By ADRIANNA TARIN
KEARNEY – Almost 80 seventh- and eighth-grade boys from central Nebraska attended the first BETA-Men Youth Empowerment Conference Oct. 11 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
In partnership with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, members of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity organized a day of keynote speakers, entertainment and interactive workshops that focused on topics such as bullying, sports, relationships and self image.
“We just heard from a UFC champion about good choices,” one student said to Juan Guzman, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“We just learned about why we bully and how dumb it really is,” another student said.
According to Guzman, there has been a strong interest from middle school counselors to create a conference that targets young at-risk men and educate them on some of the hardships and obstacles they will be facing in the near future.
“We had a great turn out for the first year,” said Guzman. “Five schools from Kearney, Grand Island, Hastings and Lexington brought students. We hope to grow that number in the future.”
The BETA-Men Youth Empowerment Conference hopes to engage and provide space for young men to develop through scholarship, leadership, brotherhood and cultural awareness.
“Our goal is to empower young men to become better individuals and members of our society by equipping them with the education resources they need and a communal network,” Guzman said.
Source: Juan Guzman, 308.865.8127
Writer: Adrianna Tarin, 308.865.8529