SCOTTSBLUFF - Vance Johnson, a 10-year wide receiver and member of the famed "Three Amigos" on the Denver Broncos, will highlight the 2021 Human Services Open House and Behavioral Health Professions Conference at Western Nebraska Community College, Wednesday, Oct. 27 on the Scottsbluff Campus.
Following his career with the Broncos, Johnson’s substance use took a drastic turn resulting in a medically-induced coma. He turned his life back around in September 2013. As a recovery ambassador Johnson has devoted his life to telling his story about growing up around addiction and domestic violence, his own substance abuse, and his recovery to inspire others who are in need of help.
Students will hear Johnson deliver his message "If not you, then who," about his experience with the behavioral health providers that helped him recover and ultimately saved his life. His keynote address will also be live-streamed to Chadron State College.
"I am excited for students to hear Vance’s story," Dr. Carrie Howton, WNCC social sciences instructor said. "The transparency in which he talks about his childhood, addiction, and recovery is important in today’s world when so many people, especially celebrities and athletes, are living false narratives through social media. Vance is real and raw. He is also an advocate for behavioral health care as he truly appreciates the role providers have played in his life. I hope students feel inspired and consider the behavioral health profession as they choose their future educational paths."
Along with Johnson, students will also hear from several WNCC Human Services instructors and behavioral health professionals in breakout sessions throughout the morning. The presenters include Howton, CAPWN's Kat Velljo, LADS; WNCC's Jackie Cawiezel, Chadron State College's Tara Wilson, LMHP; WNCC's Jordan Colwell, and UNMC's Nancy Meier, APRN.
Students will learn about different career opportunities in Human Services, as well as educational paths for becoming a licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC), licensed mental health practitioner (LMHP), and nurse practitioner (APRN).
The event is free and open to all students interested in Human Services, including high school, college, and adult education students.
Registration for the open house begins at 8:15 a.m. in the John N. Harms Center. Lunch will be provided and face coverings are required and will be provided for attendees.
In addition to the Human Services Open House, Johnson will speak to the general public at 6:30 p.m. in the Judy Chaloupka Theater, also on October 27. The event is free to attend and open to all. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.