Meet Sophia Yelkin, the public health educator at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Tell us a little about your business. – We work with our partners to assure a healthy community for the residents of Lincoln and Lancaster County. The Tobacco Prevention Program ( goals include keeping youth and young adults from starting to use tobacco and nicotine products like e-cigarettes and promoting tobacco-free environments.

How did you get started in the business? – After working in other sectors of health and wellness, I found that public health provides the opportunity to make a broader impact on the health of the community. I started working at the Health Department in the clinic, primarily assisting our new refugee population, and was excited to move to my current position as a health educator. It gives me the opportunity to utilize my skills developing materials, creating relationships, and presenting in the community.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – In November 2020, I led a small task force of business leaders in implementing and promoting a city-wide event celebrating the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. I developed a ready-to-go campaign complete with educational materials, social media posts, and plenty of resources to support tobacco quit attempts. Although there were unique challenges with hosting an event during the pandemic, we were able to involve many businesses throughout the city of Lincoln and are looking forward to an event this year with even more participation throughout the county.

Tell us a little about your family. – I grew up in Hickman, where my parents still call home. Both of my brother’s families live in the area as well. Our home in Lincoln is filled with the love and craziness that only a mother and daughter could create. My daughter is an amazing human that shines bright in the world and challenges me to be better every day. Our fur-babies, Delta and Rosie, make our home complete.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – I backpacked through New Zealand and Australia for nearly a year after completing my undergrad.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – I love a good DIY project. If I’m not covered in paint or sawdust, I love to find hiking trails to explore or take my puppy to the dog park.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I am a competitive axe thrower. I recently joined a league at Craft Axe House and am loving it, even if I have to use the term “competitive” loosely.

What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – Big things never happen in comfort zones.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? – “Because I’m Awesome” by The Dollyrots.

What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – The Bay. Their outreach work to youth in the community is beyond inspiring. Tobacco Free Lancaster County has been able to work with them to promote tobacco-free living.

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – Eat Pray Love.

What is your favorite local restaurant? – My top three include Blessings Thai, Banhwich, and Mughil’s.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – (402) 441-4108;;