WIN grants help UNK with Hispanic college readiness program and Child Advocacy Center with new medical clinic in York

Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) has announced awards totaling $185,100 to two programs at its annual awards ceremony Oct. 17. A grant was awarded to the University of Nebraska at Kearney to support its College Readiness for Hispanics Program, and a grant was awarded to the Child Advocacy Center to develop a new medical clinic in York.

About 225 WIN members contributed personally to make the grants possible, and committee members reviewed proposals in a four-step process culminating in a membership vote for the two recipients. WIN’s membership is comprised of women in and outside Nebraska who, through their collective giving, address issues that matter to Nebraskans.

“WIN members continue to make a significant impact within our state, as seen in the grants we’ve been able to award this year to highly deserving organizations and projects,” WIN Chair Susan Fritz of Crete said. “Each year, we witness the great concern and support that the University of Nebraska and Nebraska’s many nonprofit organizations have for people and communities across our great state.”

WIN Grants Committee Chair Vanessa Denney of Omaha said this year marks the organization’s 11th annual grant awards program.

“WIN seeks out projects that apply bold new ideas and approaches to important issues in our state,” Denney said. “As we study grant proposals, it’s humbling to see such amazing creativity, commitment and compassion.”

Grant helps prepare Hispanic students for college at UNK

The University of Nebraska at Kearney was awarded a grant of $92,550 for its College Readiness for Hispanics Program. The funds will be used to increase college attendance aspiration among Hispanic youth in central Nebraska through targeted community engagement and campus programming by UNK.

Through various planned opportunities, students and their families will learn about higher education and identify career paths through interactive workshops in Lexington, Grand Island and Kearney.

“It’s so important for families and their children to learn early about college and how investing and preparing for higher education can change their lives and communities,” said Kelly Bartling, UNK vice chancellor for enrollment management and marketing. “The generous support of Women Investing in Nebraska helps UNK get students on a college campus, attend leadership and career opportunities and increase our partnership with community organizations to build awareness and confidence in higher education.”

According to the university, Hispanics historically trail other ethnic groups in attending college. About 1 in 8 students attending UNK are Hispanic or Latino/Latina. By 2050, the Hispanic and Latino population in Nebraska is expected to grow to more than 500,000 individuals, an increase of more than 220% and making up almost a quarter of the state’s total population.

Grant helps Child Advocacy Center develop York medical clinic

The Child Advocacy Center will use its $92,550 grant to develop a medical clinic at its satellite location in York.

The center responds to child abuse through a team approach designed to reduce trauma, seek justice and promote hope and healing for children and their families. A key component of its service is ensuring the physical well-being of children after trauma. A new medical clinic in York will provide access to comprehensive medical care for all children served by the center, including those entering the foster care system.

Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Paige Piper said Women Investing in Nebraska is making a significant difference for children who are often unable to receive specialized medical attention.

“This grant will allow us to develop a medical clinic that will serve child victims of abuse and neglect in York and the surrounding counties,” Piper said. “This critical process ensures that children receive a head to toe evaluation to assess their overall health and wellness, are allowed to ask questions about their bodies and receive testing and any treatments needed to heal. We are grateful for this opportunity to provide care for the most vulnerable in our community.”

The Child Advocacy Center was founded as a nonprofit in Lincoln in 1996 and two years later began serving the community by assisting law enforcement agencies with a formalized response to cases of child sexual abuse in southeast Nebraska. In its first year it served 30 children from Lancaster County and now serves more than 1,000 children a year in its 16-county service area.

Each year the number of children the center serves has increased. This is partially due to the training and increased knowledge of child sexual assault cases and reporting laws and partially due to multidisciplinary teams seeing the value of bringing cases involving children to the center.

About Women Investing in Nebraska

WIN operates in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation and the UNF Charitable Gift Fund to support women philanthropists. The UNF Charitable Gift Fund is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Nebraska Foundation. It provides options for donors to support the University of Nebraska as well as other worthwhile charitable causes in their community or across the country. For information on becoming a WIN member, contact WIN Director Morgan Holen at 402-458-1254 or 800-432-3216, or visit

Contact: Robb Crouch, University of Nebraska Foundation, 402-458-1142,