I recently heard about a group of men who meet each morning in downtown Scottsbluff. Most of them are Scottsbluff High School graduates so I had to find out what this was all about. Gathering my courage and a notebook I went to see what was drawing these gentlemen out each morning. What I found as I entered was a relatively quiet group of men with a cup of coffee or tea in front of them. I am sure they wondered what I was doing there and more importantly what I wanted from them. After assuring them I was merely there to observe, we began to chat. I learned that this group of retirees has been meeting together daily for years. They told me they talk about football, fishing, the weather, and "other" sports. I asked if there was anything they didn't talk about? In unison they responded, "politics"!It didn't take long for me to realize they were onto something good.These men have found community.They don't meet together with an agenda or a strategy. They meet to share memories or make plans for the next fishing or golf trip, give each other a hard time, and offer support. My biggest lesson from this experience was to find your people and show up. That's the lesson, show up like these men do! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your group for one morning.Pictured areDon Schmidt SHS '61, Rich Jackson SHS '64, Tom Carson SHS '60, Rod Green SHS '71, Roger Wheeler SHS '65, Bob Brown SHS '65, Jerry Bretthauer SHS '67, Henry Rahmig GHS '60, Russ Weimer KHS "71, John Koenig KHS '60, Marty Martinson AHS '55, Ron Asmus LHS '58, Don Roth MHS '63, Dick Meyer WPHS '67, and Glen Vandenberge WPHS '65.
October Alumni Spotlight
Dr. Natasha Jenkins & Dex SHS Class of 1999 & 2031
Dr. Natasha Jenkins
SHS Class of 1999
1999 Scottsbluff High School Valedictorian, Dr. Natasha Jenkins, considers it a privilege to serve over 3,000 eye patients every year as co-owner of Scottsbluff Vision Clinic and Eastern Wyoming Eye Clinic. She professionally attests to the concept that "the eyes are the windows to the soul" in that our eyes not only allow us to see the world around us, but they also give clear insight into one's inner health. The human eye, after all, is literally the second most complex organ after the brain, composed of more than two million working parts. "It has been fascinating to analyze and treat eye conditions to help improve the lifetime vision of my patients the past 15 years," she attests.
As a sixth-generation Nebraskan, Dr. Jenkins accredits growing up on the family ranch and attending Scottsbluff Public Schools as having well-prepared her for success in her chosen profession of optometry. As current vice president and shareholder of the eyecare corporation, Dr. Jenkins is not only responsible for patient medical care, she also co-manages all aspects of both businesses in Scottsbluff and Torrington including finances, quality control, IT infrastructure and employee supervision. She also shares in decision-making regarding investments of advanced optical equipment, eyewear products and contact lenses.
Dr. Jenkins believes being both a Doctor of Optometry and business co-owner of multiple optometric practices creates a perfect career fit for her as a single mother to her son Dex. "It is the nature of my work that allows me the freedom to schedule patients around Dex's schedule, ultimately maximizing our time together. My #1 priority is Dex and the opportunities we share," she explains. Dex is currently a fourth-grade student in Mrs. Burda's class at Longfellow Elementary where he is in the High Ability Learning Program. Dex is an avid reader whose favorite subject is mathematics. His passion is his extensive LEGO collection which includes Creator Expert sets such as the 9,090-piece LEGO Titanic. He plays summer baseball on Coach Jeremy Becker's Westco Travel Team and has earned a white belt in Ko Heichi Martial Arts under Sensei Brent Anderson. Most of all, Dex and his mother enjoy traveling together and competing with and against one another in all types of athletic workouts.
Dr. Jenkins' path to becoming a Doctor of Optometry included eight years of higher education starting with her undergraduate studies as a Walter Scott Scholar at Hastings College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biopsychology graduating Summa Cum Laude with High Distinction in 2003. While at Hastings College, she was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the HC Lady Bronco volleyball and basketball teams. She also played violin in the Hastings Symphony Orchestra.
After being granted the Missouri - Nebraska Reciprocity Scholarship, Dr. Jenkins went on to attend the University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry where she graduated as Class Marshal for ranking first in her Class of 2007.