History and Background of the Helping Kids Succeed-The Hastings Way community-wide initiative




September 2014 - ongoing: Training provided to a wide range of Hastings' organizations

• Director of Connections Jane Neumiller-Bustad and the Teen Key Opinion Leaders spend the fall and winter training multiple Hastings' organizations, including all City of Hastings departments (including the Police and Fire), Hastings' middle and high school teachers and staffs, and multiple community organizations, including the Hastings Bus Company, and church youth groups.

• Handbooks are given to participants, and multiple organizations buy cases of the handbooks for employees, patients, and customers.

Hastings Star Gazette article on TKOLs speaking at the high school




October 2014: Teen Key Opinion Leader Natalee Chapin travels to Alaska to participate in HKS training

• Teen Key Opinion Leader Natalee Chapin meets Alaskan HKS leaders at the conference in Montana in June. She raises funds locally to travel to Nulato, Alaska, to observe and participate in a week-long "Phlight Club." Phlight Clubs are teen workshops which teach the HKS model to teens, and offer multiple hand's-on exercises and demonstrations. Natalee is also selected in the fall of 2014 to participate on the state-wide Minnesota Youth Council.

Star Gazette article on Natalee's trip to Alaska


August 2014: Helping Kids Succeed handbook published

• The Helping Kids Succeed handbook is published in August. Prior to publication, a team of youth and United Way leaders ride a float for Rivertown Days in July, handing out candy and nearly 1,000 fans with the handbook cover on the front.

Hastings Star Gazette handbooks published Sept 2014



May 2014 - August 2014: Handbook preparations intensify

• Director of Connections Jane Neumiller-Bustad, and a team of editors, graphic designers, and illustrators work to prepare content for the Helping Kids Succeed handbooks. Over 2,200 community inputs are edited down to just over 900. The Helping Kids Succeed handbook has over 175 pages and is published by local printer Graphic Design, Inc.


June 2014: Initiative leaders attend training in Montana

• Director of Connections Jane Neumiller-Bustad and Teen Key Opinion Leader Natalee Chapin attend a week-long Helping Kids Succeed leadership and training conference in Montana. They meet with dozens of other educators, trainers, project managers, and initiative leaders from around the country, working to bring HKS concepts and principles to their communities.


May 2014: Community-wide meeting held in the wake of a teen suicide

• The United Way of Hastings, community groups and the Helping Kids Succeed initiative leadership holds a community-wide meeting after a teen suicide in May. Derek Peterson, Jane Neumiller-Bustad, and several Teen Key Opinion Leaders present the Helping Kids Succeed model, and path to the future. The Hastings Star Gazette covers the event and provides a comprehensive overview of the HKS model and meeting.

Hastings Start Gazette article on May 2014 town meeting


May 2014: Leadership transition for Helping Kids Succeed

• In May 2014, Rob McMenemy leaves the initiative to pursue other opportunities and Jane Neumiller-Bustad becomes the initiative's new Director of Connections and project manager. She has been a marketing volunteer with the initiative for several months.


February 2014: Helping Kids Succeed attends the United Way of Hastings' 50th Anniversary Gala

• On February 8th, the United Way of Hastings celebrates their 50th Anniversary of helping the community with over 400 guests! The Teen Key Opinion Leaders and initiative leadership man the coat check station and mingle with gala attendees. Keynote speaker, former Viking Matt Birk and his wife Adrianna, met with the teens and initiative leadership for over an hour after the banquet.


January 2014: Initiative's first Teen Key Opinion Leaders selected

• Director of Connections, Rob McMenemy works with Hastings' high school and middle school counselors and staff to select emerging teen leaders for key roles in the initiative.


May 2013 - September 2013: Leadership transition for the community and HKS initiative

• In September 2013, recent college graduate and Hastings High School graduate Rob McMenemy becomes the initiative's Director of Connections, working to move the initiative forward. A few months prior to this, several key Hastings community leaders move to new communities, leave their roles, or are otherwise unable to work further with the initiative.


March 2013 - May 2014: Initiative leaders collect community inputs for handbook

• For over a year, through personnel changes and leadership transitions, members of the United Way staff, Helping Kids Succeed team, and teen leaders meet with community groups, schools, churches, etc. throughout the community. They present the Helping Kids Succeed model and collect over 22,000 inputs on "what's working" in our community for youth development and support.


February 2013: Community leaders learn about "webs of support"

• Then-Hastings Chief of Police Paul Schnell and Derek Peterson of the Institute for Community & Adolescent Resilience (ICAR-US) present a "web of support" overview to over 50 community members.


February 2013: Hastings launches Helping Kids Succeed initiative

• A January 31, 2013 article in the Hastings Star Gazette announces the creation of the Helping Kids Succeed - The Hastings Way community-wide initiative

Hastings Star Gazette announces the creation of the Helping Kids Succeed initiative

A proposal is under review...

February 2013: United Way of Hastings working to support youth in our community

• The United Way of Hastings is actively working with the Hastings faith community, law enforcement, City of Hastings, school district, and the medical community to provide support to our community in light of youth tragedies in the fall of 2012. In December 2012, a discussion was held with community members and youth led by international youth advocate, Derek Peterson. A proposal for further community discussions and community engagement is currently under review.

The Helping Kids Succeed community-wide initiative begins....

October 2012: United Way of Hastings provides community support

• "Last week, the United Way of Hastings began working with the Hastings faith community, law enforcement, City of Hastings, school district, and the medical community to provide support to our community in light of the tragedy by suicide of a Hastings High School Senior. This weekend, a Hastings High School Junior passed away by suicide. Crisis teams and additional support team members from our community are available at the schools. The school district is actively seeking resources/support to provide students, staff, and parents with expert guidance and response from organizations familiar with suicide response and prevention. We do not want further loss in our community and we are working to find the proper resources for families and our community. In coordination with the organizations listed above, we join with the school district in its goal to provide information to parents and the community, and engage students as soon as possible with guidance from these organizations."

United Way of Hastings - PO Box 353 - Hastings, MN 55033-0353