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WHAT IS OC?

As a nonprofit education and leadership organization, Ogallala Commons has an ambitious mission—to reinvigorate communities in an 8-state region centered over and extending west and east of the Ogallala Aquifer. Our service region extends both east and west of an 850-mile line stretching from White River, South Dakota down deep into West Texas.

Ogallala Commons seeks to replenish the vitality and the vigor that communities need—so that we can live in healthy landscapes, build businesses and services that contribute to the well-being of all.

To re-establishing vigor requires more than money, or scores of newcomers, or more jobs. The first step is rediscovering and renewing the capacities we already have—relationships, assets, ideas, values, and vision. As we tap into these gifts, abundant energies flows forth, even as we endure drought—things that we tend to still grow and flourish.

WHAT IS OC?

Ogallala Commons has grown from a small project into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides leadership and education to reinvigorate communities and commonwealth in the Great Plains Region. OC’s work is centered over the High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer region (see map on right), but also extends west to the Rocky Mountains and east to the river-braided prairies.

Ogallala Commons is shaped and directed by a 9-member Board of Directors, assisted by an Advisory Council and a small staff–men and women leaders from 6 states in the High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer region—leaders who follow the vision of Ogallala Commons and build it into an operational community resource network.

HOW DO WE DEVELOP LEADERS?

The Commonwealth Academy engages youth and young adults in exploring their local heritage through community tours, storytelling, and digging deeper into 12 Key Assets of Commonwealth as potential career paths.

Youth entrepreneurship camps offer hands-on learning opportunities for middle school and high school youth to explore business ownership as a career opportunity. Youth interact with successful entrepreneurs as they design their own business ventures.

High School youth submit portfolios for a business idea or a “ready-to-go” enterprise. Through a day of interviews with judges, demonstration booths, and a well-presented proposal, aspiring youth entrepreneurs can earn cash prizes for their proposals, while gaining valuable experience.

The E-Club is a 12-month immersive learning opportunity for high school youth to explore entrepreneurship as a career path. Youth interact with successful entrepreneurs as they design their own business ventures.

In today’s world, having actual work experience and a set of social and professional skills is just as important as having a high school diploma or a college degree. Our Workforce & Leadership Certificate is designed to help students prepare a foundation for their own professional success. This certificate is structured with 36 self-paced modules that culminate with an OC Community Internship. The program provides training in basic workplace skills and sets the stage for successful work experience placement via the internship.

 

The Workforce & Leadership certificate is a unique program that will enhance and increase the likelihood of success in any career or entrepreneurship field moving forward.

Our Community Internship programs is for gaining work experience, skill development, and hometown career exploration for high school, college, and graduate students, plus older adults who are finished with postsecondary education. These internships (200-360 hours) are actually work-training instead of job employment, and take place through partnerships with civic organizations, agencies, institutions, and businesses, which provide meaningful projects as well as a stipend for work experience.

 

Apprenticeships are longer, more targeted work experience and professional skill building that is required to attain full-time work or entry into a specific job or career field (500-600 hours).

Each year in early June, Ogallala Commons invites incoming Community Interns, Apprentices, Supervisors, and Community Partners to attend a 2-day Orientation Retreat at Talon Point Retreat Center near Channing, Texas. 

 

There are 3 main purposes for the Orientation Retreat: 1. To learn about the mission and outreach of Ogallala Commons; 2. To train participants in managing the nuts and bolts of our program requirements; and 3. To offer professional development, as well as networking opportunities for career development.

A group of OC Community Intern and Apprentice alumni, who strengthen their “home-making” practices through small group sessions and personal learning projects, in order to increase their knowledge and skills in five core competencies:

  1. Career/enterprise strategic planning & monitoring.
  2. Financial planning & stability.
  3. Community leadership/civic engagement.
  4. Health and sustainability.
  5. Building a digital platform for networking & marketing.

Entrepreneurship is a vital component woven through the history of our region—a thread

connecting all of our finest achievements and triumphs. We work with partners to build capacity for entrepreneurship and to develop and support the individual entrepreneurs themselves.

Those who complete the other stages in OC’s Development Ecosystem, can commit to a coaching relationship for 1-2 years for further professional development in an established career, or to incubate their own business or nonprofit enterprise.

Description coming.

Description coming.

High School youth submit portfolios for a business idea or a “ready-to-go” enterprise. Through a day of interviews with judges, demonstration booths, and a well-presented proposal, aspiring youth entrepreneurs can earn cash prizes for their proposals, while gaining valuable experience.

Description coming.

Description coming.

Our Community Internship programs is for gaining work experience, skill development, and hometown career exploration for high school, college, and graduate students, plus older adults who are finished with postsecondary education. These internships (200-360 hours) are actually work-training instead of job employment, and take place through partnerships with civic organizations, agencies, institutions, and businesses, which provide meaningful projects as well as a stipend for work experience.

 

Apprenticeships are longer, more targeted work experience and professional skill building that is required to attain full-time work or entry into a specific job or career field (500-600 hours).

Description coming

A group of OC Community Intern and Apprentice alumni, who strengthen their “home-making” practices through small group sessions and personal learning projects, in order to increase their knowledge and skills in five core competencies:

  1. Career/enterprise strategic planning & monitoring.
  2. Financial planning & stability.
  3. Community leadership/civic engagement.
  4. Health and sustainability.
  5. Building a digital platform for networking & marketing.

Description coming

Those who complete the other stages in OC’s Development Ecosystem, can commit to a coaching relationship for 1-2 years for further professional development in an established career, or to incubate their own business or nonprofit enterprise.

CONTACT US

Ogallala Commons

Box 346
Nazareth, Tx 79063