Do you know someone who is doing exceptional things for our community? Nominate them as a 2019 Change Maker. A Change Maker is someone making a positive, innovative and powerful change in our community and beyond.
Let’s take a look back at the 2018 Change Makers. These individuals made huge impacts in their communities, both influential and moving.
2018 Change Makers
Jay is an all-around mega-star working at Mutual of Omaha as the Community Affairs Coordinator and overseeing programs like Kids Crusin Kitchen’ which was featured on a PBS special. Jay is also a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands through Midlands Mentoring Partnership. Jay works with Employee Resource Groups to help them expand their community outreach efforts and civic engagement. On top of all that, Jay also works to bridge the private sector with the nonprofit sector to create change and open opportunities for those who want to make an impact.
Brevan is a young student at UNO doing big things. In February of 2017, Brevan created his own self-driving car with nothing more than $1,000 dollars, his Honda Civic, and some YouTube tutorial videos. This went viral and eventually made it into the online tech magazine the MIT Technology Review. Beyond this viral sensation, Brevan has also pushed the entire University of Nebraska system to be more efficient and innovative in the way the use student IDs, convincing the chancellor of UNO to consider his idea. Brevan is focused on using technology to make a positive impact on the community and advance Omaha as a tech hub of the future.
Ashlei co-created the Young Black & Influential (YBI) Awards to celebrate African Young Professionals making a difference in the community. When she realized that there wasn’t enough recognition of Black YPs in Omaha, a mentor challenged her to be the change she wanted to see, and she rose to the challenge and created YBI, highlighting many Black YPs in the midst of a time when there are so many challenging disparities working against YPs in the Black community in Omaha. She also has worked tirelessly to help change things like hiring practices and workplace culture around Diversity & Inclusion with her own business.
Her whole life, Sarah wanted to open her own business. The fact that her great-grandfather, a Russian immigrant, arrived in the United States with only $17 in his pocket, inspired her to pursue her dream, and in 2015 Sarah opened Four Sisters Boutique in Rockbrook Village at the age of 25. Starting with just her, she now employs 13 people. In an age where brick and mortar stores are shuttering, Sarah has boldly and successfully proven that millennials are not ‘killing’ retail stores, and can even open and own a sustainable traditional business with enough tenacity and perseverance. The Jewish Press noted ‘You only have to spend a few moments in her [Sarah’s] company to know she has a vision that is inspired, carefully planned, and comes gift-wrapped.’ Sarah is a great role model for any young person, especially women, who want to strike out on their own and create something.
Luis is the co-founder of Crumb, a technology company that creates software for the Healthcare industry that saves lives by creating human experiences with adaptive software for hospitals. His company was recently featured in CreativeMorning where he talked about his family’s story of rags to riches and the importance of pioneering new things through uncharted waters. Luis has started multiple startups and it’s hard not to be inspired by him when he talks about how his father challenged him by saying ‘A land without giants is not worth conquering’ and how he really aims to change how society works, which led him to start Crumb in 2013.