Invite a young person home with an NCF Hometown Internship

People attraction. It’s a priority for Nebraska communities of all sizes.

Nebraska Community Foundation’s 2020 Youth Survey revealed that the primary reason young Nebraskans don’t envision a future in their hometowns comes down to job opportunities —44% of our respondents said the main reason they would not remain in their area is because of career opportunities elsewhere. Yet a good many say they would actually prefer to live in a small community, and importantly, they’re motivated to make a positive impact on the places that raised them.


“It feels great to give back to the community I grew up in.”

Tricia Cleveland, Petersburg | Interned with Boone County Foundation Fund


NCF’s Hometown Internship program is working to address this with opportunities for ambitious young Nebraskans to return to their hometowns for the summer and further the work and mission of their local Nebraska Community Foundation affiliated fund. This program is helping young people feel more connected to their hometowns, hone job relevant skills, and network with adults and job creators in the area. Importantly, it’s allowing them to envision a bright future right in the comfort of their own hometown.

After the success of 13 exceptional 2020 Hometown Interns, we’re expanding the program to up to 25 interns in the summer of 2021. To ensure interns are compensated for their good work, an anonymous NCF donor is offering up to $3,000 [per affiliated fund], to be matched on a one-to-one basis with local funding by Nebraska Community Foundation affiliated funds.


A Hometown Intern is a current college student who has completed at least one year of schooling and lives at home for the summer. The intern will discover and document the assets and abundance of their homeplace. They will help facilitate conversations with community members regarding these assets and opportunities, and they will co-create opportunities to mobilize these local assets to increase community quality of life. Students will be compensated for their work, but housing will not be provided.


Nebraska Community Foundation

  • NCF’s anonymous donor will offer 25 challenge grants of $1,500 to $3,000, to be matched on a one-to-one basis with local funding by Nebraska Community Foundation affiliated funds
  • The student interns will be temporary employees of NCF.
  • NCF will pay interns $13.00 per hour and handle withholding taxes and personnel administration.
  • NCF will provide a job description template, administrative guidance, and facilitate peer learning.

NCF Affiliated Fund

  • The fund has completed or plans to complete Action Planning
  • Fund Advisory Committee members identify and recruit local college students who might be interested in a Hometown Internship. NOTE: NCF’s partnerships with University of Nebraska Extension; Nebraska Honors; UNL’s Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication program; and the Center for Civic Engagement are helping communities find young people who are interested in returning home for the summer.
  • A member of the Fund Advisory Committee will serve as a champion and direct supervisor for the Hometown Intern.
  • The Fund Advisory Committee will create opportunities for the intern to identify and discover community assets and share this information with community members to mobilize, connect and add value to these community assets.

It is important to understand that the work the student will be doing must be charitable in nature; they will not be interning for for-profit entities. However, the experience they gain will hold value as they pursue future career opportunities.


“This was a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get hands-on experience while living at home.”

Jacy Hafer, Long Pine | Interned with Brown County Community Foundation Fund


There is a myriad of potential summer projects that might be of interest to your Hometown Intern and your community:

  • Working with early childhood education, enrichment programs for youngsters, summer camps such as EntrepreneurShip Investigation camp
  • Partnering with the local library or school for STEM programming development
  • Documenting local history or storytelling
  • Mapping arts assets and making program connections
  • Creating a “shopping local” campaign
  • Tourism, eco-tourism and agri-tourism
  • Creating a “community assets analysis”
  • Community event planning
  • Covid-19 relief and response work
  • Anything charitable, educational or civic benefit oriented that you or your hometown intern can imagine!

If you are part of an NCF affiliated fund or student interested in participating in the Hometown Interns program in the summer of 2021, please complete a very brief interest form.

Affiliated Fund Interest Form

Student Interest Form

If you have questions or if you are ready to begin the internship recruitment process, reach out to your Affiliated Fund Development Coordinator as soon as possible.

Please note: If you are not affiliated with the NCF network but are interested in becoming or hosting a Greater Nebraska intern, please email We will work with our partners at University of Nebraska Extension; Nebraska Honors; UNL’s Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication program; and the Center for Civic Engagement to match interns, communities, and opportunities!

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