BHECN Ambassador Career Engagement Awards - 2017 Recipients
Since 2012, the BHECN Ambassador Program has hosted conferences and presentations to introduce high school and college students to careers in behavioral health professions. In June 2017, BHECN launched the Ambassador Career Engagement Awards, awarding funds for community groups to introduce local youth to behavioral health professions through experiences closer to home.
BHECN has selected seven programs for funding in this inaugural year to be completed by May 31, 2018. The recipients are offering programming to educate Nebraska students primarily in rural or underserved communities. BHECN will track college enrollment and provide additional mentorship and support to students who enter programs to become licensed mental health professionals in Nebraska.
2017 Ambassador Career Engagement Award Recipients:
Bringing Awareness of Behavioral Health Career Paths to Rural High School Students
- Location: Western Nebraska, Gordon-Rushville, Hay Springs and Pine Ridge Reservation
- Partners: Western Nebraska Behavioral Health Clinics, Chadron State College
- Overview: This project will bring awareness of behavioral health career paths to rural high school students through a collaborative effort between Western Nebraska Behavioral Health Clinics and Chadron State College. Two high schools in the Western part of the state and two schools on the Pine Ridge reservation will receive a presentation on at least six behavioral health careers. Students will be shown a Photovoice display, which will provide the perspective of someone living with mental illness, and students will discuss area opportunities in mental health education.
- Project coordinator: Catherine Jones-Hazledine, Ph.D., Western Nebraska Behavioral Health Clinics
Exploring Behavioral Health Career Opportunities in Western Nebraska
- Location: Panhandle area of Nebraska (Scottsbluff, Sidney, Kimball or Ogallala)
- Partners: Nebraska Panhandle Area Health Education Center (NP-AHEC), UNMC College of Nursing-West Nebraska Division, Panhandle Health Group, Scottsbluff Public Schools
- Overview: This project will run three mini conferences in three panhandle locations for Western Nebraska high school students and community college students to attend. The conferences will encourage youth to consider a career in the behavioral health field.
- Project coordinator: Wendy Wells, NP-AHEC and UNMC College of Nursing
HOSA Behavioral Health Science Experience
- Location: Kearney, Nebraska (participation open to HOSA students across the state)
- Partners: Nebraska HOSA, University of Nebraska Kearney, Nebraska Department of Education
- Overview: This project will expose students to careers in behavioral health and provide networking opportunities with current and future behavioral health professionals. Secondary and post-secondary students across the state will attend a conference, including a keynote speaker, and breakout sessions led by current behavioral health professionals.
- Project coordinator: Kori Jensen, Nebraska HOSA State Advisor
Behavioral Health – Explore the Possibilities
- Location: Albion, Nebraska
- Partners: Boone Central Schools, Riverside Public School, Elgin Pope John, Elgin Public School, Fullerton School District, Lindsay Holy Family, Newman Grove Jr./Sr. High School, Saint Edward School District, Humphrey High School, Spalding Academy
- Overview: This project will consist of two meetings held during the day and an evening meeting. The daytime meetings will target junior and senior high school students and include guest speakers from the fields of counseling and social work. Students will take personality tests to identify traits that may be conducive to careers in mental health. The evening meeting will target high school students, their families, youth groups and the community. This meeting will cover what it means to have a mental illness, the stigma of mental illness and available resources.
- Project coordinator: Gina Baker, MHD, LIMHP, Boone County Health Center
Increasing Awareness of Behavioral Health Professions to Underserved Minority Communities
- Location: Omaha, Nebraska
- Partners: Benson High School, Creighton and CHI Faculty, Boys Town Faculty, UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute
- Overview: This project aims to increase awareness of behavioral health careers to underserved and financially disadvantaged students at Benson High School (BHS) in Omaha who are enrolled in an AP Psychology course on Mental and Behavioral Health as part of the Health Professions Academy at BHS. Multiple planned events will include campus tours at CHI’s Behavioral Health Program, visits to Boys Town for a two-day orientation on the Boys Town Education Model, and guest speakers covering a variety of behavioral health topics.
- Project coordinator: Roderick D. O’Handley, Ph.D., UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute
Lincoln-Area Behavioral Health Career Camp
- Location: Lincoln, Nebraska (and surrounding rural towns)
- Partners: CenterPointe, Houses of Hope, The Independence Center
- Overview: This project will include two separate conferences, one targeting high school students and one targeting college students in Lincoln and the surrounding rural towns. The conferences will feature panels and speakers from various disciplines in the behavioral health field. Students will be able to talk to career consultants and counselors about their interests and educational routes to meet their career goals, and college students will be able to meet with employers about current job opportunities.
- Project coordinator: Luke Reiff, Human Resources Manager, CenterPointe
Northeast Nebraska Link to Behavioral Health Careers
- Location: Norfolk, Nebraska (and surrounding area)
- Partners: Northern Nebraska Area Health Education Center (NNAHEC), UNMC Northern Division, Wayne State College, Northeast Community College, Midtown Health Center, Region IV Behavioral Health Services
- Overview: This project aims to provide an in-depth understanding of behavioral health career opportunities in rural and underserved areas to college pre-health majors and nursing majors from the partner universities. A one-day conference will provide an overview of behavioral health needs and careers in underserved populations, via panels and small-group discussions.
- Project coordinator: Gretchen Forsell, MPH, RDN, NNAHEC
For more information about the BHECN Ambassador Career Engagement Awards, contact Ann Kraft: firstname.lastname@example.org, 402-552-7638For the 2018 Ambassador Career Engagement Winners click here.