Each year, Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy Awards recognize Nebraskans whose work embodies the spirit of a modern, robust democracy. Our 2018 honorees include educators, administrators, students and everyday Nebraskans. We officially honor the winners April 12. Before then, here’s a chance to learn a bit more about what makes them special.
Outstanding Student Leaders
Civic Nebraska annually honors student leaders in schools where we have after-school programs. Today we feature two of our four 2018 student honorees – JaiLynn Gragg and Eathyn Schroeder, both of Campbell Elementary School in Lincoln.
JaiLynn, a fifth-grader, is a member of the Campbell Elementary Student Council as a representative of Jacob Wolf’s class. JaiLynn wrote a skit on the topic of bullying that was performed by the student council at a school assembly. JaiLynn is also in the “L2,” or Learning Together, program. L2 pairs a fifth-grade student with a third grader to increase the younger student’s literacy skill.
JaiLynn also participates in after-school groups like Smart Girls Club, a partnering club from the YWCA focusing on engaging young women in STEM.
“JaiLynn is not only a terrific example to others at school, but she is an excellent big sister to her younger brother Jayston; she is always encouraging him and including him during before- and after-school programs,” said Emily Koopmann, Civic Nebraska’s site director for the Campbell Community Learning Center.
Eathyn, also a fifth-grader, was a representative on Campbell’s student council from Emily Milana’s class in fall 2017. Eathyn represented Campbell at a Lincoln Public Schools Board meeting as highlighted the annual “Lights On” event. He also has been involved in a variety of after-school clubs including Karaoke Club, Cheer Club, Dance Club, Quilting Club, Boy Scouts, and Rap Club. Club instructors praise Eathyn’s willingness to participate and learn.
“Eathyn is always willing to help a student, or an adult, during the school day and during Community Learning Center time,” Koopmann said. “If you spend any time with Eathyn you are immediately infected by his contagious smile and positive attitude.”
Meet JaiLynn Gragg, Eathyn Schroeder and their fellow honorees at this year’s Strengthening Democracy Awards on April 12 at Chez Hay in Lincoln. Get your tickets here.