OMAHA – A successful summer employment program for Omaha youth will be expanding under new leadership next year.
Beginning in 2016, SummerWorks will take on new sponsorship – and a new name, too.
The program will now be known as OmahaWorks Academy and transition from management by University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to management by Omaha Public Schools (OPS).
“OPS has excellent resources for expansion of the program in size and focus,” said Kathe Oleson Lyons, UNO’s director of Civic and Social Responsibility. “UNO will support OPS during the transition year and plans to be an active partner providing educational opportunities for program participants into the future.”
Oleson Lyons said the change is being made due to the support OPS can provide in terms of infrastructure and new funding opportunities.
OPS promises the OmahaWorks Academy will continue the important mission of summer employment for youth while at the same time expanding opportunities for youth until graduation.
“We’re excited about the future of the program as OmahaWorks Academy,” OPS spokesman Todd Andrews said, “and look forward to many positive outcomes for OPS students going forward.”
UNO has demonstrated to the community and nationally, after five years of successful programming, that summer employment programs can build and strengthen the community through employment and development of urban high school youth
- Kathe Oleson Lyons (UNO Office of Civic and Social Responsibility)
Created in 2011, SummerWorks was designed as a nine-week summer employment academy for select high school students. This program gives students an opportunity to earn a summer income and learn how to be successful in the workplace.
Participants have worked with the City of Omaha Parks and Recreation – as well as local nonprofits – in efforts such as city beautification, flood prevention efforts and storm cleanup, and transforming neighborhood parks.
All told, more than 700 high school students have completed the program and provided more than 200,000 collective hours of direct service to the Omaha area- all while gaining valuable work experience.
“UNO has demonstrated to the community and nationally, after five years of successful programming, that summer employment programs can build and strengthen the community through employment and development of urban high school youth,” Oleson Lyons said. “UNO, as a metropolitan university, represents what higher education and community partnerships in all sectors can accomplish. It has been an honor to work in partnership with our many civic-minded sponsors, partners and donors to build and sustain the opportunities for our youth – our future community citizens.”
As the program grows, UNO will continue to provide educational opportunities to students as a partner to the program, through exposing participants to higher education and workforce opportunities.
For information on OmahaWorks Academy, please email email@example.com.
To learn more about the history of SummerWorks, visit www.unomaha.edu/student-life/civic-and-social-responsibility/summerworks.
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About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.