Skip to content

Get help now

Call or Text 988

Nebraska School Mental Health Conference

The Kim Foundation is honored to partner with ESU3 and other Steering Committee members to bring you the Nebraska School Mental Health Conference in Kearney on June 11-12, 2019. The theme, Advancing H.O.P.E. – Health, Opportunities, Partnerships, & Equity, aligns strongly with the foundation’s mission and we are so excited to bring this opportunity to our state.

The agenda is jam-packed with 35 breakout sessions from experts right here in Nebraska, as well as three dynamic national keynote speakers. The conference will kick off with Scarlett Lewis, who founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement after she lost her son during the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. Shortly after his death, Scarlett decided to be a part of the solution to the issues that we’re seeing in our society, and that also caused the tragedy. She created the movement and became an advocate for social and emotional learning that teaches children how to manage their emotions, feel connected, and have healthy relationships. We are so excited to have Scarlett join us and share her passion and knowledge.

Wednesday will open up with Dr. Sharon Hoover, who has been a strong supporter of ongoing initiatives throughout Nebraska in the area of school mental health. She is a leading figure in advancing school mental health research, training, policy, and practice at a national, state, and local level. Dr. Hoover is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The conference will close out Wednesday with Ferial Pearson who was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. After graduating from Peponi School, she left Africa to attend Gustavos Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in teaching and met her husband. She was offered an opportunity to teach at Omaha South High School, where she taught English and Reading for 10 years. She earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Graduate Certificate in Urban Instruction, and has since earned her Ed. D. She moved on to Ralston High School where she created the Secret Kindness Agents project, which became the subject of a book, a TEDx Talk, and was the focus of her dissertation. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Teacher Education Department. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher award.

We are so excited to have these three keynote presenters share their expertise and knowledge with us as we join hundreds of like-minded Nebraskans for two days of sharing, networking, learning, and advocating for the youth of Nebraska. Eight CEUs will be offered to attendees, all for a very low price of $50 per attendee. For more information on the Nebraska School Mental Health Conference or to see the full agenda, click here.


Julia Hebenstreit, The Kim FoundationJulia Hebenstreit, Executive Director of The Kim Foundation

Julia received her J.D. from Creighton University in 2005, and her BS in Journalism from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2002. She has been with The Kim Foundation since 2011, and prior to that worked for local non-profits doing development, strategic planning, communications and advancement. She has a passion for helping people and improving lives, and serves on the Executive Committee for Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations, as the 2015 Hill Day State Captain for the state of Nebraska, and as an active member of the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, BHECN Advisory Committee, RESPECT Advisory Board, Connections Advisory Board and the Project Propel Planning Group.