Area Fifth and Sixth Graders to Attend Mid-Nebraska Youth Leadership Conference at UNK Friday, Nov. 20

Tony Little
Region IV president, 308.647.6558

More than 200 fifth and sixth grade students from communities as far west as Gothenburg, east to St. Paul, north to Burwell and south to Red cloud, will participate in the Mid-Nebraska Youth Leadership Conference on Friday, Nov. 20, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The elementary students are all from Nebraska Region IV area schools, which include both public and private schools, according to Tony Little of Shelton, Region IV president.

“The students selected for this event are positive leaders in their building,” Little said. “These individuals show respect, responsibility, empathy towards others and the ability to influence other students in a positive way.”

At 9:45 a.m., after registration and a welcome from Dr. Charlie Bicak, UNK senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, motivational speaker Ron Gustafson will address the group in the UNK Nebraskan Student Union, Ponderosa Room. Gustafson’s presentation, titled “Fully Armed,” will give three simple steps in finding the strength to succeed and overcome difficult situations.

At age nine, Gustafson was involved in a farm accident in which he lost his right arm and shoulder, and crushed his right leg. Despite his condition, he was determined to excel in athletics. He played varsity basketball in high school and received honorable mention at All-State. His basketball career ended after a knee injury, and Gustafson was devastated, but his faith and courage enabled him to grow in his academic and business career.

“We are hoping that the students gain a better understanding of why it is important to continue to be a positive leader and to make appropriate choices, even when the choice may not be the one that is easiest to make,” Little said.

In the afternoon, students will be divided into small groups to participate in leadership activities hosted by academic departments on the UNK campus. Students will rotate through a variety of presentations featuring career opportunities. The presentations, and the beginning times, are:

A- Fine Arts Building 109 (12:20-12:40, 1:20-1:40, 1:50-2:10), Gary Schaaf and UNK students present “Take a Chance with Dance” in the lower level dance studio.

B- Otto Olson Building 131 (12:20-12:40, 12:50-1:10, 1:50-2:10), Fly a plane during a simulation and learn about the excitement of working in the Airway Science field with Terry Gibbs and Steve Amundson.

C- Copeland Hall 330 (12:20-12:40, 12:50-1:10, 1:20-1:40), Dr. Bill Wozniak will take students on an auditory and visual localization called “Ears, Eyes and You.”

D- Bruner Hall Planetarium (12:20-12:40, 12:50-1:10, 1:20-1:40, 1:50-2:10), Dr. Jose Mena-Werth will take youth leaders on a journey of the planets and stars.

E- COE Building P.C. lab (12:20-12:40, 12:50-1:10, 1:20-1:40, 1:50-2:10), Mary Rittenhouse, director of the UNK Center for Economic Education, will involve students in hands-on economics activities.

F- Fine Arts Building 213, near the theatre offices, (12:20-12:40, 12:50-1:10, 1:20-1:40, 1:50-2:10), Go behind the scenes with assistant professor, Mark Wethington, to tour the UNK theater, including the backstage, control booth and set. Learn how UNK creates a theater production.

G- College of Education building Mac lab (12:20-12:40, 12:50-1:10, 1:20-1:40, 1:50-2:10), Shelley Haberlan, director of instructional technology for the College of Education, will take students through a demonstration of the SmartBoard and other technologies used in preparing teachers.

H- Cushing Coliseum Field House (12:20-12:40, 12:50-1:10, 1:20-1:40, 1:50-2:10), Eve Scantling and UNK students will involve young leaders in activities that stress leadership and the necessity to work as a team member.

I- Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room (12:50-1:10, 1:20-1:40, 1:50-2:10), A group of UNK students from Brandon Benitz’s leadership class will perform a Leadership Skit and then provide an opportunity for questions and answers.
For more information contact Tony Little, Region IV president, at 308.647.6588, or Deb Lee, secretary and treasurer, at 402.461.7593.