Community Impact Award: Omaha Home for Boys

Aug 9, 2023 | Community, Core Bank, Omaha


Omaha Home for Boys (OHB) was awarded the Core Bank Community Impact Award for the second quarter with a gift of $5,000. They were selected among several other applicants also very worthy of the award. The Committee’s focus is on where “real impact” can be seen and measured, and Omaha Home for Boys marked those boxes.

The OHB School serves high school aged boys who are enrolled in our Residential Living Program. The mission of Omaha Home for Boys is to provide opportunities for students from all backgrounds to help them reach their full academic potential. One way they accomplish this is through the educational services provided at their OHB school. Every youth enrolled in the Residential Living Program attends the OHB School. The school helps previously disengaged students, with limited prospects of graduation, improve their academic outlook.

Funding from Core Bank will be used to purchase curriculum for students at the OHB School. Students utilize two forms of curriculum: Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS) and Acellus. PASS is a selfpaced, learner-centered, competency-based learning system with each course packet costing $70. Acellus is an online program utilized by students at the OHB School and its licenses cost approximately $12,500 annually. Both instruction methods allow students to accrue graduation credits quickly, keeping them motivated to graduate. Additionally, the funds will go towards purchasing STAR testing assessments which cost approx. $3,700/year. The Giving Category is our Bright Futures.

Jeff DeWispelare, President and CEO of OHB said, “OHB testing is a requirement of the State, but the State doesn’t give 100% help, so it’s donors like Core Bank that help them achieve this.”

The objective of the OHB School is to reconnect youth to school before their disconnection becomes permanent and does irreparable harm. Behavioral issues that are interfering with school performance are addressed and corrected. The educational services provided increase the likelihood that youth will be able to graduate from high school or obtain their GED and experience a successful transition to adulthood.

The OHB School is designed to improve academic performance, reduce absenteeism, and move youth closer to grade-level expectations. As a result of the services provided by the OHB School, youth are more likely to complete their educations or obtain a GED, helping them enjoy a lifetime of positive benefits.

The school offers students unique supports that they greatly need, yet most often did not receive, in public school settings. In addition to the focus on credit recovery and accrual at the OHB School, a high emphasis is also placed on shaping behaviors. A Youth Advocate is present in every classroom and helps students learn proper behavior when faced with frustrating situations and provides positive reinforcement for practicing good behavior. A few aspects of our OHB School have grown and evolved since we applied for the Bright Futures grant last year:

  • The OHB School is now serving youth from OHB’s Crisis Stabilization Program, not just those enrolled in the Residential Living Program. Youth in the Crisis Stabilization Program have been removed from their home due to a crisis. It’s a short-term program that serves as an alternative to detention and provides a safe, therapeutic environment in which the youth can stabilize. The OHB School allows youth in this program to continue their education while they work to reunify with their family or another safe living arrangement.
  • The OHB School has incorporated our newly launched Skilled Trades Program into its curriculum and students can now earn a school credit in Life Skills and Career Readiness. The Skilled Trades Program introduces skilled trades, such as welding, plumbing, and automotive, to students and gives them hands-on work experience.
  • The OHB School has enhanced its physical education curriculum and students can now earn a P.E. credit.

As a result of the behavioral and academic interventions provided by the OHB School, it is anticipated that by successful program completion, students will experience:

  • Reductions in unexcused absences and instances of truancy
  • Improved GPA
  • Improved literacy and numeracy skills which move youth closer to grade-level expectations
  • Increased credits accrued toward graduation requirements
  • Improved overall academic functioning and reduced behavioral issues

The Core Bank Community Impact Award reflects a deeper commitment to improving economic prosperity, especially for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses. Core Bank is dedicated to building healthier, more resilient, better connected, and inclusive communities throughout our footprint.