Your Seconds: Understanding burden, crisis and resiliency
Facilitated by Dr. Stuart P. Stofferahn
A comprehensive joint study by the US Department of Education and the US Secret Service (2001) concluded that one of the ways to decrease school violence was to increase the depth of the relationships between students and the adults within the school. In doing so, we cultivate a deeper understanding of the burden we all carry from day to day. With understanding comes empathy, compassion…and humanity – and a decreased capacity for unhealthy choices. But schools are not the only place where we need to work on our understanding of burden and how it affects us if not properly supported through genuineness, compassion, kindness and grace – simply by being present in each other’s lives. Through a simple yet poignant exercise, Dr. Stofferahn will help each of us more thoroughly understand empathy, loving-kindness and compassion and the positive effects of vulnerability…simply by allowing others to help us carry our daily burdens. In doing so, we create a work environment that becomes more cognizant of each person’s needs, which in turn drives up morale and increases retention.
Dr. Stofferahn retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2017 after 31 years of combined active duty and reserve service. He ended his long career by directing state-wide recruiting and retention efforts for the Nebraska Air National Guard – named the Recruiting and Retention Superintendent of the Year in 2015. During this service, he was also a youth director at a large urban church, an elementary music teacher, and he volunteered his time with Junior Achievement, Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties and with the Homeless Coalition of Lincoln. He and his dog, Buckley are a trained therapy team and have provided unique care for hospice clients for the last five years – with over 500 hours of service to date. Most recently, he has been working to build Nebraska Transition College – an organization whose mission is to provide a comprehensive curriculum for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other learning difference so that they may find a pathway to independence through employment or post-secondary educational opportunity. Initially the founder and president of the board, he now serves as the Executive Director. He was the 2018 recipient of the Bud Cuca Servant Leader Award – an award presented annually to honor a member of the community who has lived and embodied the ideals of servant leadership by leading from the heart, and using his/her talents, gifts and leadership ability to make a better future for the entire community, including all of its citizens. His undergraduate degree is in music education, and he received his master’s and doctorate in education leadership from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dr. Stofferahn is also a speaker through Cold Wet Nose, LLC. He speaks on a variety of topics to include co-worker care, understanding burden and resiliency, effective communication/conflict resolution, leadership by influence, mentorship, and motivation.
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