What is the best thing about living in your community?
The people. Imperial is filled with people compassionate for one another and who strive to make our little corner of the world a better place to live, work, and play. A growing number of young adults elect to remain in the community to work or further their education from home, and many more are returning home after leaving for higher education and career opportunities. These young community members are increasingly becoming engaged and active in community organizations and local government, and are passionate about improving the quality of life for themselves and their families.
Did you always plan to return to Greater Nebraska? If not, what changed your mind?
I have always cherished how close-knit most Greater Nebraska communities are, and appreciated the opportunity to develop and build strong relationships with those around me. In retrospect, growing up in Imperial was a blessing and is definitive to who I have become as an adult. I spent most summers during college and law school in Imperial, and always desired to eventually return to Imperial or a similar small town in Greater Nebraska. I spend a lot of my summer weekends making road trips to towns all across Nebraska.
For you personally, what has been the most valuable part about moving to your community?
The ability to immediately get involved in the community and make a difference has been the most valuable aspect of moving home. Serving on the Imperial Community Foundation Fund and volunteering in other areas in the community have allowed me to work with other forward-thinking members of the community, focusing on different ways we could improve the quality of life and continue to make Imperial a progressive, beautiful community. If I lived in a larger city, I’m not sure I would have the same opportunity to have my voice heard.
What excites you when you think about the future of your community?
I get really excited when I think about how progressive Imperial is and how it continues to thrive. The community has been very receptive to new ideas and new projects. The community is not afraid to work hard and invest to make positive change happen. One great example is the new skatepark, which started two years ago with a group of local children selling lemonade and breakfast burritos to raise money. The whole community backed this project and the skatepark opened this summer. Projects like this show Imperial continues to raise the bar for small town, yet vivacious, rural life.
What drew you to the NCF network?
NCF is tremendous at facilitating its affiliated funds to create connections and build relationships with our peers and sister communities across the state. What better way to develop new ideas about building and enhancing our communities than by gathering with our peers from places like Nebraska City, Stuart, and McCook to share stories of our triumphs and discuss areas of improvement. NCF’s talented staff gives community leaders the tools to learn from and work with one another to make Greater Nebraska a better place as a whole. While Nebraska is a pretty large state, NCF helps bring us all much closer.