Our mission is to impact families and change lives by supporting youth to reach their full potential.
Minority youth and families in the Lincoln, Nebraska community face unique challenges that require unique programming. According to the U.S. Census, households of color in Lancaster County represent 33.8% of those living in poverty, despite making up just 19.5% of the total population. Likewise, the Kids Count 2020 data report shows that children of color in Lancaster County experience poverty at disproportionate rates, with 34.9% of children of color living in poverty compared to 22.5% of all children.
Living in these under-resourced environments, young people often begin school with fewer basic academic and social-emotional skills. Consistent exposure to poverty and socioeconomic factors such as low or inconsistent family income have been shown to impact language, cognitive, and social-emotional development. Likewise, youth and families in high-poverty areas face barriers to accessing social services, such as mental and physical health care, and other social supports that are vital to wellbeing.
VY strives to serve minority youth and families who are facing these exaggerated challenges in ways that foster more equitable opportunities for success. We strive to provide culturally relevant programming that is accessible, comfortable, and direct enough to ensure that basic needs are met while broad enough to foster hope, a future orientation, and connections that may typically be out of reach for many young people.