NEO launches youth leadership group |

NEO launches youth leadership group

NEO members help a high school student with their swing dance school project. NEO will launch a program for middle school students this week.
Submitted to The Union |

New Events and Opportunities, a local youth group also known as NEO, has launched a youth leadership team program which aims to train local middle school students in leadership and planning skills. The group will host its first meeting today, and has selected two junior high school students from six different campuses to represent their schools in the youth group.

“It’s a great way for youth to have those leadership roles in the community and on their campus,” NEO co-founder Halli Ellis said. “We’re going to be doing more activities at the various middle schools and that will help in the push for the youth center.”

NEO is planning a campaign to raise funds to purchase a facility to house a youth center for the growing number of students and young adults it serves throughout western Nevada County. Ellis says the youth leadership group is just one of many components NEO is working on in their efforts to outreach to the community about the importance of acquiring a youth center.

Currently working with high school age youth as volunteers and interns, Ellis said they saw middle school students also expressing an interest in getting involved.

“Sometimes it’s hard for younger youth to get rides to our events,” Ellis said. “So NEO is making it easier for them to get involved by bringing the activities to them.”

College-age youth will be leading NEO outreach on the six different campuses during lunch once a month, which include Lyman Gilmore, Union Hill, Grass Valley Charter, Seven Hills, Ready Springs and Pleasant Valley schools. Ellis said the youth leadership group will allow NEO to develop those members as leaders that can help to run NEO events in the future.

“The goal is to provide fun activities on campus in which the students get to plan and lead,” Ellis said. “It will also help connect students to positive and healthy NEO events in the community and provide an opportunity to build relationships and create trust with youth. The outreach will encourage a healthy lifestyle and inspire youth to make a positive difference on campus and in the community.”

Ancillary to on-campus meetings, NEO will host a collective meeting, once a month, where students from all of the schools will come together and meet.

“During the monthly meetings youth will get to know people their age from other schools, learn leadership skills, brainstorm and plan campus activities and learn about volunteer opportunities in the community,” Ellis said. “NEO has a great partnership with the schools in the community, and will also be working with them to host one dance per year at each of the (middle) schools where campus outreach is held.”

For more information, go to

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email or call 530-477-4236.

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