Community leader and educator Joe DiCostanzo announces his candidacy for the 2020 Douglas County Board of Commissioners race in District 5. A long-time resident of the district, Joe has spent the past decade growing as an educator and community leader in the Benson-Ames Corridor.
A former teacher and administrator, at Benson High School, Joe is aware of how education shapes freedom and equality in local communities. He is responsible for creating the My Empowerment Network for Success (MENS) Program at Benson High*, which serves to fill a gap for young men who reported not having consistent positive male influences in their lives. For his bold and informed initiatives as an educator and mentor in public schools, Joe is a recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Prize for Courage and Excellence in Education from the University of Nebraska. Joe is a past Vice President of the Benson Neighborhood Association and a past board member of Benson Theatre and New Leaders Council – Omaha, respectively.
Joe has experience implementing programs on the ground in seven cities across the country, as a Fieldwork Fellow, through Harvard University’s Education Policy and Management Master’s program. A participant of the Education Redesign Lab’s By All Means Initiative**, Joe is ready to implement what he has learned around the country, in Douglas County. Joe’s background as an educator, nonprofit board member, and youth service program creator informs his approach to leadership. He prioritizes relationship-building, equity, and opportunity for all. Joe believes all people deserve a chance to live in a safe neighborhood and have access to community resources.
The Joe DiCostanzo for County Board District 5 campaign will hold a Campaign Kick-Off event at the BSide of Benson Theatre on Tuesday, November 12th, 5:30-7:00pm.
*This program served to fill a gap for young men who reported not having consistent positive male influences in their lives. As a cross-section between education and community service, the young men in the program have had tremendous success in their personal and professional lives. For the past seven years, 100% of the program participants graduated on time with a job placement or college enrollment within three months of graduation.
** Through the Redesign Lab, he supported the field work in seven communities- Louisville, KY; Oakland, CA; Providence, RI; Chattanooga-Hamilton County, TN; Salem, MA; Somerville, MA; and through the state-wide work of the Partnership for Resilience in IL, on the By All Means Initiative. Joe worked to support these communities as they created cross-sector systems of wellbeing for childhood and education from birth to career.