Guest Blog: Why I Give to Civic Nebraska


By TJ McDowell, Civic Nebraska Board Member and Lincoln resident

I give because I love Lincoln and want to make it better!

I am a lifelong Lincoln resident. I am proud product of Lincoln Public Schools (Lincoln High Class of 1990). I spent the first 20 years of my career as a local nonprofit administrator. In 2011 I left the nonprofit sector to work for Lincoln Public Schools on an initiative to increase graduation rates. In 2014, I joined Nebraska Wesleyan University as the Assistant Dean of Students. My entire professional career has been dedicated to providing young people with services, opportunities, and supports so they can be engaged citizens.

I joined Nebraskan’s for Civic Reform’s (Civic Nebraska) Board of Directors in 2014 so I could continue to serve our community. Civic Nebraska recognizes the importance of youth involvement in our community and government. Young people are the future of our communities, making their input, ideas and concerns vital to the success and prosperity of Lincoln. Civic Nebraska’s innovative programs engage Lincoln’s youth at all ages, instilling in them the desire and skills to be involved and work every day to improve their community. From running the Community Learning Center at Dawes Middle School to partnering with UNL’s Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication department to engage undergraduate, high school, and middle school students in meaningful community projects, Civic Nebraska staff work to provide substantive service learning curriculum for all students in Lincoln, across a wide range of grade levels and subject areas.

Civic Nebraska not only works to get youth involved, they ensure that once they are engaged their elected officials and democratic institutions are open and available – that they’re not prevented from participating in elections. This past legislative session Civic Nebraska once again led the charge against and helped defeat proposed voter ID legislation.

I’m donating to Civic Nebraska because it is an investment – an investment in the youth in our community and preservation of their right to get involved. Join me by making a contribution to Civic Nebraska on Give to Lincoln Day:

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