FCCLA Attends Mind Bending Careers Conference
Five FCCLA members attended the Mind Bending Careers Conference Tuesday, November 9, at the University of Kearney. The conference was co-hosted by Nebraska Career and Technical Student Organizations FCCLA and HOSA and supported by the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN). Attending from Plainview were Jessica Booth, Peace Akinnigbagbe, Brooke Forbes, Tesla Ickler, and Shayla Jacobsen along with FCCLA Adviser Ronita Jacobsen.
Following the Opening Session, a Student Panel consisting graduate students in various Behavioral and Mental Health programs from across Nebraska shared their educational journey and career aspirations. Attendees were given opportunities to ask questions of panel participants. Members then rotated through a variety of sessions. Sessions available to students were: The Impact of Addiction by BHECN; Trauma Informed Care by Region 3 Behavioral Health Services; Hearing Voices by Krista Fritson, UNK Psychology Professor, Advocacy for Survivors by Family Advocacy Network; and Help Us Serve Survivors from the SAFE Center in Kearney.
A favorite session of students was the one on Addiction where students had the opportunity to wear the “drunk googles” and perform a variety of tasks including the Field Sobriety Test. They learned about the effects of alcohol on the body and legal issues. “I’d fail the test in like 2 seconds,” stated Tesla Ickler. “When wearing the goggles, everything was blurry and there were so many extra images, and I wasn’t sure where to look or walk. I couldn’t imagine driving like this.”
Learning about advocacy was another favorite session. The presenter, a Forensic Interview Specialist, explained where the Child Advocacy Centers are located throughout the state, how investigations are handled, why advocacy for the victim is so important, and provided examples from cases of why mental is so important. Jessica Booth stated, “The importance of asking questions correctly without leading the victim was really stressed. Remaining emotionally detached while questioning was also stressed. I think this would be hard to do, but very important.”
The conference concluded with a session where students were broken into groups and reflected on their learning. They also shared how they can take the knowledge they learned back to their schools and community.
Jacobsen stated about the conference, “This was an excellent conference for students to attend. Not only did they gain information about mental health issues and the importance of mental health, but they also learned about a variety of careers involved in mental health. Programs and pathways to Licensed Behaviors Health Careers offered within our state colleges and universities were outlined for them.”