Each year, Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy Awards recognize Nebraskans whose work embodies the spirit of a modern, robust democracy. Among our 2019 honorees are educators, administrators, students, and everyday Nebraskans. We officially honor the winners May 2, but before then, here’s a chance to learn a bit more about what makes them special.
Community Connector Award
Civic Nebraska honors Bryan Seck, director of workforce development for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, for connecting and advocating with a message of care and compassion. Seck partners with Spreetail and Duncan Aviation to deliver beds to families in need.
“Bryan Seck is exceptional in many ways, but especially in the realm of servant leadership,” said Amanda Barker, Civic Nebraska deputy executive director. “His driving motto, ‘No kids on the floor,’ pushes him to deliver beds and other basic necessities to these families most evenings, not because it’s his job, but because it is his passion to improve our community. He’s both a connector and an activator in the truest sense of the word.”
Seck has built a successful career connecting businesses to agencies that serve people in the community. As the employment skills developer with Prosper Lincoln, he helped create EmployLNK to build efficient communication between businesses and workforce agencies. Before that, Seck was the homeless outreach specialist at Lincoln Public Schools. He is on the boards of Educare, Child Advocacy Center, and The Foundry Community.
“Bryan chose to live in Lincoln a few years ago, and continues to ‘choose’ Lincoln each day with his significant contributions to the community,” Barker said. “He is singlehandedly improving civic health of Lincoln, for specific individuals and the collective community.”
Outstanding Neighborhood Leader
Civic Nebraska honors Beth Menhusen, lead pastor at ConnectioN Point, for being an active community builder in North Central Lincoln.
Menhusen has partnered with Collective Impact Lincoln – a neighborhood-enhancing partnership among Civic Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed, and the South of Downtown Community Development Organization – to create programs that support the economic and social connection of neighbors.
ConnectioN Point was founded in August 2016 as a collaborative ministry between Christ United Methodist Church and Motive-the United Methodist Campus Ministry at Nebraska U. An initial goal was for ConnectioN Point to extend services available on City Campus to East Campus students and staff. This was accomplished by engaging with East Campus students and professors to provide volunteer opportunities with the community, as well as tangible services such as the OpeN Shelf food and hygiene pantry.
Menhusen also facilitates efforts that connect new and established residents in the Clinton and Hartley neighborhoods, said Jose Lemus, Civic Nebraska’s Collective Impact Lincoln community organizer.
“Beth dedicates her life to supporting every member of her community to actively participate in the creation of their society,” Lemus said. “Beth has taken it upon herself to facilitate ESL and Getting Ahead programs that build bridges between communities, and she is a valuable partner in Civic Nebraska’s efforts to support resident-led civic action.”
Meet Bryan, Beth, and their fellow honorees at this year’s Strengthening Democracy Awards on May 2 at The DelRay Ballroom, 817 R St., in Lincoln. Get your tickets here.