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On Thursday, North Platte Community College was abuzz with the energy of 290 eager students from 13 nearby middle schools, all gathered for the annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference. This event, aimed at igniting curiosity and passion for various fields, saw students delving into activities spanning from horticulture to computer coding, and from physical therapy to kitchen and bath design. Spearheaded by volunteers from 31 local businesses, the day was designed to broaden horizons and inspire the next generation of innovators.

Among the distinguished speakers at the event was Lori Bergman, the visionary owner and CEO of Double Dips Ice Creamery in North Platte. Bergman’s presence brought a unique flavor to the conference as she shared her journey and insights with the young attendees. Her keynote speech was not just about entrepreneurship but about the power of believing in oneself and pursuing dreams fearlessly.

Bergman’s message was simple yet profound: “Always know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.” She emphasized the importance of self-belief and encouraged the students to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. “If your dream doesn’t scare you,” she exclaimed, “you aren’t dreaming big enough.” Her words resonated deeply with the audience, instilling a sense of empowerment and possibility.

Throughout her speech, Bergman recounted her own experiences as an entrepreneur, from the initial spark of an idea to the challenges and triumphs of building Double Dips Ice Creamery into a beloved local institution. Her passion for her craft and dedication to her community were evident, serving as a shining example of what can be achieved through determination and perseverance.

The Expanding Your Horizons Conference provided an invaluable platform for students to explore diverse career paths and discover their passions. Representing schools from Adams to Wauneta-Palisade, the attendees were exposed to a wide array of fields, sparking curiosity and inspiration. The hands-on activities and engaging sessions facilitated by business volunteers further enriched the experience, fostering creativity and critical thinking skills.

As the day came to a close, the students left with a renewed sense of purpose and possibility, buoyed by Bergman’s words of encouragement and the myriad opportunities presented to them. The impact of events like the Expanding Your Horizons Conference extends far beyond a single day, planting seeds of curiosity and ambition that will continue to grow and flourish in the years to come.

In a world brimming with endless possibilities, it is leaders like Lori Bergman who remind us that the only limits are those we impose upon ourselves. Through her inspiring keynote speech, she not only shared her entrepreneurial journey but also imparted invaluable lessons on resilience, courage, and the transformative power of chasing one’s dreams. As these young minds embark on their own journeys, they carry with them the seeds of potential sown at events like these, poised to shape the future with innovation, passion, and purpose.


Bryce Harvey

Bryce Harvey is Owner and lead creative at Avid Media. Bryce advises businesses, and brands on digital content strategies, marketing materials and website design.