On Wednesday, Oct. 25, UNO and the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha are partnering for their biennial workshop, “Running and Winning,” a nonpartisan workshop that will give more than 60 high school students the chance to learn from current and former elected officials about their experience in politics.
Students from Omaha Central High School, Omaha South High School, Westside High School and Northwest High School will be participating in the workshop alongside current and former representatives from the Nebraska State Legislature; Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties; Nebraska Board of Education; OPPD Board of Governors; and the city councils of Omaha, Ashland, Papillion and La Vista.
The event, which will take place at the Thompson Alumni Center on UNO’s Dodge Campus, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is closed to the public, but open to members of the media.
“It’s wonderful to watch the young women and the elected officials discuss not only how they ran for office, but why they ran and what they found rewarding about serving,” said Ann Chalson, vice president of the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha. “One of my favorite parts of the process is reading the comments the students make at the end of the day, both the high school students and the college students who helped put the program together and acted as mentors. They all walk away from the day with a better understanding of the process of running for office and an appreciation for elected officials and the jobs they do.”
At the workshop, high school students will pick a politician to interview, after which, the students will work in small groups to produce their own mock political campaigns, including speeches and slogans, about a public policy issue currently being discussed in Nebraska, which they will present at the end of the session.
For the last two months, UNO public speaking students have helped prepare policy briefs for the high school students and coordinated event logistics for the workshop. At the event, UNO students will work with participating high school students on their mock campaign speeches.
This is the sixth year of the Running and Winning workshop, a P-16 service learning project from UNO’s Service Learning Academy. The P-16 Initiative facilitates partnerships between three key groups:
- UNO students and their teachers
- Preschool-through-high school students and their teachers
- Community organizations and their members
Through these service-learning partnerships, P-16 brings the classroom into the community through application of education to find solutions to real-life problems.
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.