Lopers working, serving McCook this summer through Rural Futures Institute Student Serviceship

Three University of Nebraska at Kearney students will return to McCook this summer for another round of McCook THETA camps – “Teaching Health, Exercise, Technology and Aquaponics.”

Tyan Boyer of Plainview and Collin Fleecs of Sutherland kicked off the pilot of the program led by UNK professors Greg Brown and Nate Bickford last summer. This year, they will be joined by fellow exercise science major Bradley Schoch of Marquette.

THETA Camp is designed to educate elementary and middle school students about the importance of health and wellness as well as sustainable agriculture. The camp also explores technology and gives students a better idea of nutrition and health-related career fields. THETA Camp was developed as a part of an RFI-funded project exploring rural obesity and health awareness. The camp’s curriculum was co-written by UNK Professors Greg Brown and Nate Bickford.

“Working with the kids through the duration of THETA camp is what excites me the most,” Fleecs said. “Having the opportunity to share the knowledge that I have accumulated throughout my years of schooling to younger individuals in an effort to help inform them so that they can make healthier decisions on a regular basis is invaluable.”

In total, RFI, one of four interdisciplinary institutes working across the University of Nebraska system, has organized 24 students, with additional students from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Peru State College, to serve 11 community localities and communities of practice this summer.

Working closely with community host teams, the student pairs will problem-solve and create opportunities for their communities within the areas of housing, community recruitment, community planning, welcoming, economic development and more. They will participate and lead projects that will include strategic planning, event planning, assessment creation and analysis, visioning and marketing.

“We want to thank everyone who makes this program possible, especially the community host teams,” said RFI Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. “We are honored to have such great trust relationships with Nebraska’s rural communities and to be able to connect them with so many high-level students from the University of Nebraska.

“We know that the more rural experiences we can give our student leaders, the better perspective they will have as they take on leadership roles throughout the course of their careers.”


Extended details, including student bios and community project descriptions, are available at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2018serviceship

About the Rural Futures Institute
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.

Bradley Schoch
Bradley Schoch
Tyan Boyer
Tyan Boyer
Collin Fleecs
Collin Fleecs

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