UNMC News

41 rural high school students participate in behavioral health conference

Conference helps build behavioral health workforce in rural Nebraska by nurturing students

KEARNEY, Neb. - The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) hosted its 2nd annual High School Ambassador Conference in Kearney on April 4 and 5. The BHECN Ambassador Program recruits and mentors rural students from high school, college and professional school, into behavioral health professions.

The conference helps build the behavioral health workforce in rural Nebraska by connecting rural students with information and resources to explore behavioral health careers. Forty-one high school juniors and seniors from throughout Nebraska attended the conference, as well as 45 faculty and students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Chadron State. Providers from behavioral health and substance abuse professions also presented at the conference and interacted with the students.

“The High School Ambassador conference is the beginning of the pipeline in recruiting future behavioral health professionals in rural Nebraska,” said Howard Liu, M.D., medical director of BHECN. “By identifying high school students with an interest in behavioral health careers before they even enter college, we’re able to connect them with faculty and professionals in the field to help mentor them and shape their careers.”

Students attended the conference include:

Ashland - Elizabeth Yunker

Auburn - Shania Herling, Taylor Santana

Brainard - Nyla Witzel

Callaway - Andrea Hanson, Ky Pierce

Cornlea - Joey Babl

Deshler - Jeffrey Grummert, Katelyn Pohlmann

Dunbar - Cassandra Gress

Eustis - Breanna Stout

Gothenburg - Megan Richey

Grand Island - Jessica Nuño, Kayla Solorzano

Kearney - Taylor Bishop, Kennedy Hampton, Ruth Boteo Najera,  Mona Javidi, Tina Javidi, Marissa Kermmoade, Rachel Richter, Sierra Schuessler Sarah Synek, Hannah Woodward

Lexington - Erica Con, Jonathan Godinez, Monica Myers, Daniel Alejandro Reynoso

Lincoln - Braxton Parde

Linwood - Kaylee Pierce

Minden - Abbie Sanders

Oshkosh - Ashleigh Stewart

Plattsmouth - Sarah Sivard

Ravenna - Skylar René Arehart, Raelynn Yount

Roseland-  Josie Parr

Tecumseh - Ivy Rutledge

Thedford - Savannah Elliott

Upland - Kendall Hackett

Waco - Shelby Dickes

York - Analyse Hennings, Betty Jo Lovell, Megan Schall

Created in 2009 by the Nebraska Legislature in response to the Safe Haven crisis, the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) is addressing the shortage of trained behavioral health providers in rural and underserved areas.

Contact

Vicky Cerino
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-5190
vcerino@unmc.edu