Hometown Intern – Vickie Ference

Name: Vickie Ference
Hometown: Ord
Affiliated Fund: Valley County Community Foundation Fund
School: UNL

What’s it like to return to your community after being away for a while?
When I returned home, it felt like a breath of fresh air! Ord is where I belong, and when I am away too long, I start missing the unique atmosphere here. What makes my heart so happy is seeing someone in our community succeed and getting to celebrate their achievements.

Likewise, when something bad happens, we come together to help each other through it.

What are some of your hometown’s greatest assets?
It’s the people. We are all so uniquely made, each with different skills to share within our community! When our town is passionate about something, we give it 110% and make it a reality. We are individuals who look for ways to make things better for the future, ensuring our town will still be standing in 1,000 years!

What about the NCF Internship experience stands out to you so far? Why?
When y’all said we are an asset in our community! It is sometimes hard to imagine how much you bring to a community when you are a part of it each and every day. I am grateful for that reminder and for making sure I share within my community how many others are also huge assets within our place!

Everyone has gifts and talents to share. What do you hope to share with your hometown this summer?
I hope to share my new ideas, authenticity, and faith! I feel like I can bring a fresh perspective, and I promise to speak up and share innovative ideas. I also hope to bring a smiling face and a grateful heart to each interview, business visitation, and board meeting. Smiles are free, so why not share one? Lastly, faith! Faith is a relationship with God, and I am willing to share it with others. Our community is very religious, and I hope I can share what God is putting on my heart and bring a sparkle to the community.

What should older adults know about your generation of Nebraskans?
We are ready and excited to carry on the legacy you have started! We are incredibly grateful for the foundation you have laid, but please let us work alongside you to build the walls. Then, our ideal building will be able to support the next generation who wants to add the roof.

What makes you feel most attached to your hometown?
The community! Everyone wants to see you succeed and genuinely cares about your passions and how you plan to make them a reality. They are also willing to invest in your future, even if it isn’t exactly what they were expecting. I also love our school and the community support within it. If you haven’t ever been to a homecoming week in Ord, please come and enjoy a town full of love and energy.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your community?
I hope my generation keeps downtown alive and that even more people move back to the community to raise their families here. I think this is the best town ever and the perfect place to raise a family. I would love for Ord to keep its values of faith, family, friendship, and generosity at the forefront. It takes a community to raise a child, and let me tell you, this is the place.

What are you looking for in a place to call home?
To build my own family someday here in faith. We have so many opportunities and amazing leaders in our community that this is where I want to call home. My hope is that my children love this place and are so proud to call this their home. That they take ownership of Ord and that they know that they are an asset to our community.

If you were designing a future for yourself in Greater Nebraska, what would that look like?
I want to build my own family someday here in faith. We have so many opportunities and amazing leaders in our community that this is where I want to call home. My hope is that my children love this place and are proud to call it their home. I want them to take ownership of Ord and understand that they are an asset to our community.

What’s a piece of advice you have for older generations of Nebraskans?
Let the next generation in, welcome them, and show them love. If you’re from rural Nebraska, you know what it feels like to be loved in some way. Let them know they have a place here and be open to new ideas, even if they are scary. Change is hard, but remember, we are improving things for our grandchildren and the leaders of tomorrow. So, I ask you to love the people who are moving in, bringing new ideas, and wanting to live out their passions. It might be hard, but it’s worth it.

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