Helping Others Comes Natural for Krista Hinrichs '20

Helping Others Comes Natural for Krista Hinrichs '20

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Krista Hinrichs is all about helping others.

Whether it’s through her work as a crisis counselor at Boys Town, or in her role as Miss Collegiate Nebraska 2021, the 2020 Midland graduate relishes the opportunity to lend a hand wherever it’s needed. “I really love opportunities where I can give back to people,” Hinrichs said. “I think it’s so important to give back to the community and that’s why I’m always searching for things around the community I can get involved with.”

Hinrichs earned her title as Miss Collegiate Nebraska in October. She had competed in the MCN pageant two years ago and finished as first runner-up, which generated interest in her wanting to be a part of the program this year. There was no pageant this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but when Hinrichs was presented the opportunity by the organization to carry the title, there was little hesitation. “I really enjoyed the competition (two years ago) and when I went through the system, I thought it was very well organized and a lot of fun,” she said.

One of the main components in her role as Miss Collegiate Nebraska is serving as an advocate for BRAVE (Building Respect And Values for Everyone), which educates young people about bullying and the proper ways to handle it. “A big part of BRAVE is explaining to young kids what bullying is,” Hinrichs said. “They may not know the difference between bullying, or just having a bad day. We want to show them what physical bullying looks like, along with cyber bullying, or verbal bullying.”

Hinrichs also points out the importance of knowing how to recognize bullying, and how to handle a potential bullying situation. “We don’t want them to think that every situation is bullying and be the tattle-tale all the time, but we want to educate them on what will benefit them in that situation,” she said. “We break all of that down and talk about the best ways to be a positive impact in school, or wherever they may be, but make sure they’re doing that in the right way.”

Through her work with BRAVE, Hinrichs has visited with many local elementary schools, either in-person or virtually, to provide that education. She has also attended several events (when allowed) and will provide any assistance when needed in the community. Hinrichs estimates she spends anywhere from 10-25 hours per week with the program, willing to get out as much information as possible.

It’s just part of a busy workload for Hinrichs, who graduated from Midland in May as a Psychology and Sociology major. She is attending graduate school at UNO and is in line to earn a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health. She also works an overnight shift as a crisis counselor at Boys Town, which has allowed her to see both sides of the impact bullying can have. “I teach people the message of BRAVE, and at work I see situations where someone is being bullied, so there are ways the two of them are connected,” she said. “You’re trying to get the word out ahead of time to prevent bullying, but when I get calls at work, you have to deal with it at that moment.”

Hinrichs will represent Nebraska at the 2021 Miss Collegiate USA Pageant, set for June 19-26 in Little Rock, Ark. In the meantime, her role as student, crisis counselor, and Miss Collegiate Nebraska will keep her busy. She wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’ll help out wherever they’ll let me,” she said.