What is your mission statement?
NEO (New Events & Opportunities) empowers youth to make healthy lifestyle choices by providing a safe environment that encourages youth success and contributes to a healthier community.
What is your nonprofit’s history?
NEO began in the summer of 2008 as the youth sector of the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County and became its own nonprofit in 2013. NEO was created to go beyond traditional substance abuse prevention efforts by actively engaging young people to make healthy choices through positive alternative activities, while addressing the key root causes of substance use and abuse in fun and meaningful ways for young people.
Who is your primary audience?
Youth up to the age of 25, primarily 12-18.
We have a yearly event attendance of 7,000 people (includes duplicates) and work directly with approximately 200 youth.
List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history (up to three).
— Spoke at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., in 2012.
— Assisted young people in overcoming substance abuse by providing a positive resource in their lives.
— Hosted more than 300 events in our five-year history in more than 50 locations throughout our community.
List the biggest challenges you face (up to three).
Gaining the support and funding needed to create a unique and innovative youth center.
What is your No. 1 short-term goal for the next year?
To secure a location and funds for a youth center.
What is your No. 1 long-term goal for the next three years?
To open a youth center!
What are your major fundraisers and dates?
The NEO Village is an ongoing campaign based on the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” NEO believes that in order for local youth to grow up making healthy lifestyle choices, it will take the whole community. The Village is a way for the community to take a stand for youth by identifying how it can contribute to a youth center, whether financially or by donating time, goods or services. For more information, visit www.ncneo.com/donate.
What is the best way a person interested in your organization could help?
There are many ways to help. The best way is to join the Village and list your skills. We are always looking for volunteers to help with events, fundraising and other activities.
Web Page: www.ncneo.com
Organization Name: NEO (New Events & Opportunities)
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Purpose: To empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices by providing positive alternative activities.
Funding: The Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County – Drug Free Communities Grant, various small grants and fundraising activities.
Center for Nonprofit Leadership member since: 2013
How you’ve benefited from being a member
The workshops have been a great help to us as a startup organization by providing valuable information on fundraising other topics.
Success Story: How your organization has benefited the community:
NEO has provided thousands of local youth with positive pro-social activities. A student at Nevada Union tells the story of how NEO helped him:
“Starting at age 13, I fell into habits of smoking weed and drinking. At first not much was affected. I maintained school and other obligations pretty well, but after about a year, I slipped into more extensive drug use, mainly hallucinogens.
“By my freshman year I had started using heavier substances: ecstasy, PCP, cocaine, and continued to do so extensively. My school work, physical abilities and overall productivity deteriorated exponentially, and I had only a slim thought toward stopping, although I recognized the necessity.
“One summer evening, I was wandering around downtown Grass Valley and stumbled upon the music in the NEO section at the Thursday Night Market. I started meeting people who knew how to have a fun time without getting high or drunk, and it was a new beginning for me.
“I gradually started associating with the NEO crowd rather than my friends using drugs. The NEO group saved my life.”
NEO is a member of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which provides the Union’s Know Your Nonprofit feature. You can learn more about The Center for Nonprofit Leadership at www.CNLSierra.org. CNL is on Facebook www.facebook.com/NevadaCounty NonProfitLeadership and Twitter @NevCoNonprofits.