Tag Archives: Jocelyn Houston

Hey Parents-

March 16, 2018 by

This sponsored content was printed in the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of Family Guide. To view, click here: https://issuu.com/omahapublications/docs/fg_flipbook_0318/2

Summer slide may sound like an exciting activity, but in reality it’s no fun. The term refers to the learning loss many children experience over the summer. Research shows that without access to learning activities throughout the summer, kids fall behind academically. For students who are already behind in school, summer learning loss pushes them even farther behind their peers. Repeat this year after year, and major consequences develop, as one in six children who do not read proficiently by third grade fail to graduate high school in time—four times the rate for third graders with proficient skills.

“We want children to have the best summer ever, and of course that means time for play, but it’s also important that children continue to engage and learn,” said Jenny Holweger, Vice President of Program Development at the YMCA of Greater Omaha. “A child’s development is never on vacation, and at YMCA Summer Camps, kids don’t just learn about the world around them; they actively engage in the world around them.”

In Omaha, the YMCA of Greater Omaha helps prevent the summer slide by offering a diverse selection of summer camps that keep kids active while sharpening their minds.

The stress of finding the right summer camp can feel overwhelming, but with the YMCA of Greater Omaha’s easy-to-read Camp Guide (now available online and at all nine YMCA of Greater Omaha locations), shopping for the best summer camp fit is as simple as browsing through a catalog.

With such a variety of camp options, it’s easy to find the perfect camp to keep your child engaged, and learning, while having fun along the way.

YMCA summer camps include: day camp for kindergarten-twelve years, the outdoor-enthusiastic favorite Camp Platte for ages 6-15, half and full day specialty camps that allow for mastery of topics ranging from babysitting to healthy living to Lego building for ages 5-14, STEM camps for kindergarten-fifth grade, preschool camp, and teen leadership camps.

Outside of camp, parents and caregivers can help by keeping their children reading and engaged in learning throughout the summer. Here are a few tips from the Y to help parents get started:

Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books—Read to and with your kids. Start a book series together and read each night as a family. Reading at night keeps the brain buzzing and young minds active!

Visit Your Local Library—Explore new books you and your kids may have missed to keep your mind sharp during the summer. Be sure to check out special programming while you’re there; many libraries offer classes, story time or programs throughout the summer.

Cut Screen Time—With smartphones, tablets, video games, television and movies there are more options than ever for your child to entertain themselves with screens, but children should spend no more than two hours per day in front of a screen.

Enroll Your Kids in Camp—Camps like those offered at the Y provide well-rounded programming, make learning fun and provide a social outlet for your children throughout the summer.


Pick up your YMCA camp guide today at all YMCA of Greater Omaha location or online at metroymca.org/camp.

An Evangelist for Innovation

January 19, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

As vice president of marketing and communications for YMCA of Greater Omaha, Jocelyn Houston’s days never look alike. “No day is ever the same for me, and I like that,” she says. “Plus I love that it’s all for a good cause.”

Originally from Crawford “on the other side of Nebraka,” she attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study journalism. Houston came to Omaha less than five years ago to work in client relations at Universal Information Services.

Universal’s vice president, Todd Murphy, says Jocelyn brought energy to the tech-forward company.

“Attitude is everything, and she exhibited a professional, warm personality in the office, which I think helps to raise the attitudes of everyone around them,” Murphy says. “She was a good evangelist in helping raise awareness of our culture of innovation.”

Jocelyn likes Omaha for a variety of reasons. “It’s a great place to raise a family and still get that ‘big city’ feel,” she says. She and her husband, Josh, particularly enjoy visiting the farmers market at Aksarben and eating at au courant restaurants. “There’s always new things happening in Omaha.”

That love of the town is one of the reasons she is a good fit for the YMCA. She’s also an avid volunteer for the YMCA and has made a name for herself within the local media community as a member of the Marketing and Membership Committee of the Omaha Press Club. “I use the advice I get from other Press Club members daily,” says Houston.

Following one year on that committee, the members now also look to her for advice—she was voted to their board of directors in mid-January.

Marketing and Membership Committee chair and board secretary Bridget (Weide) Brooks says that Houston is “…a great gal. What I like about her most is her interesting ideas. Her perspective is unique and very actionable.” Brooks adds that sometimes Houston simply asks a question during meetings that gets everyone thinking and looking at things differently.

That may be because Houston is always open to new experiences. “I met my husband on a blind date!” she says, laughing. She also urges professionals to not be too hard on themselves. “We have to stop doing that,” she says.

Her years of success so far have taught her valuable lessons that she’s happy to share with other professional up-and-comers. “Success is hard work and it takes sacrifices. It can be discouraging trying to get a professional career off the ground. You have to create your own ‘having it all’ and decide what that means for you. Take advantage of opportunities and don’t be afraid to stumble into success.”

She looks forward to watching her two young children grow up and where life takes her. “I love the industry I work in,” she says. She’s a professional living in a city she loves, working in a career she loves—and that is certainly an excellent example of success at any age.

“Write your own story,” she adds. “Be part of a cause.”

Visit metroymca.org for more information.

This article was printed in the February/March 2018 edition of B2B.