Back to Top

2016 essay contest now open

The Nebraska Latino American Commission invites the youth of Nebraska to participate in the 10th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month State Commemoration Essay Contest

National Hispanic Heritage Month was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 observing September 15 to October 15 as a period to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of those who can trace their ancestry to Mexico, Spain, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

For the essay, the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee is asking students to write about civic engagement:

THEME: What is the importance of civic engagement among the Latino/a community? Why is it important for Latinos/as to engage in voting, encouraging others to vote, volunteering, taking part in student organizations, knowing and contacting your local elected official, and running for public office?

GUIDELINES: When writing your essay, consider the following: What does civic engagement mean to you? How do you participate in civic engagement? Why is it important to contact your local elected official and inform them of your support or opposition to certain issues? How is civic engagement relevant and important to Hispanic Heritage Month? What are the barriers that prevent Latinos/as from becoming engaged in civic purposes, and how can Latinos/as become fully engaged? Your essay will be judged by grammar, content, creativity, and understanding of the theme.


Copia de las Directrices

ELIGIBILITY: Students of all ethnicities currently enrolled in a Nebraska public, private, special purpose, home school or magnet school (grades 6-12). Entries welcome in English or Spanish, and must include a signed entry form.


Formulario de inscripción firmado

RULES: Essays must be original, typed or legibly handwritten, and double-spaced. The word length is 250 – 400 words for middle school students, and 500 – 700 words for high school students. We reserve the right to disqualify essays that contain offensive language, political messages, or derogatory statements.

AWARDS: Scholarships, certificates, Kindles, and McDonald’s gift cards will be given to six winners. Winning students will be recognized at the Hispanic Heritage Month State Commemoration scheduled for October 7, 2016 at the Nebraska Capitol Building in Lincoln. First place winners will be asked to read their essay at the Commemoration and McDonald’s will publish first place winning essays on their tray liners. The Commission reserves the right to edit essays for fitting purposes. The scholarship awards are: $200 for first place winners, $125 for second place winners and $100 for third place winners for both high school and middle school.

SUBMISSION: All essays due by Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 5 P.M. Essays and entry forms may be submitted by email to, via fax at 402-471-4381, or mailed to:

Nebraska Latino American Commission
ATT: Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest
P.O. Box 94965
Lincoln, NE 68509-4965

register to vote

To register to vote in Nebraska, you must:

  • Be a United States Citizen;
  • Live in the state of Nebraska, you may register to vote the same day you become a resident of Nebraska;
  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, or if convicted, at least two years have passed since the completion of your sentence including any parole term;
  • Have not been officially found to be mentally incompetent.


To register to vote online:

  • For online registration, the deadline is 5 p.m. (Central Time) on the third Friday before the election.
  • You need your Nebraska driver’s license or state-issued identification card. If you do not have these items, you need to register in person with a paper form:


Click on the links below to begin voter registration online:

register to vote here registrarse para votar aqui


After you have registered to vote:

  • All online applications will be reviewed and processed by the appropriate county election official through the same verification process that paper applications go through. The county election office will ensure there are no duplicate registrations under your name, that your record doesn’t match any death records or potential incarceration notices and that you are registered within the proper county.
  • Once your application is processed, the county election office will send an acknowledgement of registration to you via mail. That notice will indicate if your application was accepted, rejected or if there were any problems that need further clarification. You will receive an acknowledgement within 10-14 days.


If you have any problems completing your online registration, contact the Secretary of State – Elections Division at 402-471-2555 or toll free at 888-727-0007 or email for assistance. To register to vote in languages other than Spanish and English visit:


To register to vote in person:

  • If you do not have a driver’s license or state-issued identification, you will need to register with a paper form that can be found online:
  • You can also find a paper application at any county election office, any Department of Motor Vehicle office, banks, libraries, post offices and offices that offer state public assistance.
  • Note: You will be asked to submit proof of your current address (a copy of your utility bill, bank statement, etc.) as well as sign the application. Through the online process, information is checked with the Department of Motor Vehicles and your signature is retrieved and added to your voter application.


To register to vote by mail:

  • If registering for the first time in Nebraska by mail, please provide a copy of a current and valid photo ID, or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document which is dated within 60 days immediately prior to the date of presentation showing the same name and residence address provided on the voter registration application to avoid delays with your registration.


If you have already registered to vote, do no re-register, unless you have changed any of the following information:

  • Your name,
  • Your address, or
  • Your political party affiliation.
  • Failure to vote in a previous election does not require re-registration


The next election will be on November 8, 2016. For more information, visit the Secretary of State's website:

voter information for survivors of domestic violence

American citizens in Nebraska can register to vote online, in English or Spanish, on the Secretary of State's website.

The Nebraska Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) provides services to Nebraska residents who are victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The ACP program has two parts: (1) it provides victims who have moved to a new location unknown to their abuser with a substitute address for use when interacting with state and local agencies; and (2) the program provides a new mailing address, which keeps the survivors' actual address confidential and free from the risk of discovery through public records. Confidentiality is maintained because public records contains only the new mailing address.

You do not need a court order filed in order to be eligible. If you just moved to Nebraska and plan to make Nebraska your home, you can apply for the program.

The Secretary of State's Office will receive the participants' mail and forward it to them at their actual address by means of a cost-free, first-class mail forwarding service.

To be eligible, an individual must be: (1) a victim/survivor of abuse, sexual assault or stalking who fears for his or her safety, or a parent or guardian applying on behalf of a minor or incapacitated person; and (2) a Nebraska resident who has recently relocated to a place unknown to his or her abuser or is planning to move in the near future.

Applying for ACP MUST be made in person at one of the designated victim assistance centers located throughout the state. Applications will not be accepted at the Secretary of State's Office. Designated centers are state or local agencies or private organizations that provide counseling and shelter services. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, this below list of designated centers is an excellent resource for assistance.

If you register to vote without the ACP, your information will be on public records. It is important to register to vote through ACP to protect yourself and still be able to vote in upcoming elections.

Do not register to vote online if you are a part of the ACP Program.

ACP Contact Information
P.O. Box 98921, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-3568 or (866) 227-6327

Click on following links to find the closest center in your area that has been designated to offer counseling and assistance in applying for ACP in Lincoln, Omaha Metro Area, Southeast Nebraska, Northeast Nebraska, South Central Nebraska, North Central Nebraska, and the Panhandle Area.

latino commission seeks adobe houses in scottsbluff county

Are there any adobe houses left in Scotts Bluff County? Help us with the search.

The Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Latino American Commission are looking for examples of this Mexican-American tradition brought to Nebraska.

A local effort to locate adobes still standing is being led by Chabella Guzman of Scottsbluff, a Commissioner of the Nebraska Latino American Commission.  

Historically, Latino agricultural workers who traveled to the Scottsbluff area prior to the 1950s would build adobe houses to live with their family for the duration of their work. Many families chose to settle in the area permanently and the adobe houses became permanent homes and new neighborhoods. As time passed, many of the houses were sold and demolished. NLAC and the Historical Society is working together to locate, identify, document and preserve the remaining adobe houses.

Once identified, the buildings may be placed in the National Historic Registry and included in publications on immigrant and settler dwellings. State historical markers are another possibility for the homes.

Members of the public who live in an adobe house, know someone who lives in an adobe house or know where adobe houses are located in Scottsbluff or other areas are encouraged to contact Rev. Sorensen at:, NLAC Commissioner Chabella Guzman at:, or Bob Puschendorf at the Historical Society at 402-471-4769 or email:

The Society is also creating a Spring internship position for a graduate or undergraduate student to research these houses for this project. The student can be studying Architecture, History, Latino history, Ethnic Studies, Great Plains History or a similar area to qualify for the internship. Interested students are encourage to contact Bob Puschendorf at 402-471-4769 or email:

For more information contact: Bob Puschendorf of the Nebraska State Historical Society, 402-471-4769 or or Jasel Cantu of the Latino American Commission, 402-471-2791 or


The State of Nebraska Governor's Office has released a list of current and upcoming openings on Boards and Commissions that are appointed by the Governor.

If interested, please complete the online application prior to the end of the month of their deadlines. Upcoming Deadlines:

July 2016:
  1. Aquaculture Board
  2. Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board
  3. County Attorney Standards Advisory Board
  4. Crime Victim's Reparations Committee
  5. Developmental Disabilities Advisory Committee
  6. Grain Sorghum Development, Utilization & Marketing Board
  7. Jail Standards Board
  8. Judicial Resources Commission
  9. State Advisory Committee on Mental Health Services
  10. Advisory Council on Public Water Supply
  11. State Records Board
  12. Technical Advisory Committee on Statewide Assessment
  13. State Advisory Committee on Substance Abuse Services

August 2016:
  1. Nebraska Brand Committee
  2. Commission for the Protection of Children
  3. Nebraska Ethanol Board
  4. State Personnel Board
  5. Potato Development Committee
  6. Real Estate Commission

September 2016:
  1. Nebraska Arts Council
  2. Early Childhood Interagency Coordinating Council
  3. Equal Opportunity Commission
  4. GIS Geographic Information System Council
  5. Commission on Indian Affairs
  6. State Board of Landscape Architects
  7. State Board of Public Accountancy 
  8. Rural Health Advisory Commission
  9. State Emergency Response Commission
  10. Suggestion Award Board

For a printer-friendly copy, click here. For a list of Board positions that are open due to resignations or unfilled positions, click here. To apply for a position, click here.

If you have questions about requirements for any of the Boards or Commissions listed please contact Kathleen Dolezal at 402-471-1971 or email:

Nebraska Latino American Commission © 2011 | Official Government Website | Privacy Security and Accessibility | Creative Commons and Open Source