Meet Our Kids

Kids’ Chance of Nebraska has helped dozens of deserving students finance their college educations and will continue to fund additional scholarships. We are proud of our Kids’ Chance scholars, featured below:

2021 Scholarship Recipients

Jurnee Bruce is studying at Southeast Community College.

Sierra Bruce is studying at Central Community College – Columbus.

Kelsey Bruck is studying at Metropolitan Community College.

McKenzie Bruck is studying at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Joshua Elsbernd is studying at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Bryan McDaneld is studying at the University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Megan McDaneld is studying at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Yakelin Mendez is studying at the University of Nebraska – Kearney.

Zachary Steib is studying at Dakota Wesleyan University.

2020 Scholarship Recipients

Jurnee Bruce is studying at Southeast Community College with plans to graduate in May, 2022.

Kelsey Bruck is studying at Metropolitan Community College with plans to graduate in May, 2022

Megan McDaneld is studying at the University of Nebraska, Omaha with plans to graduate in May, 2024.

Kelton Van Pelt is studying at Palm Beach Atlantic University with plans to graduate in May, 2024.

2019 Scholarship Recipients

Emma Schoepf  is studying at Southeast Community College with plans to graduate in May, 2021.

Austin Pokorny is studying at Northeast Community College with plans to graduate in May, 2021.

Alexis Pokorny is studying at University of Nebraska – Kearney with plans to graduate in May, 2023.

Yakelin Mendez is studying at the University of Nebraska – Kearney with plans to graduate in May, 2024.

Kayla Nichols is studying at Bryan College of Health Sciences with plans to graduate in May, 2023.

2018 Scholarship Recipients

Joshua Elsbernd is a Freshman at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is a graduate of Grand Island Senior High School. His goal is to pursue employment in the Service Industry.

McKenzie Bruck is a Freshman at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She is a graduate of Papillion LaVista South High School. McKenzie is majoring in English Literature and Art.

Keylee Bruck is a Junior at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is from Papillion, NE. Her goal is to complete a BSN Degree in Nursing.

Bryan McDaneld is a Freshman at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. He is a graduate of Omaha North High School.

Zachary Stieb is a Freshman at Dakota Wesleyan University. He is a graduate of Loup City Public High School.

Sierra Bruce is a Freshman at Central Community College in Columbus, NE. She is a graduate of Franklin Public High School.

Tristan Bruce is a Senior at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He will graduate in 2019 with a Nursing degree. Tristan is from Franklin, NE.

2017 scholarship recipients

Cadrien Livingston grew up on a ranch near O’Neill Nebraska. At 10 years old she lost her father in a grain bin accident. Her and her mother continued the ranching operation. She is a Junior at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She intends to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and environmental science communications and a minor in political science.

Cadrien recently completed a summer internship at Gavilon giving her direct experience in her field of study.

Update on internship at Gavilon

One of the most challenging things I’ve had to do is turn a tragedy into something great. But when stumbling across the Kids Chance Scholarship of Nebraska, I knew that I could use my experience to share with others why my dad’s death had such an impact on me. Having no idea if a farming accident met the scholarship rules, I took a chance and applied anyway. Not knowing that it would be a decision that would change my whole plans for the 2018 summer and help me know for sure what I want to do after graduating.

When I got that letter in the mail, I was ecstatic. But, I didn’t truly realize what had all gone on to get me that letter saying I had received the scholarship. A couple of months later, I receive a phone call from a Chad Armstrong, who’s on Kids Chance board and works for a company called Gavilon. He stated my application met the considerations and wanted to take it a step further, Gavilon was going to be the first corporate sponsor of the Kids’ Chance Scholarship Foundation, making me the first recipient for the scholarship. After attending the scholarship banquet in October, Gavilon offered me an internship for the following summer on the spot.

My experience as an intern here has been like none other. When I first walked in the door, I was greeted with trust and respect. I was already on my first project work 30 minutes into the job and the hands-on experience Gavilon gave me added value to my internship. I learned by asking questions and earned experience by going out to many Gavilon locations and talking to employees and customers. Throughout the summer I was able to accomplish sending 12 safety posters to over 140 locations, create a safety flyer on grain bin engulfment that is shared with Gavilon customers and farmers, and film and edit a promotional video that will be used to promote Gavilon’s brand and strong core values.

But, none of this would even be possible without the Kids Chance Scholarship and the commitment Gavilon had to me. A tragedy is a hard, life-changing event to overcome. But, without it, I would not be the person I am today nor have the passion for farm safety that has become so near and dear to me. My love for agriculture and the people who do it daily motivates me to help individuals know the dangers and risk associated on the farm and ranch and gives me resilience to turn my story into something that can help others. Because Kids Chance gave me the opportunity to pursue my dreams of college and Gavilon offered me the chance to make a difference, I know that I have overcome the odds and made my experience make a difference.

Salvatore Fidone IV, lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa and is attending the University of South Dakota. His goal is to attend veterinary school. His father was his hero and his best friend. He died after being struck by a vehicle and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Lisbeth Zavala Flores, from Lincoln, is attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln with the goal of finishing her academic training at the University Nebraska Medical Center to become a dental hygienist. In 2004 her father died when he was struck by a dump truck at work.

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2016 scholarship recipients

Alexis Araujo – Bellevue, Nebraska. Alexis is a Junior at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, Psychology, Pre-Medicine major. Alexis’ mom suffered a significant injury to her arm as a result of a job-related accident in 2002. During the surgery to repair her arm, her mom was left paralyzed from the rib cage down. Alexis graduated from Bellevue West High School.

Hannah Stodolka – Omaha, Nebraska. Hannah is a Junior at the University of Nebraska Lincoln majoring in Journalism with a career goal of becoming a sports broadcaster. Hannah’s father was killed in a work–related automobile accident when she was a fourth grader. Hannah graduated from Westside High School in Omaha.

2015 scholarship recipients

Ruby Mendez – Crete, Nebraska. Ruby is a Senior at University of Nebraska Kearney and majoring in Multimedia and minoring in Graphic Design. Her goal upon graduating is to work for a non-profit and eventually work with political campaigns.

Zeb Elsbernd – Grand Island, Nebraska. He graduated from Grand Island Senior High School. He is currently a Senior at the University of Nebraska. Zeb’s major is Social Science Education with a goal of becoming a high school teacher.