Students in the Leading People and Projects MNGT 411 class at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration awarded grants totaling $10,000 to two local non-profit organizations focused on impacting the lives of children in Lincoln and Lancaster County on November 29. Strive to Thrive, the name of the student-coordinated grant project, is guided by CBA Lecturer Dr. Amber Messersmith and funds are provided by the Learning by Giving Foundation, founded by Doris Buffett, sister of CBA graduate Warren Buffett ’51.
Funds were available to non-profit organizations in the community. To be eligible to receive a grant, the organizations must have federal 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt charitable organization and impacting area children must be a focus of their mission. Applicants outlined what made their organization unique, the expected reach of their project and their ability to execute the project. Students learned how to initiate funding, create proposals, evaluate applications and also were directly responsible for awarding the $10,000 in grant funding. A reception at Nebraska’s Champions Club honored the grant recipients.
Char Cole of Still Waters Equestrian Academy of Hickman, Nebraska, accepted a $6,000 grant. The funds will supply saddles in their new therapeutic riding program, Morning Star Riding Center, for children of all abilities. The academy’s mission is to share the passion for riding with all. The new riding center will expand their mission to help youth with physical or emotional disabilities.
“Our goal is never to turn anyone away. With a grant like this, we’ll be able to get the equipment we need to make that goal a reality for riders of any ability.”
Officer Shannon Karl of the Lincoln Police Department accepted a $4,000 grant, to expand programs that purchase bicycles for local youth, as well as their Christmas adopt-a-family program.
“In the past, the LPD has worked with Lincoln Public Schools to identify families in need. LPD has been able to donate 15 bikes in partnership with Cycle Works of Lincoln and sponsor one family for the holidays. This includes gifts for the kids and a holiday meal provided by Trader Joe’s. In 2016 we’re sponsoring three families and donating 25 bikes. It’s such a gift to the community to be able to expand the program like this.”
Tyler Zeller, a class member and senior business administration major from Omaha, described his experience as a unique educational opportunity that allows students to have a tangible impact in the community.
“We invested ourselves in the due diligence required to ensure success. We conducted hours of preliminary research, investigating dozens of potential nonprofits around Lincoln, reviewing 45 initial applications and personally visiting 16 finalists at their facilities,” said Zellers. “I was very interested in the passion each of these organizations poured into their pursuits, and I was genuinely interested in what they had to say so it was very easy for us to discuss at length the great works which they envisioned.”
For more information on Strive to Thrive, visit http://cba.unl.edu/strivetothrive
Facebook Photo Album of Award Ceremony