Hometown Intern – Johanna Ford

Name: Johanna Ford
Hometown: Bertrand, NE
Affiliated Fund: Bertrand Area Community Fund
School: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

What’s it like to return to your community after being away for a while?
It has been an awesome experience thus far! It has been a blessing to come home and be reminded of why I love this place so much.

What are some of your hometown’s greatest assets?
Bertrand has many great assets! Some of my favorites include the annual Bertrand Days celebration and the members of the community who go above and beyond to support the community and help it thrive.

What about the NCF Internship experience stands out to you so far? Why?
The biggest thing that stands out to me is that we are not expected to step outside our comfort zone to the point of it being unbearable. We are asked to show up as ourselves, and we aren’t expected to be anything more or anything less. I believe this leads us to want to exit our comfort zone of our own volition, which I love seeing!

Everyone has gifts and talents to share. What do you hope to share with your hometown this summer?
I hope to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas! I love traditions, but every tradition has to start with an idea. Since I have spent the majority of the past two years at college, I believe that I can see things in the community that others have maybe grown blind to. Because of this, I think I provide some neat insight.

What should older adults know about your generation of Nebraskans?
There are a lot of us who would love to come home and raise a family! We want to work alongside the older generation of Nebraskans to make a community that is a viable option for us to come back to. We also appreciate when our opinions are taken into consideration.

What makes you feel most attached to your hometown?
I am the most attached to the people and memories in my hometown. I was incredibly close with all of my high school classmates and those are some of the relationships that will last a lifetime. I also love all the memories that I created with my friends and family in Bertrand.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your community?
I want to see Bertrand expand and draw people into the community with welcoming arms.

What are you looking for in a place to call home?
One of the most crucial things that I am looking for is a good school system and a place where I can find job opportunities nearby.

If you were designing a future for yourself in Greater Nebraska, what would that look like?
I would love to be living in a small town with a job that I am extremely passionate about and with opportunities present within the community that enable others to do the same thing.

What’s a piece of advice you have for older generations of Nebraskans?
All the interactions that you have with us, even when we’re kids, have a lasting impact on the way we view the community. Leaving a lasting, positive impact on all generations is a great way to start expanding your community, as it will draw us back home.

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