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Our New “Normal”

It wasn’t that long ago that I remember sitting down with my team (March 19th) as we transitioned to a remote working environment. I remember trying to remain positive, sticking to the facts, and limiting the uncertainty that faced us all. I will be honest, that day I wouldn’t have believed that we would still be working remotely as June came to a close if someone would have told me that. Nonetheless, here we are, and all of us are adapting to the ever-changing times.

I typically don’t like the word “normal” because it’s so arbitrary as each of us has our own version of normalcy. However, I do think we have to admit that the way of life we knew before mid-March likely won’t return any time soon, if ever. There are certainly some positives that presents, but also some things that we may wish we had back at some point. However, as I’ve pointed out in my last couple of articles, we are trying to hold on to the positives and find the silver linings in each opportunity. This time of transition and new opportunity will be something we look back on as a pivotal point in our lives and our businesses.

One definite opportunity that the pandemic presented was having to transition the 2020 Nebraska School Mental Health Conference to a virtual platform. The conference was held June 4th & 5th and our Steering Committee knocked it out of the park I must admit! We had not done a virtual conference before and we had more than 600 people registered so it was quite an undertaking. I want to take this opportunity to thank our co-chairs, ESU3, our dedicated Steering Committee, and the Education & Learning Department from ESU3 who handled all of our technology and Zoom platform. We could not have done this without each and every one of you and I cannot thank you enough! Another opportunity and moment of transition for us here at The Kim Foundation is we are excited to announce we will be moving the first of July! We will be leaving the C&A Industries building, which has been our home since the inception of the foundation and joining many of our community partners on the Project Harmony campus. I personally have spent nine years walking into the doors of C&A on California Street and am going to truly miss some great friends and trusted colleagues. However, I look forward to a new beginning at our new location, as we continue to move forward in our meaningful work of pursuing our mission of serving as a supportive resource and compassionate voice for lives touched by mental illness and suicide. Watch for more information to come on our new location and transition!

Julia Hebenstreit, The Kim Foundation

Julia Hebenstreit, Executive Director of The Kim Foundation

Julia Hebenstreit is the Executive Director of The Kim Foundation. She 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.