65 Husker students serving as HALO mentors this summer

· 4 min read

65 Husker students serving as HALO mentors this summer

Nora Husein of Lincoln conducts a science experiment during her after-school club in 2019.
Courtesy photo
Nora Husein of Lincoln conducts a science experiment during her after-school club in 2019.

Sixty-five University of Nebraska–Lincoln students have been selected to lead Nebraska children in grades K-12 in summer activities through the new Huskers After-School and Summer Learning Opportunities (HALO) program.

The program is a collaboration among the University Honors Program, Student Affairs, Nebraska Extension and Beyond School Bells.

“This program was designed to give UNL students the opportunity to contribute to Nebraska’s recovery from the pandemic — specifically, to help young people whose learning has been interrupted by school closures,” said Jeff Cole, network lead for Beyond School Bells, Nebraska’s statewide after-school network.

“Research tells us that after-school and summer learning experiences can have a profound effect on a young person’s development, and we believe UNL students can be just the type of mentors and club facilitators we need to help renew and accelerate learning and growth in the year ahead.”

Honors students have led after-school clubs in Lincoln schools for several years. The new expansion was made possible through CARES Act funds provided to the university.

“I am so excited to see our after-school programs grow this summer,” said Patrice McMahon, director of the Honors Program. “For UNL students, watching these children learn and grow is often the highlight of their week. They come away feeling not only fulfilled, but also prepared with new skills they didn’t have before. This is exactly what the Honors Program hopes to do — help prepare students for real-world experiences that help the community and benefit our society.”

HALO participants will be able to tailor their after-school programs according to their interests or major in school.

For more information on the program, click here or email uhon-office@unl.edu.

Following is a list of HALO mentors, listed by hometown with the location they will serve.



  • Maggie Scott, Clinton Elementary.


  • Abigail Langdon, Nebraska Extension, Platte County.


  • Abby Butler, West Lincoln Elementary.

Grand Island:

  • Dulce Garcia, Malone Center.


  • William Wilton, Platte County Extension.


  • Ray Nierman, McPhee Elementary.


  • Joslyn Loewenstein, Girl Scouts.

La Vista:

  • Vanessa Reiser, Bethany.


  • Noella Bahatsi, Riley Elementary.
  • Jillian Bierbower, Malone Center.
  • Honoria Clarke, Nebraska Extension, Douglas and Sarpy counties.
  • Olivia Fox, Malone Center.
  • Elisabeth Friesen, Clinton Elementary.
  • Avery Hadley, Pershing Elementary.
  • Ella Hagen, Goodrich Middle.
  • Trenton Hammond, Holmes Elementary.
  • Rukhshona Islamova, Malone Center.
  • Erin Kelly, Lefler Middle.
  • Mya McAlpin, North Star High School.
  • Layla Omari, Culler Middle.
  • La’rae Pickens-Bonebright, Park Middle.
  • Juliana Quattrocchi, Girl Scouts.
  • Kaylie Trumble, Clinton Elementary.
  • Ornella Uwayo Keza, Goodrich Middle.
  • Abriana Wilson, Park Middle.
  • Sidney Yant, Malone Center.
  • Ina Yarmolyuk, Nebraska Extension, UNL Campus/Lancaster County.
  • Michael Zavodny, Clinton Elementary.
  • Kirby Zinniel, Calvert Elementary.


  • Grace Lowe, Nebraska Extension, Cass County.


  • Elizabeth Karnopp, Pershing Elementary.


  • Jacquelin Acosta, McPhee Elementary.
  • Jessi Burd, Calvert Elementary.
  • Brannon Evans, Everett Elementary.
  • Ellie Hellman, Schoo Middle.
  • Eliza Jipp, Saratoga Elementary.
  • Haley Mercer, Scott Middle.
  • Justin Solheim, McPhee Elementary.
  • Sapphire Toth, McPhee Elementary.
  • Allison Zetterman, Huntington Elementary.


  • Hannah Pederson, Girl Scouts.


  • John Vacek, Scott Middle.

St. Edward:

  • Emma Ketelsen, Moore Middle.


  • Claire Martin, Campbell Elementary.


  • Payton Flower, Nebraska Extension, Lancaster County.


  • Dylan Hiser, Holmes Elementary.


Highlands Ranch, Colorado:

  • Kaitlyn Krason, Malone Center.

Quincy, Illinois:

  • Jacob Spooner, Pershing Elementary.

South Elgin, Illinois:

  • Grace Gugel, Elliott Elementary.

Sioux City, Iowa:

  • Kylie Bergenske, Moore Middle.
  • Victoria Nelson, Arnold Elementary.

Shawnee, Kansas:

  • Lauren Rothgeb, Lefler Middle.

Bridgman, Michigan:

  • Emma Schmidt, Nebraska Extension, Scotts Bluff County.

Las Vegas, Nevada:

  • Brianna Ryan, West Lincoln Elementary.

Tea, South Dakota:

  • Melissa Graue, Calvert Elementary.

Grapevine, Texas:

  • Ethan Halman-Gonzalez, Riley Elementary.

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin:

  • Rachel Powers, Lefler Middle.

Nanchang, China:

  • Lixin Tu, Dawes Middle.

Amritsar, India:

  • Divsirat Singh, Holmes Elementary.

Ludhiana, India:

  • Simreen Kaur, McPhee Elementary.

Visakhapatnam, India:

  • Malvika Vijju, Huntington Elementary.

Palpa, Nepal:

  • Sandhya Karki, Randolph Elementary.

Muscat, Oman:

  • Nikita Mansinghani, Clinton Elementary.

Kigali, Rwanda:

  • Aline Abayo, Bethany Summer Camp.

Busan, South Korea:

  • Juhyung Park, Randolph Elementary.

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