Dec 03, 2019 2:14 AM

Snow-Redfern Foundation awards 86 'At-Risk Youth' grants

Posted Dec 03, 2019 2:14 AM

Alliance – The Snow-Redfern Foundation has selected eighty-six (86) non-profit human service organizations across Nebraska to receive grant funds that will address disparities and provide direct support for young people facing various economic, emotional, educational, family and/or other challenges. Those receiving awards, and their corresponding grant focus for 2020, can be found on the Snow-Redfern Foundation Facebook page until the new website (currently being developed) goes live at the end of December.

“In the annual review of grant applications, the foundation commits to being wise stewards of the funds that our founder, Arvilla Snow-Redfern, established to provide services to meet the needs, education and/or training of disadvantaged youth”, said Board President Susan Unzicker.

Executive Director, Sara Nicholson, stated “Coupled with the need to be wise stewards of funds, we adamantly believe in the potential of all young people and aim to support organizations that create opportunities for them to become thriving adults.” Nicholson took the lead of the foundation in February of 2019, following the retirement of long-time Executive Director, Stan Bills. Bills and Nicholson have teamed up to translate the rich history of the foundation and its roots as the Nebraska Boys Ranch into a relevant model that reaches this generation of young people. 

Sara further shares, “the first document I read from Arvilla reiterated my decision to join the foundation’s cause. Arvilla was a strong, independent, hard-working visionary that intended to help young people find their way in this world. The forward to her will spoke eloquently of how the foundation should be used as a means of expression of good will. It was a call-out for all of us to ‘help those who need a home, encouragement and training for the time when they (youth) shall be called upon to meet the world as they shall find it”’, said Nicholson.  

Though the vision and mission drive the grant selection, the process was very arduous this year, due to the presentation of unmet basic needs in many of the applications. 

“A staggering 29% of grant applications requested this year were to address childhood food insecurity issues, with an additional 20% including food and other basic needs as a component of their request”, said Grant Committee Chairperson, Ellen Lierk. “It quickly became apparent during the grant review that we needed to identify how the foundation could be part of a more comprehensive solution that included the community and addressed the multitude of complexities in new and innovative ways”.  

Upon the Snow-Redfern Foundation board making the final decision on November 5th to award the 86 grants across the state, a plan was also put into place to begin addressing root causes and to develop funding infrastructure that more adequately addresses outcomes. 

About the Snow-Redfern Foundation

In 1951, Arvilla Snow-Redfern created a home for orphaned, homeless, neglected and underprivileged youth and believed every young person needed home, encouragement, and training. As the foundation translates her original intent to be relevant in today’s world, the spirit and her vision are closely maintained to ensure the Nebraska Boys Ranch history continues to enrich the culture of the foundation. Though the target population has historically been defined as “at-risk, disadvantaged, or disconnected youth”, Snow-Redfern Foundation emphasizes the importance of using asset-focused language and now refers to the target population as “opportunity youth”.  

Snow-Redfern Foundation no longer provides direct services, but instead awards grant funds to human-service organizations that aid in achieving a shared goal for young people. This is accomplished through intentional planning, identification, support, and funding of outcome-focused projects and programs that center around assisting young people to develop into thriving adults.

2019/2020 Snow-Redfern Foundation Award Winners: 

-Girl Scouts of NE

-CASA Connections 


-Youth for Christ

-Northfield Assembly of God


-NE Family Support Network

-Trails West CASA

-United Way of Western NE

-YWCA Adams County

-South West NE Public Health Department

-Arts in Motion

-Lexington Public School Backpack Program

-African Culture Connection

-Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries

-Dawson County Parent-Child Protective Services Inc

-Western Community Health Resources

-Panhandle Partnership

-Franklin County CASA

-Kids Cupboard

-Grace Children's Home

-CASA of South-Central Nebraska

-CASA for York County

-Siouxland Human Investment Partnership

-The Open Table- Food4Thought

-Orphans and Widows of Omaha

-TeamMates of Bridgeport

-Chadron Community Recreation

-Valley Youth Connections 

-Courteous Kids

-Alliance Young Life

-Dawson County CASA

-Alliance Recreation Center

-CASA of Northeast Nebraska

--Filmore County CASA

Youth & Families for Christ, Inc

-Friends of the Bridgeport Public Library


-TeamMates of Scotts Bluff County

-Carnegie Arts Center INC

-Willard Community Center

-Alliance Public Schools Alternative Education

-Alliance Recreation Center (#2)

-Families CARE, Inc

-Families 1st Partnership

-Collective for Youth

-Ancova Empowerment Project

-Omaha Conservatory of Music

-Panhandle Public Health District

-Cool Kids Club

-Teen Reach Adventure Camp-Hastings/GI

-YWCA of Grand Island

-Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska

-Kearney TRAC

-Bravehearts Equine 



-Lexington Public School (2)

-Voices for Children in Nebraska

Senca CASA

-Camp Scott

-Nebraska Humanities

-Teen Reach Lincoln

-Brookside Church

-Mystic Rhoads Productions, Inc

-Nebraska Children and Families Foundation

-Prarie Loft Center

-CASA of South-Central Nebraska

-Parent to Parent Network

-Adams County Diversion-CASA

-Carpenter Center

-Camp Rock

-Mediation West

-Todd Becker Foundation

-Families Inspiring Families

-Choices (#1)

-Choices (#2)

-Royal Family Kids Camp

-Cirrus House, INC (#1)

-Cirrus House, INC (#2)

-Banister Leadership Academy

-The Zone Afterschool Program, LLC 

-Teen Reach Adventure Camp-Omaha

-Plains West CASA

-Lexington Public School (#3)

-Family Navigation Program-CASA