Liza Aunkst is a provisionally licensed mental health practitioner and provisionally certified master social worker in the state of Nebraska. In 2016, Liza graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in social work with a minor in sociology. After graduation, Liza began working with children and families that were involved in foster care, providing them support, education, and supervised visitation. In November of 2018, Liza transitioned to her current position working with families that are formed through adoption or guardianship that need extra encouragement and assistance in the State of Nebraska. Liza also works with families that are trying to build their family through adoption, pregnant mothers that are looking to make an adoption plan, or pregnant mothers who are planning to parent. In total, Liza has worked with children and families for five years. Liza graduated in August of 2020 with her Master’s degree in social work, with a concentration in mental health and trauma, from the University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work in Colorado. Liza takes what she learns from the people that she serves and uses that to grow personally and professionally.
Liza is the daughter of Firefighter Michael Aunkst, of the Benedict Volunteer Fire Department (NE), who died in the line of duty in 2005. Liza hopes to honor her father’s legacy and memory by working in the neighborhoods that he served and by giving back to the community that helped build her into the person she is today.
Liza has been the beneficiary of many of the resources of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation including a scholarship. In times of vulnerability, her father always taught her to ask for help, no matter how hard. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation was a beacon of light in a dark time. She aspires to be that beacon of light for other Fire Hero Families, to provide support and education on their grief journey. Liza has completed the Peer Support Training, attends different Foundation events, and has started helping with the virtual Camp Hal sessions.