Parent Ambassador Program

The Parent Ambassador Program is a year-long leadership and advocacy program for parents of early learners in Nebraska. The goal of this program is to develop parent leaders and support them in advocating for their children, themselves, and their communities.

Elevating Parent and Provider Voices in Nebraska

When it comes to creating impactful change for Nebraska’s youngest children, parents and early childhood educators are the most authentic and most affected groups needed at the table. The Parent Ambassador program was created to support these essential voices in advocating for their children, themselves, and their communities. Each year, a cohort of up to 20 parents of young children and child care providers are selected to participate in this year-long leadership and advocacy program.

Group photo of Parent Ambassadors at the capitol

During the program, Parent Ambassadors

  • Learn the ins and outs of advocacy
  • Meet with community organizations
  • Set personal and program goals
  • Network with other Parent Ambassadors
  • Receive a stipend for participation
  • Attend legislative sessions
  • Participate in program events & more


Parent Leader Outcomes

Evaluation Survey Results 2021 – 2022

As part of evaluating program impact, the inaugural class of Parent Ambassadors were surveyed at the beginning and end of their program year. In addition to changes in civic attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors, the majority of parents reported that, as a direct result of Parent Ambassadors, they had thought about or taken steps to make changes in their personal lives.

Mission, Vision & Values

Parent Ambassadors acquire knowledge about civic and community engagement and develop leadership skills to advocate for themselves, their families, and others to create positive change in early learning programs, schools, and communities. 

All families feel empowered regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status to engage in the process of policy & decision-making at local, state, and federal levels that affect their children’s outcomes and family well-being.

Parents bring truth to public policy and are invaluable to civic discourse.

Parents are leaders in their families, programs, and communities.

Parents are not a problem to be fixed.

Parents are the drivers of solutions to societal problems.

Every parent starts in a different place and has a different trajectory.

We welcomed our first class of Parent Ambassadors in 2022. This first group set the bar for future classes and has documented some incredible achievements throughout their ambassadorship.

  • Thalia Wilson | Chadron, NE
  • Madison Reiman | Fremont, NE
  • Junior Sanabria | Gering, NE
  • Ashley Schmit | Lincoln, NE
  • Jess Parker | Lincoln, NE
  • Shannon Hampson | Lincoln, NE
  • Amy Boyer | Omaha, NE
  • Ashley Palumbo | Omaha, NE
  • Brandie Hollingsworth | Omaha, NE
  • Jes Felder | Omaha, NE
  • Khe’Yana Overstreet | Omaha, NE
  • LaTonya Richardson Orduna | Omaha, NE
  • Olivia Beasley | Omaha, NE
  • Robin Wilkins | Omaha, NE
  • Kelsee Sayer | Peru, NE
  • Tana Eddy | Republican City, NE
  • Steph Gochoel | Scottsbluff, NE

Our inaugural class of Parent Ambassadors had the opportunity to meet with several organizations and stakeholders to learn about advocacy, legislation, and important initiatives happening across Nebraska. They also had the opportunity to visit the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln to hear floor debates, meet with Senators, and learn more about the legislative process and how to contact their lawmakers.

2022 Successes

There were many exciting initiatives and events that our Parent Ambassadors took part in during their ambassadorship. Below are some of the highlights:

  • Two Ambassadors attended the first National Parent Ambassador Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Spoke on a panel for the We Care for Kids Campaign
  • Spoke on a panel at the Thriving Children, Families, and Communities conference
  • Met with Children’s Hospital Board to discuss the change of screening policy for parental mental health​
  • Participated in the Nemaha County Childcare Provider Gallery Walk, working on meeting with her senator​
  • Sits on the Parent Policy Council for EHS covering Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan and Cherry Counties​
  • Shared her family’s story with the Omaha Reader​
  • Testified for LB838 and LB702​
  • Held a voting registration party before the Nebraska primaries​
  • Worked with a local nonprofit to expand resources for Hispanic families in Scotts Bluff County​
  • Met with Senator Dorn to share concerns, ideas, and offer solutions. Also joined the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Program as a member of their Family Voice Committee​

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