Women Investing in Nebraska grants will support Nebraska law students who advocate for children and help grow pipeline for rural healthcare

LINCOLN, Nebraska — Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) announced awards totaling $220,684 to two programs at its annual awards ceremony Oct. 4. Grants were awarded to the University of Nebraska College of Law Children’s Justice Clinic, which provides legal representation to vulnerable Nebraska children; and to a Nebraska Panhandle Area Health Education Center program, which seeks to grow the rural healthcare workforce pipeline.

WIN members contributed personally to make the grants possible. Its membership is comprised of women in and outside Nebraska who, through their collective giving, address issues that matter to Nebraskans.

“This year WIN is able to make two grants of more than $100,000 each in support of two worthy projects that will have lasting, positive impacts for many individuals in Nebraska. I greatly appreciate the commitment of the members of our 259-member network from Nebraska and beyond who make this possible,” said WIN Chair Meg Lauerman.

WIN Grants Chair Jaci Lindburg, Ph.D., said that this year, the organization received 116 grant applicants, the highest number in its 12-year history.

“We are thrilled to see such incredible projects from across the state of Nebraska seeking support for their efforts, and it is humbling to be able to align our funding to proposals that apply bold new ideas and approaches to important issues in our state,” Lindburg said.


Grant to fund social worker for Children’s Justice Clinic

The Children’s Justice Clinic, a partnership between the College of Law and the Center on Children, Families, and the Law, was awarded a $110,342 grant to provide a social worker to partner with law students who advocate for children in juvenile court, serving as guardians ad litem. Most cases involve family situations that include domestic violence, neglect, unsafe housing and substance abuse.

Michelle Paxton, director of the Children’s Justice Clinic, said the clinic has changed the landscape of child representation in Nebraska since it launched in 2017.

“We train future attorneys using a holistic advocacy approach which includes training in trauma, substance use, domestic violence and other complex circumstances often involved in juvenile court cases,” Paxton said. “The support from Women Investing in Nebraska will allow us to partner with an in-house social worker, further enhancing clinic students’ ability to advocate for the state’s most vulnerable children.”

Grant to fund western Nebraska program to engage youths

The Nebraska Panhandle Area Health Education Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, will use its $110,342 grant for a program that seeks to grow the healthcare workforce pipeline in rural and underserved parts of Nebraska.

The program, called “Connecting Students to Healthcare Opportunities,” serves 500 youths in 17 western Nebraska counties, offering fun and educational hands-on healthcare-focused experiences. Its goal is to grow the healthcare workforce to improve health outcomes for citizens in rural Panhandle communities.

“The team at the Nebraska Panhandle Area Health Education Center was absolutely thrilled and humbled to be selected as this year’s Women Investing in Nebraska’s nonprofit recipient,” said Tammy Fehringer, executive director of the center. “We could not be happier for the communities and students of the Nebraska Panhandle and how the Connecting Students to Healthcare Opportunities program will connect students to healthcare careers for long-term sustainability of healthcare providers in rural, western Nebraska communities.”


Since WIN formed in 2011, the organization has grown from 20 members to 259 members and awarded more than $1.9 million in grants to 24 organizations.

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 womeninvestinginnebraska.org.