Originally published in the The Hebron Journal Register
By Dakota Cherney, NCF Hometown Intern, Hebron
There’s a certain stigma in today’s day and age that moving back to your hometown is a bad thing.
Are there any jobs? Will I be considered a failure? Do I even want to raise my kids here?
Growing up, being from a small town was something I always appreciated. There was nothing better than being able to ride my bike down the middle of main street with my pals and not having to worry about a single thing except for what we were having for supper later that night.
The feeling you get when you wave at some stranger in a car passing you and having them wave back is something that can’t be beaten.
However, the day I left for college, I told my parents I would not see them again until at least December. I am spreading my wings and am going to fly as far away from this place as possible. There’s nothing to do here. New experiences with new people can’t come soon enough.
About a month later, I soon realized laundry doesn’t just do itself and I quickly found myself in my car, once again, coming back home to Nebraska. After a weekend of fresh, home-cooked meals and family time, I was on my way back to college once again with clean underwear and a new appreciation for where I came from.
You see, it took me to move away and come back to realize just how much I value what we have here in Thayer County.
A place, where strangers are welcomed with a big Nebraskan “Hello” and a smile, and neighbors who are willing to mow your yard when you’re not feeling the best, or even a whole community that is willing to drop everything to rally around an 18-year-old who created a documentary that was played in the local movie theater, ran 100 percent by volunteers.
As an intern for the Nebraska Community Foundation and the Hebron Community Fund, I can say we truly value Nebraska communities and the things that make them so special. With the help of Nebraska Community Foundation’s resources, we together as a group, can truly create the hometown of our dreams and sustain this area for generations to come.
Make a donation to the Hebron Community Fund, that values investing back into the community.
Make Thayer County a place that people want to move back to. Reach out and specifically tell youth in your area and in your school systems you want them back here and each and every one of them is valued.
To this day, I have never been asked to move back to this area. If the young adults of my generation are not invited to move back home by you, then who is going to ask them?
You would be surprised by the outcome. They are the future of this spot we call home, an area that is filled with plenty of opportunities to grow, and a place that I am proud to be from.
Does it sound like a trap to you?