Strive to Thrive Lincoln, a grant project aimed at local non-profits and initiated by students in the Leading People and Project Management (MNGT 411) course, awarded $10,000 in December 2015 to recipients Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach ($5,000), Court Appointed Special Advocates ($2,500) and Lincoln Literacy ($2,500). Funds are made available through the Learning by Giving Foundation which partners with colleges and universities around the United States to distribute the grants. Doris Buffett founded the philanthropic venture.
Drew Oliver, from Omaha, Nebraska, who graduated last spring with a business administration degree, participated in the class project. He said statistical information from a study called Lincoln Vital Signs helped guide the students’ decisions to fund organizations which focused on helping the homeless.
“Helping children and homelessness were at the top of the needs list for Lincoln,” said Oliver. “As we went through the evaluation process we looked at what organizations we could select that would make the greatest impact. The Lincoln Vital Signs information which stressed poverty and its impact on children kept coming back to us.”
The fall 2016 MGNT 411 class decided to put an even greater emphasis on seeking non-profits which directly impact the lives of children in Lincoln and Lancaster County. Amber Messersmith, lecturer of management, teaches the class and believes she learns from it along with her students.
“Students learn a great deal about the community and real issues faced on a daily basis,” Messersmith said. “They become more aware of the needs around them going forward, regardless of where they live. The process changes perspectives and makes us grateful for opportunities and resources available.”