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Omaha Northwest students travel to Washington, D.C. as part of Nebraska Civic Leadership Program

College Possible high school students Matthew Brown, Blut Thaw and Has (Amber) Paw Moo of Omaha Northwest High Magnet School stand in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. The three were selected for the Nebraska Civic Leadership Program that teaches public high school students about local, state and federal government and the role of an active citizen.

Three aspiring and ambitious College Possible students participated in the Nebraska Civic Leadership Program and traveled to the nation’s capital in June.

Seniors Matthew Brown, Blut Thaw and Hsa (Amber) Paw Moo of Omaha Northwest High Magnet School were selected for the NCLP. The program teaches public high school students about local, state and federal government and the role of an active citizen.

Amber said the program was valuable to her in her understanding of the country and democracy. When she was about 7 years old, her family immigrated from Thailand to the United States.

“My parents, they don’t really know about the government, so this was a great opportunity for me to go with the school and see what was there in the capital.”

Only 21 students were selected into the Nebraska Civic Leadership Program, now in its 10th year. Students were required to write an essay and apply for entry. College Possible AmeriCorps coach Brianna Ridenour said each student was gifted, hard-working and had a “go-getter” mentality.

Matthew plays varsity baseball, serves as a graphic design co-chair and has potential to be a great leader; Blut is involved in JROTC, volunteers on boards and is an extremely engaged and active learner; and Amber plays varsity soccer, involved in student council and is open to trying new things and asking for help, Brianna said.

“They aren’t afraid to take risks and try something new outside their comfort zone.”

During their junior year, students learned about the college admission process and worked on increasing their exam scores.

“We did a lot of research in College Possible, and Bri helped me raise my ACT score and put confidence in me. She believed in us even though we did not believe in ourselves. I wouldn’t be where I am without her,” Amber said.

Amber plans on going to University of Nebraska Lincoln to study athletic training.

“I just want a better future for myself and my family. I want to be able to support my family and achieve more. Because life is all about setting goals, achieving them and college is one of them.”

NCLP is a partnership between University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha Public Schools and the Sherwood Foundation.

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