Hometown Intern – Kaegan Held

Name: Kaegan Held
Hometown: Leigh, NE
Affiliated Fund: Leigh Legacy Fund
School: 2+2 University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Iowa State University PPVM

What’s it like to return to your community after being away for a while?
Returning to my hometown for the summer is always a breath of fresh air. Catching up with the people of the community, being involved in summer activities, and just being able to live in my community again for a few short months is exactly what I need after the school year. There is truly no other small town like Leigh, and I am thankful I get to be a part of it.

What are some of your hometown’s greatest assets?
The people are my hometown’s greatest asset. Everyone living in Leigh is excited about calling this place home, and everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand. I have so many people that support me in my hometown just due to the fact that we all share the same pride of being able to call Leigh home.

What about the NCF Internship experience stands out to you so far? Why?
So far, the biggest thing that sticks out to me about the NCF Internship experience is the way it makes me think about my community in ways I haven’t before. I know my community is special, but being able to break my thoughts down on why it is special stands out to me.

Everyone has gifts and talents to share. What do you hope to share with your hometown this summer?
Through my project for Leigh this year, I plan to start a community garden to hopefully bring the people of Leigh together in a new way. My plan includes involving elementary and high school students and faculty to help take care of the garden year-round, and then offering the produce to the community. I believe this is a good way to get the school system and the people of Leigh to interact in a unique way to bring our community closer together.

What should older adults know about your generation of Nebraskans?
I think older adults should know that most of my generation of Nebraskans still possess the work ethic older adults do. This work ethic may be in different areas, but the passion that my generation has in their careers and activities is strong.

What makes you feel most attached to your hometown?
I have stated this in the above questions, but it can never be mentioned enough when talking about a town like Leigh. I am so attached to Leigh because of the people and the same passion they share with me for our hometown. Leigh would not be the town that it is without the people and what they bring to the community.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your community?
My dream for the future of Leigh would be continued growth. Leigh has grown in so many ways recently, including homes, education, recreation, and organizations. I hope this continues and is still being achieved as I look to start a family in Leigh in the future.

What are you looking for in a place to call home?
Home for me would include a small town full of close family and friends, a well-developed education system for my future children to grow and thrive in, and a location where I can make a difference through my career. Finding these assets in one place can be difficult, but it isn’t when thinking about small towns in Nebraska.

If you were designing a future for yourself in Greater Nebraska, what would that look like?
My ideal future would include settling down in a small town, preferably around Leigh, and opening up my own veterinary clinic and raising a family. This has been the plan for my future for many years, and I hope for this to happen one day. Opening up my own veterinary clinic in Leigh or close to Leigh would be a great opportunity for me to be able to give back to the community and be a solution to a need of the town.

What’s a piece of advice you have for older generations of Nebraskans?
I would say the biggest piece of advice that I have for older generations of Nebraskans is that accepting change can lead to growth in many ways. This growth may be different than what older generations are used to, but growth in different ways is good in order to truly determine what is the best end goal.

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