During the 1935 National Convention, young people challenged the organization to provide youth with a vehicle to address civil rights. The NAACP Board of Directors passed a resolution, formally creating the Youth and College Division in 1936. Under the guidance of Ms. Juanita E. Jackson, the Youth and College Division organized demonstrations against lynching and held group discussions on the inequality of public education.

In 1960, the NAACP proudly saluted the involvement of its youth members in the sit-in demonstrations that began in Greensboro, North Carolina in an effort to desegregate lunch counters. In 1961, the NAACP Youth and College Division shifted its emphasis from sit-in demonstrations to demands for jobs and equal opportunities for Black workers. In 1963, youth members from around the country responded to the call for a "Jobs and Freedom" march on Washington. The NAACP was a cornerstone among organizations that participated. In 1965, with the passage of the voting Rights Act, NAACP Youth members proved effective in registering over 350,000 voters.

During the period of 1966-1981, the Youth and College Division instituted a vigorous campaign to register minorities between the ages of 18-24; resulting in a 40 percent increase in registered voters in this age category.

Today, there are over 600 NAACP Youth Councils and College Chapters actively involved in the work of the association. In fact, the NAACP is the only major civil rights organization that includes young people and encourages them to participate fully in its programs-including membership on the National Board of Directors.

Since its inception in 1936, the Youth and College Division has continued to serve as the premier training ground for young civil rights leaders. With the hard work and dedication of our youth members, the Youth and College Division will carry out its mission of developing an intelligent, assertive and effective youth leadership to ensure the political, educational, financial and social equality of rights for people of color through training, organization and mobilization.
The University of Nebraska College Chapter received its charter in October 2011 with twenty seven members.

The Lincoln Youth Council began in the late 1980's with the encouragement of Lincoln Branch member Mrs. Leola Bullock . Early youth advisors included Mr. Jake Kirkland, Mrs. Patricia Brown Shepard, and Mrs. Ann Stokes. Early youth presidents included Erika Black and Eric Crump. During the early charter years participants were taken to NAACP Regional meetings in Colorado and Kansas City. Early issues that the youth chapter faced included assurance of educational soundness, understanding why NAACP is important in Lincoln, Nebraska and the difference youth can make in our community. One of the early activities was the encouragement of the "Martin Luther King March and Rally" in Lincoln. The charter of the Lincoln Youth Council has gone through a period of "active" and "inactive", with at least two periods of inactivation. In October 2011 the charter was reactivated with twenty six members.