoring and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Keeping the brain active by reading, doing puzzles and staying socially involved with friends or peers are all a part of this lifestyle.

“Everything that is healthy for the heart, is healthy for the brain”, says Ewing. It is important to make sure that we don’t dismiss the early signs of the disease as typical age related change. If you are concerned that a loved one might have the disease, contact their doctor or the Alzheimer’s Association of Omaha at 402-502-4301 or to speak to someone that can help guide you through the process. The association provides education, information and support to individuals and families afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, and the related disorders and research for the prevention, cure, and treatment of Alzheimer’s and related disorders.

For more information, go to their website at

• S ometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later •M aking occasional errors when balancing the checkbook. •O ccasionally needing help with the microwave setting or to record a television show.

Be part of something exceptional.

•G etting confused about the day of the week, but figuring it out later. • Vision changes related to cataracts. • Sometimes having trouble finding the right word. •M isplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them. • Making a bad decision once in a while. • S ometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations. •D eveloping very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.


While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, treatments are available that may help relieve some symptoms. Research has shown that taking full advantage of available treatment, care and support options can improve quality of life. This includes staying active, exercising for 30 minutes a day, watching our weight and eating fresh

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Reclaim Your Family


commitment ACADEMY Reprinted with permission from the Omaha World Herald

Sometimes God gives you a significant task, and no matter how much you might delay, he usually gets his way.

Barbara asked God to guide their daughter through the pitfalls of life, the temptations, hormonal changes and many challenges she would encounter as she grew into adulthood.

This was the case for Barbara Ingram. In 1996, she became a wife and mother on her wedding day.

Barbara noticed how too many youths spiraled out of control with sexual promiscuity, teen pregnancies and poor choices. What was particularly frustrating to Ingram was that many of these youths were active Christians growing up in strong church environments.

She became the mother of her husband’s 8-year-old daughter, and she embraced motherhood fully. She did all the things mothers do with their daughters, including shopping, decorating her bedroom, helping with homework and cooking meals. She and her new husband prayed mightily and planned for their daughter’s future.

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In 2001, Barbara discussed with her husband an article in a Christian magazine about a movement in which fathers took their daughters on special dates. During these outings, the fathers expressed how much they loved their daughters and wanted the best for them. They then would give their daughters rings and ask them to commit to not to having sex before marriage.

Š2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

When Barbara’s husband asked his daughter on her 12th birthday to wear the ring and make the commitment, his daughter eagerly agreed. That day was a defining moment in Barbara’s life. Being guided by the Holy Spirit, she wrote a 6-month program for Christian teens. She knew the program needed to be fast-paced, with topics that were of interest and relevant to them. She needed many talented adults using Biblical principles to talk about life issues that impact youths and young adults. The topics included peer pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse, consequences of poor choices, money management and cultural pride. The program was designed to be transparent and fun, with food, music and straight talk. The culmination ceremony would include parents presenting their children with rings as a symbol of the youths’ commitment to celibacy until marriage. She named the program Commitment Academy. Several more years passed, and Barbara remained committed to the concept even though she was no longer married to her step-daughter’s father. In 2006, she was able to present the program to Christian youths at St. Matthew Church. And although 15 youths were enrolled in the program, only seven completed it, all related to Barbara. This did not deter her.

“Being guided by the Holy Spirit, she wrote a 6-month program for Christian teens.” With a few refinements, the 2008-09 program was offered to Salem Baptist Church. This time, 30 youths completed the program, and the next class at Salem Baptist saw 16 make the commitment. The 2013-14 class was a collaborative effort between three churches, Salem Baptist, St. Mark Baptist and Zion Baptist. There were 35 youths and young adults who completed the program. In all, 88 young people have completed Commitment Academy. This program required a lot of energy and perseverance. But God knew that Barbara Ingram, with her enthusiasm, high energy and the help of others from the community, could make Commitment Academy work.

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REVIVE! Omaha | 11

Rediscover Your Purpose by Viv L. Ewing, Ph.D.



To fulfill our purpose in life we need to understand the concept of failing forward. At times in life, all of us will fail at something. Another way to look at it is that each of us will miss the mark or goal at some point. It could be at work and not finishing a report on time. It may be at home where you may have let a family member or a loved one down. Another example is not obtaining the grade you wanted on an exam or in a class at school. If we are not careful, those situations can get us down. We must challenge ourselves to become better, not bitter, when life happens to us. The key to moving past the failures is in how we handle it. We have to learn to fail forward in order to reach our purpose in life. 12 | REVIVE! Omaha

Failing forward simply means taking the disappointment and using it as a springboard to move forward in a positive manner. When you are given lemons in life, make lemonade. When things do not go your way or the way that you had planned, learn from it and move forward gracefully. That’s failing forward. It means not getting stuck in the world of past let downs and put downs. It means becoming better, not bitter when trials and difficulties come. Think of a morning glory flower bulb planted in a flower pot. It starts off as a brown small seed. The seed is packed down into the soil and then more soil is put on

Š2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

top of it. Just like life, we sometimes have dirt packed on top of us too. That dirt can be in many forms such as losing a job, a broken relationship, failing a course, or abuse. After the seed is packed down, you begin to water it and the seed begins to sprout roots and show new life. Like us, we too need to be watered in order to fail forward. That watering comes from being around positive people who sow into your life. The watering also comes from life giving relationships - not those that hurt you or tear you down. With watering, you too will begin to develop new, positive roots that will help you stay strong when trials come your way. The morning glory flower bulb requires sunshine. In order for it to grow tall and strong, the morning glory needs sunshine. In fact, it will turn and face the sun each morning - hence the name morning glory. We too need sunshine if we are going to fail forward. Yes, we obtain sunshine from the sun that provides warmth and vitamin E. We also obtain son-shine from the scriptures in the Bible. It gives us spiritual food for our life and for our spiritual growth. In order to fail forward and pursue our purpose, we have to go through several steps that will propel us forward. Let’s examine five steps for failing forward. First, maintain a healthy outlook on life. Realize that things could always be much worse. Second, learn

to accept both the things you can change and the things that you cannot change. Third, learn from the experience. Pray and ask the Lord to show you the lesson that needs to be learned. Learning from mistakes and let downs teaches you how to move on, how to be graceful when in difficult situations.

“The watering also comes from life giving relationships —not those that hurt you or tear you down.” Fourth, let the past go. Don’t hold on to past mistakes, let downs, and put downs. Let it go. If you hold a grudge for someone, it hurts you more than the other person. Forgive them and move on. Fifth, grow where you are planted. In other words, enjoy life now. Count the blessings in your life and be thankful. Implementing these five steps will help as you pursue your purpose in life and teach you how to fail forward.

Diverse Perspectives Bring Sharper Vision At Union Pacific, diversity and inclusion are more than just buzz words – they are business as usual. Union Pacific employees reflect the diversity of our customers and our communities – breaking down barriers, winning awards for service and performance, and supporting Union Pacific, America’s premier railroad, in its ongoing commitment to Building America. • 8 diverse Employee Resource Groups demonstrate that inclusion is our way of life • Diversity and cultural awareness activities honor, educate and inspire Union Pacific employees • Opportunities to build your own career at America’s premier railroad To apply or learn more, visit Union Pacific supports diversity in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer inclusive of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Reprioritize Your Finances by Yolanda Barney

how to have a



CHRISTMAS In only a few short months, we will find ourselves in the midst of the Christmas season. Our schedules will be filled with holiday parties, programs and warm times with family and friends. For some, this season brings on stress, pressure and financial strain. This type of pressure makes it impossible to focus on the true meaning of the holiday. The endless gift list will consume the mind and bank accounts of many individuals. Many will create debt from one day that will be carried throughout the following year. This in turn causes Christmas to be viewed as stressful, and not a time of joy. With a little planning, it is possible to embrace the true reason for this season and still enjoy exchanging gifts without going into debt. These 4 simple tips can help you have a debt free, stress free and joyous Christmas.

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Set a Christmas budget. A budget keeps us from spending money we don’t have and going further in debt. As you are preparing your budget, ask yourselves these questions: • What do you really need to have an enjoyable Christmas? • Can you pare down the list and the amount? • Are you able to make gifts? • Is the family willing to draw names, instead of purchasing gifts for every single person? For some of us, it may be a wise decision to use cash only for Christmas. This system ensures you don’t stray away from your budget. You spend only the money that is put aside; the amount you have budgeted.

©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Have a plan in place— make a list.

Now that you have an allocated amount of money to spend on Christmas, you can make your gift giving list. Make a list of all the recipients, gift ideas, and the amount you can spend on each person. The list should include every single person that you will purchase a gift for; family members, teachers, co-workers, etc. If you don’t know what type of gift you would like to give an individual, designate a dollar amount for that person. Take the list with you when you are shopping. Going Christmas shopping without a list, is like going to the grocery store without a list. We buy items we don’t need and spend a lot more money than we had planned.

Find the money.

You have a budget in place. You have a plan. Now you need to figure out how you are going to secure all the funds. We will look at a budget of $400 for Christmas with 12 weeks before your shopping trip. Our next step is to take the figure and break it down into a manageable amount.

save the date! Empowerment Network presents…

4th annual Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake

Saturday, December 6, 2014 Noon to 5 pm Open to the community.

Indoor and Outdoor activities planned for children, adults and families. For more information, visit

With a budget of $400, you need to put aside $33 per week. How can you get $33 a week without compromising your tithes and your other bills? If you eat out for lunch every day spending $7, you can save $35 a week by bringing your lunch from home. Or you can make your coffee at home, saving you $4 a day ($20 weekly saving) and bring your lunch for two days ($14 weekly saving) which gives you $34 a week toward your Christmas fund. You can also eat dinner at home for a month, instead of eating out to make up the difference.

Changing our mindset about Christmas.

Putting the focus back on Jesus’ birthday, will serve as a reminder to us that it is not the birth day of those on our list, but it is His special day we celebrate. Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful. If we plan, budget and stick to that plan, we can put our entire family in a better position financially for the new year. We can have a stress free and debt free Christmas and truly focus on celebrating Jesus.

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REVIVE! Omaha | 15

Rebuild Your Community by Willie Barney

Omaha is once again being recognized on a national level because of the positive results occurring in our city. While there’s much work ahead, the measurable progress is attracting attention at high levels. National leaders and representatives from large and small cities are traveling to Omaha to learn more. Revive! Omaha Magazine is committed to continuing to chronicle the current and future developments. Local and national leaders agree that one of a number of catalysts for the positive momentum is the Empowerment Network. September is a significant milestone for the group. On Saturday, September 23, 2006, over 70 African-American leaders and concerned residents came together to discuss issues, have a candid conversation about the trends and review a process to gather resident engagement in a community-based plan. Those leaders committed to a bottom-up and top-down approach. Bottom-up in that the ideas and strategies would be developed by those most impacted and residents would have a consistent voice in determining priorities and decision-making. Top-down in that elected officials, business executives and other civic leaders would need to introduce and adopt policy changes, find ways to align collaborative efforts, and reallocate and invest large scale funding to truly change the direction of the community. The core principles have stayed consistent: Personal Responsibility, Leadership Accountability and Comprehensive, Holistic Collaboration. The overarching strategies of empowering African-Americans, empowering North Omaha residents and empowering the City of Omaha citizens have remained the same. Measurable change has occurred in each area. Through focus, partnership, perseverance and collaboration, many trends are finally headed in the right direction. As reported earlier, documented data and research point to these important findings: graduation rates are increasing; reading, math and science scores 16 | REVIVE! Omaha

are improving; more students are taking the ACT and Advanced Placement classes; record numbers of minority students are enrolling in college; while there are periodic spikes, gun violence has been reduced by 36% city-wide and more than 44% in North Omaha; a new master plan for North Omaha has been approved by City Council; and, over 350 million dollars of community and economic investments have taken place or broken ground in North Omaha over the past seven years. Most importantly, hundreds of organizations and thousands of residents have actively engaged in the work. Yes, there is a great amount of work ahead. Decades of neglect and disinvestment created huge gaps and obstacles to overcome. However, the collaborative efforts and new investments are paying off. The Empowerment Network in partnership with elected officials, business leaders, neighborhood groups, churches and faith communities, educators and schools, governmental agencies, community-based organizations and philanthropic supporters are moving into the next phase referred to as the Transformation 2025 initiative. Revive! Omaha Magazine and the Empowerment Network would like to pause and recognize the individuals who are committed to working together on Saturday mornings for nearly a year to develop the initial plans. Amazingly, many from the initial group have stayed active with the collaborative since day one. Eight years of working together! Hundreds of organizations and thousands of residents have participated along the way. We appreciate all the minutes, hours, days, months and, Š2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

in some cases, years of commitment made to creating a new way of working together. Thank you all for your contributions and involvement, especially those with the unwavering support throughout the entire process. I want to take a moment and specifically recognize some of the individuals who attended the first few leadership meetings in September and October 2006 and have stayed most actively engaged since that time.

Teresa Negron

Ernest White

Teresa Hunter

Tim Clark

John Ewing

Deb Bunting

Vicki Quaites-Ferris

Freddie Gray

Tawanna Black

Dr. Richard Brown

Michael Maroney

Doris Lassiter

Tom Warren

Greg Johnson

Ben Gray

James Mason

Chris Rodgers

Doris Moore

We also want to thank the hundreds of others who have joined in along the way. What was once an AfricanAmerican and North Omaha plan, has evolved into a multi-racial coalition focused on the best outcomes for all. Your incredible commitment and partnership have proven what is possible when individuals make a decision to come together, work together, pray together and stay together. The number 8 is symbolic of a new beginning. Imagine the possibilities when hundreds of additional organizations and thousands more residents get engaged in this Empowerment Movement and Transformation 2025 Initiative. Omaha will lead the nation in employment, entrepreneurship, education, housing and quality of life. Longstanding gaps will be closed. Omaha will be a great city, in every zip code and neighborhood. One. Great. Omaha. And, cities across the nation will use what we have learned to replicate similar models in their own communities. The next phase is well underway. Read more online at

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ited de are inv ra g th 2 1 r e! n in 11th o Conferenc n Young me o ti c n ti is n of D owered to the Me • Be emp d e g a g n e d • Get Be inspire


mam a I : e m e h T

with keynote speaker Robert N. Page Jr. Get motivated about your future!

Hear from national and community leaders and learn about: • Leadership and goal setting • Why you should go to college • Access to scholarships

• Healthy relationships • Civility and responsibility • And much more!

Thursday, Oct. 30 • 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Metropolitan Community College Fort Omaha Campus | 32nd and Sorensen Parkway Swanson Conference Center | Building 22, Room 201A–B

Can’t wait to see you there!

If you have at least a 2.0 GPA, submit your registration by Friday, Oct. 17. Call 402-457-2650 or email for more information!

REVIVE! Omaha | 17

Omaha Rewind

American Promise Tour Featuring National Filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson

American Promise Tour

American Promise Tour

American Promise Tour

NETV’s Need to Succeed documentary Premiere NETV’s Need to Succeed documentary Premiere

NETV’s Need to Succeed documentary Premiere

Strategic gathering of African American Men Strategic gathering of African American Men

Strategic gathering of African American Men

Strategic gathering of African American Men

Strategic gathering of African American Men

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Strategic gathering of African American Men

©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Calvin Keys concert at Love’s Jazz and Arts Center

a review in pictures...

Calvin Keys concert at Love’s Jazz and Arts Center Navy Admiral Annie Andrews

Navy Admiral Annie Andrews

North Omaha Arts Alliance

North Omaha Arts Alliance

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dustin Good/Released

Urban League African American Leadership Awards

Urban League African American Leadership Awards

Urban League African American Leadership Awards

Urban League African American Leadership Awards

North Omaha Arts Alliance

Urban League African American Leadership Awards

Read more online at

REVIVE! Omaha | 19

Preparing our children for careers in STEM by Alisa Gilmore

What do these professionals have in common: robotics engineer, forensic scientist, HVAC technician, and a videogame designer? They are all examples of a large group of STEM professionals, a group that as a whole are “in demand.” The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. There has been a lot of attention on STEM recently. Why should STEM be important to you? According to the STEM Education Coalition, there are 26 million STEM jobs in the US. Not only do STEM jobs support and grow the economy, they are lucrative. For example, the annual mean salary for engineers is $79,000, close to double the mean salary for all occupations.

Fact: US ranks 25th in math and 17th in science among industrialized nations. Only 16% of US high school seniors are proficient in math and are interested in a STEM career. (

Scientists and engineers create innovations that drive our nation’s competitiveness in the current high-tech, global economy. However, the challenge lies in preparing current students to be ready for these jobs. Not enough students are being prepared with the proficiency needed for STEM careers, and there is a shortage of teachers to equip them. In addition, there are sections of our communities that remain “untapped” as a rich resource to address the STEM crisis. For example only 4% of Engineering Bachelor’s degrees awarded are being earned by African Americans.

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By 2022, 9 out of 10 new engineering jobs will require at least a Bachelor’s degree. The crisis is also felt by employers who are unable to fill many lucrative positions due to a lack of qualified workers. 60% of US employers report having difficulties finding qualified workers to fill their vacancies. The STEM Education Coalition which includes large corporations and education organizations, spread the word that the “nation’s future economic prosperity is closely linked with student success in the STEM fields.” STEM is where they see the economy headed and it is also the skillset that students will need. While entry into these fields most often requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher, preparing children to be ready for future STEM opportunities can begin as early as grade school. Parents can encourage children in STEM with a strategy that includes exposure, vision, and confidence.

Here is a list of practical ways to encourage your child right now to prepare him or her for future stem opportunities. • Confidence: Adopt a can-do attitude about math achievement. • Math is used in STEM fields as an important tool. It is used to explain things that are observed in nature, predict what will happen next, to apply science and design new inventions. It is a wonderful tool that will benefit children greatly if they adopt a can-do attitude while learning this subject. • Model a can-do attitude to them. Let them know it is okay to spend more time on math or to put more work

©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

in. It simply does not mean they are incapable in math if they do not get the answer right the first time. • Learning math is like building an unused muscle. It may seem difficult at first, but repetitive practice does make perfect. Math builds upon itself like a tower of blocks. Once mastered at one level, it provides a foundation for building the next level. Without one level, building is limited for the next. The good news is - this work in math achievement does pay off! Like riding a bike, once math skills are obtained, they are retained for life. • Have your child take part in all opportunities that strengthen math performance, be it remedial, extra practice on grade-level, or advanced offerings. They should feel proud and expect their hard work to pay off. Soon they will confidently be able to flex their math muscles and use them for life. Their hard work will pay off with confidence now and excellent preparation for the future.

Fact: Only 3 in 10 African American students who have the potential to succeed in AP math actually take the course. For those who don’t take it, half reported it is not available to them and the other half reported lacking the confidence to take it. (

According to, the Obama administration states that improvements in STEM education will only happen if




African Americans, Hispanics and other underrepresented groups (including women) in the STEM fields participate. Exposure is essential to get our children interested in STEM. • Explore STEM creatively during the school year and in summer months by choosing one or more of these activities. • Take a free weekend day or afternoon to explore with your child one or more of the websites offering free interactive content and STEM activities to introduce K-12 children to programming skills such as, or to interactive engineering profession, such as engineering go for it. Do a google search for more. • Take advantage of some of the optional opportunities to explore STEM offered at your child’s school. Meet with your child’s teacher or counselor to express your interest in having your child participate in robotics or science clubs, fairs and fieldtrips. Take steps to make this happen. • Make plans now to register for a summer STEM camp. It’s not too early to research the options. STEM summer camps are offered at local universities, museums, community clubs and centers, among others. Registration for some camps open as early as January and many fill up quickly. • Invite one or more like-minded parents to combine forces and work together to share information and resources for your children to explore STEM together.

Mentors Rising

to the Challenge Research studies consistently reveal the positive impacts of establishing positive mentoring relationships. Attendance rates increase. Academic performance improves. Graduation rates rise. It’s not a secret any longer. Quite simply, mentoring works. One of the most promising and encouraging signs happening in Omaha is the number of citizens stepping up to become mentors – formally and informally. Residents from many walks

Over 600 Omaha Residents Answer the Call to Mentor Six years ago, the Midlands Mentoring Partnership (MMP) was one of a number of organizations and initiatives launched by Building Bright Futures (BBF). Using the BBF Community Action plan as a guide and incorporating the results from a study conducted by the Great Omaha After School Alliance, it was determined that there were thousands of youth in need of mentors. An initial goal was set to recruit 3,000 additional mentors to work with youth in the city. The response has been tremendous. Last year, MMP launched the first coordinated, citywide recruitment effort. The results were inspiring. The campaign generated the interest of over 600. It was so successful, a second campaign was launched this year

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during the month of August. While the results are still preliminary, it appears that there were more than 640 engaged through the initial process. MMP and their nine partner agencies are moving the dial in connecting youth in our community with caring adults. MMP is also partnering with the Omaha African-American Male Achievement Collaborative and North Omaha Cradle to Career Collaborative to specifically identify mentors for sixth graders in the targeted areas.

It’s not too late to become a mentor! To learn more about mentoring, please go to ©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

300 African-American Men Step Up In addition to the efforts of MMP, the 100 Black Men, Urban League of Nebraska, Revive! Omaha Magazine and the Empowerment Network formally launched an initiative to identify and recruit African-American men to become mentors, coaches and role models for AfricanAmerican young men. Building on the four years of the successful Striving for Success: Black Male Summit and yearlong Omaha African-American Male Achievement Collaboration, a planning meeting was held in late June. Attendees included representatives from the lead agencies, churches, fraternities, Omaha Public Schools, community organizations and elected officials to set some initial goals and discuss various strategies. The group agreed to hold a Strategic Gathering of African-American Men on Saturday, July 12 and a second meeting on July 31, 2014. The group was challenged to call for 300 African-American men to step up and become involved in the initiative. By the end of July, over 300 men had joined in on the effort. Over 200 had participated in the Strategic Gatherings and Planning Meetings. One hundred had completed the profile and 52 had expressed an interest in becoming mentors. The group has set a target to increase from 300 to

700 African-American men within two months. The planning team members are working with Omaha Public Schools to coordinate partnerships with schools in the Empowerment Network’s North Omaha Village Zone target area and other buildings identified by the district. Those interested in mentoring have been referred to the 100 Black Men. They will finalize applications and walk those interested through background checks and other requirements. The Phase I projects have been identified and men are mobilizing into action. Beyond the mentoring, men have signed up to become greeters, coaches and role models. The men have also agreed to participate in the 5th Annual Striving for Success: Black Male Summit which brings together 200 African-American 9th grade young men and 50 plus African-American men for a day of role modeling, career exploration and man-to-man conversations.

African-American men interested in participating in the initiative can go to or call 402-502-5153 to join the movement.

On! Get plugged in to a career where people are energized daily. Enjoy challenging work and great benefits in an environment that encourages you to shine your brightest. View job postings at OPPD proudly supports the 2014 African-American Leadership Conference.

Read more online at

REVIVE! Omaha | 23

Jami Anders-Kemp Director of Omaha 360 Focusing on Collaboration & Results Jami Anders-Kemp is the Director of Omaha 360, an initiative of the Empowerment Network, focused on the mission of reducing gun and gang violence and bringing peace and prosperity to every neighborhood in the city. Anders-Kemp has hit the ground running since joining the staff of the Empowerment Network in April 2013. With the support and partnership of the community, City of Omaha, Office of Violence Prevention and others, Kemp is working to make the mission a reality. The Omaha 360 Collaborative evolved out of the Empowerment Network’s Crime Prevention Team and has grown from an initial group of seven individuals to well over 200 organizations and over 300 active participants. Thousands of residents have attended and joined in the movement through neighborhood and community-wide 24 | REVIVE! Omaha

outreach strategies, activities and events. Kemp facilitates, coordinates and organizes the collaborative which includes participants from many sectors such as the faith community, police department, community-based organizations, youth development agencies, schools, neighborhood groups, businesses, governmental institutions, enforcement agencies, probation departments, reentry specialists, and residents. Kemp has worked hard to expand the initiative throughout the city. Actively forming partnerships in North, South and West Omaha, she excels at gathering the input of many stakeholders and integrating the recommendations, thoughts and ideas into a workable plan of action. Beyond Omaha 360, Kemp is actively engaged in other Network initiatives and partnerships including Step-Up Omaha, Š2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Pastors and Faith Leaders Covenant, North Omaha Cradle to Career Collaborative, Omaha African-American Male Achievement Collaborative, the City of Omaha’s RISE program and strategic summits, conferences and planning meetings. She is also a key member of the South Omaha Violence Intervention and Prevention Team. Kemp is constantly pushing the Omaha 360 Collaborative to evolve and reinvent itself. This past summer, in partnership with Pastor Bruce Williams and Pastor Dave Gehrls, Kemp reinvigorated the group’s pre-emptive prayer walks and peace rallies. The targeted effort focuses on neighborhoods that have experienced violence, but the group doesn’t wait until a homicide occurs. They go door-to-door talking with residents about preventing and solving crime and violence, identifying priorities and concerns in each neighborhood, and encouraging residents to get involved with 360 and their neighborhood association. As needs are identified, Kemp and the 360 partners develop localized strategies. For example, during a prayer walk residents in the 42nd and Bedford area strongly expressed the need for jobs. Kemp and others formed a team and created the Omaha 360 Mobile Job and Resource Fair and went back to the neighborhood with employers. Seven individuals walked away from the first event with new jobs. Periodically, especially when the city experiences a spike in violence, people will ask if any of this makes a difference? Absolutely. Based on the most up-to-date statistics from the Omaha Police Department, gun violence in Omaha has been reduced by 38% city wide since 2007. In the Northeast Precinct, gun violence is down 55% and there has been a 63% reduction during the months of May, June and July. In the neighborhoods where residents have stayed most active, the reductions have been as much as 60% and 70%. Kemp is quick to point out that Omaha 360 plays a role, but would be nothing without the partners that make things happen in the areas of prevention, intervention, enforcement, reentry and support services. She also reminds participants that the meeting that happens once a week on Wednesday afternoon is just one part of the 360 work. It’s a time for updates, strategy, cross sector dialogue, partner presentations and networking, but the real work is done before and after the meeting. One shooting or homicide is one too many as far as Omaha 360 is concerned. One shooting is tragic for all involved. While progress is being made, the work will not be finished until the number reaches 0. Focused, determined and organized, Kemp is using her unique style of leadership and collaboration to push towards the mission. Previous to joining the Empowerment Network, Kemp worked at Heartland Workforce Solutions as Workforce Partnership Project Manager. Her responsibilities included reaching out to businesses to form innovative partnerships in an effort to address unemployment and underemployment in the city. Kemp’s extensive background in facilitation, organizational development, marketing and communications was also developed and enhanced through employment at Alegent Health and national training responsibilities at the Boys and Girls Club. Read more online at

A native of North Omaha, Kemp graduated from Burke High School and earned her Business Leadership Degree from the College of St. Mary. She continues her education and development by attending category specific workshops and classes. Kemp is active with her neighborhood association and leadership activities and spends her “spare” time attending her children’s sports activities and sewing. Kemp has been married to her husband Jeff for 14 years. They have four talented children. REVIVE! Omaha | 25

Leaders on the move… Each year since 2008, Revive! Omaha Magazine has highlighted African-American leaders from many different sectors and occupations. We have recognized elected officials, executive directors and CEO’s of community-based organizations, faith leaders, high performing students, business executives, entrepreneurs, judges, and many others. In this edition, we look to highlight more African-American leaders in our community who are using their own styles to make a positive impact. You may recognize some of the names. Others you may not. In their own way, they are making it happen. The leaders identified in this issue have recently stepped into new roles. We salute these leaders and encourage them to keep doing what they are doing to make this a great place for all residents. And, while there are many other leaders who are not included in this article, Revive! Omaha Magazine is committed to highlighting emerging and seasoned leaders in future editions.

Tarsha Jackson, CPA Tarsha Jackson is the Chief Financial Officer at Charles Drew Health Center. She leads the financial affairs of the Center in partnership with the Executive Leadership Team and the CDHC Board of Directors. Jackson has 15 years of experience in executive leadership for nonprofits in finance, accounting, human resources and operational needs. She began her career in public accounting and holds an inactive CPA license. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Accounting Degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She is also a graduate of the Non-Profit Association of the Midlands Leadership Institute and the United Way of the Midlands Heartland Blueprint Program.

Richard Webb Richard Webb currently holds the position of Property Sales Manager for Caesars Entertainment in Council Bluffs, IA. His responsibilities include representing the MidAmerica Center, Harrah’s Casino and Hotel, and Horseshoe Casino. Webb earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Upon graduating, Webb started working at the boutique Hotel Deco IV as a sales manager, and was there for about 7 months when he was recruited to Sheraton to improve the SMERF market for the hotel. Prior to accepting the position with Caesars, he worked for Starwood. He also is a mentor and member with the 100 Black Men of Omaha, and one of the guest panelists at the Striving for Success Summit. Webb is also an active participant and volunteer with the African-American Young Professionals Network, and the recently formed Omaha African-American Male Achievement Collaborative and African-American Men’s Mentoring and Coaching Initiative. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Webb was recently married to his wife Danita. They have four lovely children. During his spare time he enjoys fishing, playing basketball, and spending quality time with his family. 26 | REVIVE! Omaha

©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Jannette Taylor, MOL, MSNDR Jannette Taylor is a native of Omaha, Nebraska. Ms. Taylor currently serves as the Director of Programs at the NorthStar Foundation in Omaha, Nebraska. She is the former Executive Director of United Action for Youth (UAY) in Iowa City. Prior to accepting the position at United Action for Youth, she co-founded a community based nonprofit, Impact One Community Connection and served as its Executive Director for four years. While at Impact One, Taylor expanded and launched programs focused on school and street outreach, gang prevention and intervention, crisis intervention at hospitals and helped to manage and expand the Empowerment Network’s summer employment program. Taylor attended undergraduate and graduate school at the College of Saint Mary, earning a Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MBA). She went on to earn a Masters in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University School of Law, while also working on a Juris Doctor Degree. Jannette is most proud of her daughter Erika, who is a Junior at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

Sharif Liwaru Sharif Liwaru is the Director for the Office of Equity and Diversity, a newly created position at the Omaha Public Schools District. He directs and administers mandated and directed programs; designs and implements strategies to integrate diversity and equity into all aspects of the OPS mission and culture; and verifies the District’s compliance with OPS policies, and State and Federal laws. Prior to this position, Liwaru was the Community Director of the Attendance Collaborative, based at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He also served as Assistant Director in the Office of Student Organizations & Leadership Programs at UNO. Liwaru is the President of the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation. He also holds numerous positions in leadership and serves on various boards, including the African Culture Connection, African-American Unity Fund, and serves as President of the Phi Beta Sigma’s local Alumni Chapter. Liwaru earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Black Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Liwaru and his wife Gabrielle have been married for 19 years and have three children.

Jerry Corner Jr, PLMHP Jerry Corner Jr, recently joined the Omaha Public Schools administration as the Coordinator for the Office of Community, School and Family Engagement. Corner directs the office in program operations, development, and community relations to include, directing school choice, student placement, and family engagement efforts. The Mission of the department is to empower schools, families, and the community to increase student achievement. Corner is a native of Wichita, Kansas and relocated to Omaha, Nebraska in 1997 to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha, earning his B.A. in African American Studies (2001) and an M.S. in Youth and Family Services from Bellevue University (2009). He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., where he serves as Director of Educational Activities, and a Covenant Partner at Ambassadors Worship Center, where he serves on Ministry of Helps. Mr. Corner has been married to his lovely wife Kizzie Corner for 13 years. Together, they have two children, Ja’Lyn and Kemiah Corner, ages 12 and 7. Read more online at

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Jamalia Parker Jamalia Parker is the leader of Parent and Family Engagement at the new Learning Community Center of North Omaha. Parker’s role entails leading the center’s family engagement strategy, as well as developing and implementing research-based programs to help families, children, instructional teams and community childcare providers. Parker was previously the director of Continuous Quality Improvement with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc. Prior to that appointment, Parker was the director of Prevention and Early Intervention Programs with LFS and oversaw over $3 million in programming across the states of Nebraska and Iowa Parker’s extensive experience includes working at Alpha School, Salvation Army Wellspring Program, Heartland Family Service, The YMCA, Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from Creighton University. Parker received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from Creighton University. She stays active in her community through volunteerism and membership in various community organizations.

Othello H. Meadows III

Othello H. Meadows III currently serves as Executive Director of Seventy Five North Revitalization Corp., a community revitalization and development organization. Prior to this position, he was Executive Director of the Omaha Workforce Collaborative, a non-profit housed at the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, designed to restructure the workforce development efforts of the Omaha metropolitan area. Meadows, a native of Omaha, returned home after nearly 15 years in order to run a non-partisan voter registration drive that registered over 10,000 new voters in eastern Omaha, prior to the 2008 presidential election. Before returning to Omaha, Meadows operated his own law firm, Othello H. Meadows, P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia where his practice focused on criminal defense, family law, and general civil litigation. Meadows attended East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina on a basketball scholarship and earned his BA in Psychology in 1997. He later received his Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2004. Othello and his wife, Tulani Grundy Meadows, have two children.

James Cloyd James Cloyd is the Dean of Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus. He has been a transplant native of Omaha since the age of five. Prior to joining MCC, he worked for 12 years as a Certified Family Teacher at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town. Cloyd is a 2006 graduate of ICAN Men’s Leadership Program and 2010 graduate of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Leadership 32. He is active in community organizations such as: Center for Holistic Development Board Member, OPS-Citizen Advisory Committee, Founder and Director of Omaha Area Wrestling Assoc., National Academic Advising Assoc., TeamMates, Omaha African-American Male Achievement Collaboration and North Omaha Cradle to Career Planning Team. A graduate of North High School, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Art with a concentration in Business Administration from Dana College. He is currently completing a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management. Cloyd is married with two sons. Cloyd has coached youth soccer, football and wrestling.

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©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

National Leaders Convene in Omaha

for 3rd Annual African-American Leadership Conference The Empowerment Network is commemorating the Eighth Anniversary of its formation in September with the 3rd Annual African-American Leadership Conference. Eight years ago, the first meeting brought together local African-American leaders and concerned residents from every sector and area of Omaha. Eight years later, African-American leaders from across the United States are convening in Omaha to share best practices and learn more about the work and results occurring in Omaha. Cities across the country are looking to The Empowerment Network and Revive! Omaha Magazine as best practice models that should be replicated. George Fraser has issued the challenge to establish the Network in over 20 cities over the next five to 10 years. We are incredibly excited to welcome back some of our national partners, Dr. Randal Pinkett, George Fraser, Sondra Samuels, Shawn Dove, Leon Andrews, Marc Philpart and Denise Gilmore. They are all internationally recognized for their work in their respective fields. They share our passion for transforming African-American and urban communities across the nation and even internationally. We are also delighted to have Pamela Jolly, one of America’s most strategic thought leaders and legacy builders, join us as a keynote speaker. And, we’re honored to have Dr. John Yancy Odom here with us as a special guest.

Pamela Jolly

George Fraser

Denise Gilmore

Sondra Samuels

Pamela C.V. Jolly, Founder and CEO of Torch Enterprises Inc., brings more than 18 years of proven leadership and strategic management expertise; her primary focus is legacy wealth creation that passes on for generations.

Denise E. Gilmore is recognized as an authority on redevelopment in urban communities, with a particular focus on cultural heritage preservation and equitable development. For eleven years, she shaped the redevelopment of the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District.

Dr. Randal Pinkett

Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scholar and community servant. He is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion dollar management, technology and policy consulting firm based in Newark, NJ.

Read more online at

George C. Fraser is Chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc. —a company he founded some 25 years ago with the vision to lead a global networking movement that brings together diverse human resources to increase opportunities for people of African descent.

As the President and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), Sondra Samuels leads a collaborative of partner organizations and schools toward a single goal—to prepare lowincome children to graduate from high school ready for college.

Shawn Dove

Shawn Dove joined the Open Society Institute in May 2008 as manager of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. He has more than two decades of leadership experience in youth development, education, and community building.

REVIVE! Omaha | 29

Progress Update: North Omaha Village Zone

Revitalization Plan

OEDC’s Fair Deal Urban Village – Village East Senior Apartments After nearly three years of meetings with the community and stakeholders, on July 11, 2011, the North Omaha Village Zone Revitalization Plan was passed unanimously by the Omaha City Council. The vision focused on what was once referred to as the “Near Northside” in North Omaha with the boundaries of 16th Street on the east, 36th on the west, Pratt Street on the north and Cuming Street on the south. Within the plan, four specific “nodes” were identified as key to the revitalization of this core part of North Omaha: 1. 16th and Cuming 2. North 24th Street/24th and Lake 3. 30th and Parker/Lake 4. Malcolm X/Adams Park The development of the Revitalization Plan was facilitated by the Empowerment Network in partnership with Omaha Economic Development Corporation, City of Omaha, Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, Omaha Housing Authority, Family Housing Advisory Services, Holy Name Housing, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, a local foundation and two urban planning consultants, H3 Studio and Schemmer 30 | REVIVE! Omaha

& Associates. The Village Plan builds on previous studies, including the North Omaha Development Plan which also included the areas of 30th and Ames and 30th and Sorenson. Three years later, all of the areas are experiencing much needed attention and new developments are accelerating. Different organizations are now leading various elements of the plan. 16th and Cuming continues to be driven by the private market. Omaha Economic Development Corporation has helped to lead most of the new plans and development along North 24th Street. The Fair Deal Urban Village initiative was one of the first large scale projects after the approval of the Revitalization Plan. A $12 million development includes a state of the art senior village, single family homes, the Union for Contemporary Art and artist gallery. The next phase will include the cutting edge concept, Fair Deal Plaza. The area will be one of the first in the city to feature “container” stores. 24th and Lake is beginning to see the reemergence of the arts, culture and entertainment district envisioned in the plan. The Love’s Jazz and Art Center is attracting, large, diverse crowds to the district with local and regional jazz, blues and gospel ©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Village began as an initiative of the Empowerment Network, in partnership with the ABC Housing Initiative which included the Omaha Economic Development Corporation, Family Housing Advisory Services and Holy Name Housing. The group worked directly with the neighborhood associations and churches in the area.

artists. LJAC along with the new Carver Bank/Bemis Center and Union for Contemporary Art are presenting high quality cultural activities on a frequent basis, attracting local residents and tourists. The Empowerment Network in partnership with OEDC and over 80 organizations launched Christmas in the Village which has attracted thousands to the district. Businesses such as the Styles of Evolution, Chi-town Chicken, Big Mama’s Sandwich Shop and Taste of Heaven are also beginning to generate a solid base of customers. At the 24th and Cuming/Hamilton area, Omaha Economic Development Corporation is building the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties’ new North Omaha Learning Center. The $4.9 building will house one of the nation’s most innovative approaches to high quality early childhood development. Just blocks south, on the corner of 24th and Cuming, OEDC worked with McDonald’s to replace an older building with one of the corporations newest concept stores. And, after working with the Read more online at

Empowerment Network and many partners to gain community input and feedback, CHI Health and Creighton University recently announced the creation of a $35 million health center on the Northwest corner of 24th and Cuming. The facility will house all of the services prioritized by the community, including a free standing emergency room and physicians in the areas of primary care, women’s health, behavioral health, and wellness. In the 30th and Parker/Lake Street area, the 75 North Revitalization Corporation, led by Othello Meadows is making progress on the first phase of the Highlander initiative. The plan is to develop a holistic neighborhood, including mixed-income housing, a business accelerator and high quality early childhood education with direct access to high performing elementary schools. The first phase of the plan is estimated at $76 million. Just to the west of Highlander is the Prospect Village initiative, now led by the City of Omaha and the reemerging neighborhood association. Prospect

Seven years ago, the neighborhood was experiencing one of the highest rates of violence in the city. The community-based partnership started working with the residents on neighborhood clean-up projects and took a tour with association leaders to identify core issues. Nearly 100 vacant lots were purchased by the ABC Housing Initiative which led to the development of 21 new homes in the area and the eventual city approval of 80 additional homes to be built in the neighborhood. Eventually, the Omaha Housing Authority decided to demolish the Pleasant View Housing Project which cleared the way for the 75 North Revitalization Corporation to be created. The Malcolm X Foundation has developed a new master plan and is moving forward. The City of Omaha has led a process to refine the new vision for Adams Park. Metropolitan Community College has recently announced a $90 million expansion of its Fort Omaha Campus in North Omaha. Other organizations, including the City of Omaha, Habitat for Humanity, Holy Name Housing and others are actively working on infill housing strategies. Revive! Omaha Magazine will highlight these and other developments in the future. REVIVE! Omaha | 31


business spotlight

Urban Omaha Entertainment Q&A: Owner Miguel Mason

(402) 915-2863 • Website Coming Soon:

What inspired you to start your company? I started doing event planning in 2012. The inspiration came from several sources. I travel across the U.S., from time to time, and have really enjoyed the cultural experiences. In terms of night life, I feel that Omaha should have more of a showcase of its talents. So influenced by my friends, I began hosting events in some of the best venues in the city, and have been able to do what I love: bringing people together. What type of services does your company offer? Urban Omaha Entertainment is the next step in quality nightlife in the Omaha Metropolitan Area, inviting city professionals to network and mingle, while offering happening events in upscale venues. We specialize in Event Planning, Event Consulting, Event Promotions, & Talent Booking. Our focus is to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests while providing them an experience that they can only find here in Omaha. Your company has typically focused on live music and recently incorporated Gospel events into your business. What do you see in the future for these types of events? I believe that Omaha’s Gospel community is phenomenal. I’ve always wanted to do more for it, as I feel it’s still in the developmental stage, with limitless potential. So I think the future is very bright for growing local artists’ ministries, broader exposure outside of the city, different denominations of faith worshipping together, & possible National Recording Artist being brought to the city. Your events have been known for providing high quality and excellent service to your clients. What steps do you take to provide this type of service? The first step is to listen. I understand that we cannot please everyone, so I try to be as flexible as I possibly can. The next step is to communicate, on an ongoing basis, with venues that host my events. In order to provide good service, we must set the expectation among all shareholders, and do all we can to show customer appreciation. My customers have been good to me. They are valuable, and really mean a lot. What advice do you give individuals who want to start a business? The first thing I would say is to not let people kill your dreams. Stay focused on your goals, be prepared for the worst, and remember that you are only as good as your last outcome. Market your business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Know what’s available locally. Take advantage of the small business seminars that are available, and enjoy every moment!

32 | REVIVE! Omaha

©2014 Revive! Omaha Magazine

Stronger. together.

Stronger Together. The Urban League of Nebraska’s Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon

TheDecember Urban League Equal Opportunity Day• 1001 Luncheon Friday, 5, 2014of• Nebraska’s 11:30am-1:00pm • Hilton Omaha Cass Street, Omaha Friday, December 5, 2014 • 11:30am-1:00pm • Hilton Omaha • 1001 Cass Street, Omaha Empowering Communities. Changing Lives.

Keynote Speaker: Diane Duren,

Keynote Speaker: Sherrye Union Pacific Executive ViceHutcherson President

Vice President of Corporate Services and Chief Administrative Officer Diane K. Duren is the Executive Vice President of Union Pacific. She is responsible for strategic of the Omaha Public DistrictShe is also the corporate secretary. planning, administration and Power human resources. In 2012, Duren was one of the honorees of the Women’s Center for Advancement Tribute to Women. Sherrye Hutcherson oversees Corporate Services, which includes Facilities & Materials She was recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of the “Women Worth Watching in 2011,” Management, Information Technology, Sustainable Energy & Environmental and that same year, she was awarded the Creighton University College of Business Alumni Merit Stewardship, Human Resources and Labor Relations. Award. In 2008, Duren was recognized by Pink magazine, a magazine for professional women,

as one of the top women in business. Hutcherson has15 been named one of Ten Outstanding Young Omahans, as well as Distinguished Service Degree Award in Winner that same year, from and was named by the She Midlands Duren holds a Bachelor’s Business Administration Creighton University. has been active on boards for the YWCA, Business Journal as a “40 Under 40” recipient. National Grain Trade Council, Farm Foundation, TEGMA, the Arthritis Foundation and the American Red Cross, of which she served as

chairisofan theactive Heartland Chapter inmember, 2010 and serving 2011. on the board of directors of the Girl She community Scouts SpiritOpportunity of Nebraska, Award 75th North Revitalization, Greater Business Ethics 2012 Equal Recipients: ConAgra Foods,Omaha 2012 Diversity and Inclusion Corporate Honoree; Omaha Alliance and Children’s Hospital. DiversityGoverning Week, 2012Board Corporate Community Outreach Honoree; and Family Housing Authority, 2012 Tickets Community are $75 per person. Outreach Honoree. Hutcherson earned an MBA from Creighton University in Omaha, graduated magna Tickets for a table of 10 are also available. cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and For more information or to purchase Ticketsprofessional are $75 per certifications person. Ticketsinfor a tableresources, of 10 are also available. For more information or to purchase ticketscallplease call holds human economic development and tickets please 402-453-9730. business retention and expansion. 402-453-9730. Registration and ticket purchases can also be done online via our website at

2014 Equal Opportunity Award Recipients: Walmart, Corporate Honoree; American National Bank, Corporate Outreach Honoree, and Girls Inc., Community Partner Honoree.

Registration and ticket purchases can also be done online via our website at

REVIVE! Omaha Michele Torrence (Mitsy T) CRS GRI SFR Realtist, BPO Specialist NP Dodge Real Estate Sales, Inc. Licensed in Nebraska, USA

(402) 681-2256 • (402) 731-5008

Count Cook, Realtor® (402) 415-3374 • Fax: (402) 493-4805

James Stinson & Traci Dinsmore O: (402) 498-2718 C: (402) 680-1894 719 N. 132nd St. Omaha, Ne 68154

Call for a free quote. © 2011 Allstate Insurance Company

Earl J. Johnson, CMFC Wealth Manager Free Consultation (402) 960-6055 Specializing In 401k/IRA Rollovers, Retirement Planning, Investment Planning, Wealth Preservation

Tax season is upon us, mention this ad & save 15% on Preparation and Planning (new clients only). Call us today or visit us online at Westroads Pointe • 1015 N. 98th Street, Ste. 200 • Omaha (402) 390-2480 Omni Centre • 300 W. Broadway, Ste. 224 • Council Bluffs (712) 322-5503

Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering As seen on Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Sundance Channel

3223 N. 45th Street (Turning Point Campus Bldg. A) (402) 455-MAMA (6262) • DINE IN, CARRYOUT AND CATERING

Styles of Evolution Clothing for Men, Women & Students (402) 455-2426 2522 N. 24th Street • Omaha •

Directory To advertise, call: 402-490-1542 or email: For subscription information, please visit

Worthy Dental Dr. Justin Jones, General Dentist (402) 571-7200

Traci Lynn Jewelry (402) 939-9032

6530 Sorenson Parkway • Omaha Open Monday - Friday

Marilyn McGary Independent Business Owner Expansion Director

Emergency appointments available and walk-ins welcome. A family-oriented practice. We value your smile!

Esquisite, affordable, and simply beautiful fashion jewelry! Interested in starting your own business partnership or to host a show, please call.

In The Masters Hands Beauty Salon (402) 991-4160 7810 Dodge Street • Omaha Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm • Saturday by appointment only.

Anding Family Dental • Michelle Chang, D.D.S. (402) 933-4632 • 4702 Lafayette Street • Omaha

Educator of Aquage products.

To make an appointment, call (402) 991-4160.

& Psalm 127:3 Child Care Ministry (402) 614-4257 • (402) 850-3729 3020 Huntington Avenue • Omaha Open 24 Hours • Sunday - Saturday Ages 6 weeks - 14 years old Biblical and Educational Teachings Transportation provided.

“Behold children are a Heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is His reward.”

Felicia’s and A Man’s Touch Hair (402) 451-4029 4802 Northwest Radial Hwy. Omaha, Nebraska 68104

The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.


REVIVE! Directory REVIVE! Omaha Omaha

To advertise, call: 402-490-1542 or email: For subscription information, please visit

Morning Star Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Leroy E. Adams, Jr. Senior Pastor 2019 Burdette Street 402-342-0018 Sunday Service 7:30AM & 10:15AM (First Sunday 10:15AM Service Only) Sunday School 8:45AM (excludes 1 Sunday)

Salem Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Selwyn Q. Bachus, Senior Pastor (402) 455-1000 • 3131 Lake Street Sunday Worship 8:30AM & 11:30AM


Dayspring Ministries Christian Center

Pastor Edward and Juanita King 6068 Ames Avenue 402-573-5188 Sunday Morning Worship: 9:00am

Mt. Nebo Missionary Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Baptist Church (402)Rev. 451-4245 Terry L. Arvie, Pastor

Joy of Life Ministries, Inc. COGIC

Rev. Terry Arvie, Pastor 5501 N. 50thL. Street • 402-451-4245 5501 N. 50th Street • Omaha Sunday School: 9:00am Sunday Morning Worship Service: 10:45am

Pastor Eric L. Butler 6401 N. 56th Street • Omaha, NE (402) 399-9628 •

Sunday: 9:30AM Sunday School (all ages) • 10:30AM Sunday Worship 6:00PM Sunday Evening Worship Wednesday: 7:00PM Adult Bible Study / Chosen Generation Coalition (youth) “Come where we say… the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Prayer Meeting, Bible Study & Youth/Children Sunday School: 9:00am Ministry: Wednesday Nights at 7:00pm Sunday Morning Worship Service: 1 Prayer Meeting, Bible Study & Youth Ministry: Wednesday Nights at 7:00a

Joy of Life Ministries, Inc., COGIC 6401 North 56th Street Omaha, NE 68104 Phone 402-399-9628 ~Fax 402-502-2447 “For the joy of the Lord is your strength...” Nehemiah 8:10


WE WELCOME YOU TO ANY OF OUR SERVICES Sundays: 9:30am Sunday School (for all ages) Jehovah Shammah Church International 10:30am Sunday Worship Senior Pastor, Apostle Edna Perkins 6:00pm Sunday Evening Worship

Wednesdays: 7:00pm Adult Bible Study 7:00pm Chosen Generation Coalition “Where Life is for Everyone!” (YouthMartin Ministry 2-17)Williams, Founders & Senior Pastors & Lynnell

One Church, Two Locations • Sundays 5401 N 90th (NW Campus) • 402-502-7752 • Sun Service 9:30 a.m. Corporate Worship 10AM “COME WHERE WE SAY…THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR 3020 Huntington Ave (Main Campus) • (402) 390-6036 Children’sSTRENGTH!” Ministry 10AM (6 Months-5th Grade) Sunday Service 11:30am • Mid-Week Service 6:30pm


Corporate Prayer 6PM Worship & Word 7PM Youth Ministry (6th-12th Grade)

Come experience life at the next level!

103rd & Fort Streets • 402-341-1866 •


Investing in People and Projects

High on the list of unsung heroes in North Omaha’s revitalization is the Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC). Serving the Community since 1977, OEDC has sincerely and earnestly practiced community and economic development in North Omaha because service is central to its mission. OEDC has served because serving is the right thing to do. OEDC has more than three decades of dedicated commitment to North Omaha. OEDC’s mission is “To implement economic development projects and community revitalization programs that create housing, jobs, training, business ownership opportunities and other economic benefits for area residents.” OEDC partnered with NIFA, the Empowerment Network, the City of Omaha and others in the development of a comprehensive North Omaha Revitalization Plan. With OEDC’s leadership the plan is moving forward. In 2011, as a major part of the rebuilding process, OEDC constructed four new healthy, green homes in the Prospect Hills area and substantially rehabilitated The Margaret; making it the State’s first energy independent, multi-family, affordable housing complex. Recently OEDC completed the first phase of the $12 million Fair Deal Urban Village. The next phase will include the Fair Deal Plaza. OEDC has been one of the primary partners with the Empowerment Network’s Great Summer Jobs program and Step Up Omaha. Over 3,000 youth and young adults have been connected with work experience and employment opportunities since 2008.

Omaha Economic Development Corporation

Michael B. Maroney, President • 2221 North 24 Street • Omaha 402-346-2300 •

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