Focus on People: Nebraska’s Afterschool Ambassador and Afterschool Champion

Nebraska’s Afterschool Ambassador participates in the Afterschool for All Challenge

Gwyn Williams, the Director of Programs at Omaha’s Collective for Youth and Nebraska’s Afterschool Ambassador, recently participated in the Afterschool for All Challenge in Washington DC on May 22nd.  The Challenge brought the unique and powerful voices of afterschool leaders and champions from communities across the nation to Capitol Hill to educate Congress about how afterschool programs keep our kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.  Gwyn met face to face with Nebraska Members of Congress and their staff to urge them to co-sponsor the Afterschool for America’s Children Act.

The Afterschool Alliance’s Afterschool Ambassador program identifies afterschool providers and advocates of special achievement and helps them raise their voices in support of afterschool.  The Alliance provides training, technical support, and modest funding for their Ambassadorial activities throughout the school year—coordinating a major Lights On Afterschool community event; collaborating with providers, advocates, business and community leaders to promote afterschool; and reaching out to policy makers and the media on afterschool issues.

Senator Rick Kolowski, Nebraska’s 2014 Afterschool Champion  

During the Afterschool for All Challenge, eleven leaders from around the nation were recognized for their work to support Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) programs , including afterschool and summer programs, in their states. Among the leaders selected was our very own Rick Kolowski, a first term Senator from the Omaha Metro area. Before being elected to the Senate, Senator Kolowski was the founding principal of Millard West High School, which had one of the state’s highest rates of student participation in extracurricular activities. Senator Kolowski has been an active champion of afterschool and summer programming in his first two years in the Legislature. He has authored legislation resulting in two separate Education Committee hearings and calling for a study of how we can support and maintain high quality ELO programs in communities across Nebraska.

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