Community Engagement

Each semester, Cortina students engage the local Omaha community by doing weekly service in small groups for about three hours each week. Cortina students participate in “relational service” each week. Students go to the same place each week so they can build relationships and learn from the people at each site. Because of our great partnerships with different local organizations, our students have the opportunity to learn from people at community gardens, after school programs, homeless shelters, and medical facilities.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Gandhi

Ambassador Health Pediatrics

Ambassador Health facilitates hospitality for pediatric special care. With this, the children Cortina students interact with are recovering from an injury, illness, or any other complication in relation to premature birth transitions. So, when Cortina students arrive on Saturday mornings, they play, read books, and overall interact with the children present to brighten up their day.

City Sprouts
Our mission is to sustain communities through gardening. We help Omaha neighborhoods, civic groups, schools, youth groups, and residents develop lasting, productive green spaces. We provide a comfortable setting where people of diverse ages and backgrounds can work outside together. Our larger vision is to work with Omahans to build local food systems, improve community health, empower neighborhoods, and strengthen economic viability and sustainability. Over the years, City Sprouts has helped establish community and family gardens at various Omaha neighborhoods, such as Gifford Park, Leavenworth, and at churches, community centers, and neighborhoods.

Completely Kids

Completely KIDS educates and empowers kids and families to create a safe, healthy, successful, and connected community. Cortina volunteers assist with Homework Diner, a place where kids and their families can come to have dinner and get help with homework.

Hope Center for Kids
The Hope Center for Kids strives to inspire hope in youth and children through education, employability, collaboration, and faith. Our vision is to eliminate racism and poverty through the love of Christ. From the first day a child enters our program, they are bombarded with hope: hope that they will be strong enough to combat peer pressure; hope that they will one day graduate from high school and attend college; and hope that their life has extraordinary meaning and purpose. The after school programming at Hope provides kids from kindergarten to high school with tools for academic success, character building, college and career readiness, and vocational discernment. Volunteers play a vital role in carrying out our mission of hope. Cortina volunteers will have opportunities to provide one-on-one tutoring, to lead enrichment activities, and to facilitate skills development.


MICAH House is an emergency shelter focused on serving families and allowing them to live together in shelter. We provide a safe and nurturing environment with support services to those families and individuals who are experiencing the crisis of homelessness. Our focus is on personalized case management to help each individual reach the goal of permanent housing.

One of the services we provide to families is the BUDDY Program – designed to engage the homeless children in play and trauma informed methods of care to Build Upon Dreams and Develop our Youngsters! Play is a major component of the BUDDY Program because it can be a healing force that helps children cope and restore normalcy to their lives. It also helps children learn social skills, critical thinking skills, self-control and creativity. We seek individuals who would like to make a difference in the lives of homeless children.

Munroe-Meyer Institute

The mission of Munroe-Meyer Institute, the Nebraska University Center on Disabilities, is to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities and their families.  The Institute provides interdisciplinary family-centered services and supports for consumers and all individuals with disabilities. These services include the development of new and innovative ways to promote inclusion of the individual in the community.

Siena/Francis House

Siena/Francis House is Omaha’s and Nebraska’s largest homeless shelter, providing food, emergency shelter, and clothing to homeless men, women, and children. Cortina members who serve at the shelter will be engaged in serving breakfast cafeteria style to participants of our substance abuse treatment program, alumni, and staff members.

In addition, all students will attend the meeting that follows the meal service. This community meeting is designed to celebrate milestones and to keep us connected as a recovery community. We welcome students who aware of their own emotional intelligence, who have an open mind or desire to learn about poverty and addiction, as well as a desire to connect with others. Opportunities to build relationships and share at the community meeting will be available for students who serve at our site.


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