Mind Bending Careers Conference Recap

Submitted by Alexis Richmond, President

In mid-January, Nebraska HOSA and FCCLA teamed up to host the first-ever virtual Mind Bending Careers Conference. This day included an opening session, keynote speaker, and six breakout sessions. There were over 450 students from 30 different HOSA and FCCLA chapters that registered for this event! With hopes of this becoming an annual event, I wanted to give a quick glimpse of a few of the amazing sessions that were offered.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lisa Fuchs
Dr. Lisa Fuchs gave an awesome presentation on the “Life-Changing Question: To Vape or Not to Vape?” As a respiratory therapist, Dr. Fuchs gave a 45-minute informative presentation that addressed the world of vaping. Her talk included how vaping affects the brain, different vaping devices to be aware of, statistics regarding vaping, health risks, and how to help those who are struggling with a vaping addiction. Overall, Dr. Fuchs laid the groundwork for teens to make informed decisions regarding their health and vaping.

Break-Out Session #1: Conner Oberhauser
The first break-out session was presented by Nebraska FCCLA’s own Vice-President. Conner’s session “Enough Already- End the Stigma” included his personal experience with mental illnesses and how he has overcome this battle. After sharing his story, Conner touched on how other’s can overcome mental illnesses. His advice included acceptance, reaching out, and management. In addition, Conner shared some of the myths vs. facts on mental illnesses and the Stigma surrounding them. We appreciate Conner sharing his story and information!

Break-Out Session #2: Ann Kraft
Ann Kraft, the Ambassador Program Coordinator for the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, presented a session on Mind Bending Careers. With most conference participants being juniors and seniors in high school, this was a great opportunity for them to learn more about career options in the sector of behavioral health. Ann spoke about professions available, college degree program options, and finished with a few fun mind bending games!

Break-Out Session #3: Asianna Harris, Carlina Grove, and Dr. Marissa Davala
Brought to us by the Counseling and School Psychology Department at the University of Nebraska Kearney was the session titled, “Bounce back from 2020? Yeah right!” The session focused on the effects and statistics of trauma as well as how to build resiliency. This was a great session for teens to take with them as they move past the trials and tribulations of 2020.