Aspire Spring/Summer 2021


What We Learned During the Pandemic The headlines recently shifted from “when will we see vaccines to fight COVID-19?” to “Go! Get your vaccine!” Last year, we wrestled with ways to successfully work from home, and now, we plan to return in August 2021, and (hopefully) welcome the public back into our offices in September 2021. Of course, a lot can change before then, please stay tuned. This past year, our staff learned a completely new “virtual” language! We have used Zoom, Click Meeting, Google Meet, MS Teams, ZohoAssist, and other technology to conduct sessions with families, counselors and groups, large and small. Our Virtual College Fair was a new success, and we plan to continue this option so that students learn about colleges that interest them. Virtual College Fairs are a great fit for a state as geographically vast as ours. We hope that we can return to classrooms, gyms, offices, and auditoriums to present to students and families this fall. Getting back into the schools to see faces in person, albeit behind a mask, will be invigorating! We also learned how to work virtually internally, in small teams, to deliver on our mission to increase college going in Nebraska. An important element of our mission is FAFSA completion. While FAFSA filing has been off, we are now just 2.7% lower than last year and we are #20 in the country for total FAFSA completions by our high school seniors. We are getting there! We still believe that earning an education credential after high school is more important than ever. Understandably, timing has been thrown off for some, but eventually college planning efforts will kick into gear and future plans will be made. We are here for students and families, whenever they are ready. The pandemic has taught us to be resourceful, resilient, mindful and grateful. EducationQuest staff have been safe in their homes working hard. Thankfully, everyone was retained, and together we celebrated one retirement. I am personally grateful for all their flexibility and adaptability. It has been a test, but we passed with flying colors!

The pandemic has taught us to be resourceful, resilient, mindful and grateful. – Liz Koop

Published biannually for education leaders in Nebraska.

Liz S. Koop President and CEO Daphne Hall Senior Vice President College Access Programs Mike Timmins Senior Vice President & CFO Eric Drumheller Vice President Grants & Scholarships Tricia Dunn Editor 402.479.6666

Liz S. Koop President & CEO EducationQuest Foundation

2 |

Powered by