Nineteen college students arrived in their Greater Nebraska hometowns in May to both further the community-building work of local Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) affiliated funds and strengthen their connections to the places that raised them—perhaps inspiring them to one day return and make their own future in Greater Nebraska.
NCF expanded its Hometown Interns program for 2021 following the success of 2020’s group of 13 interns. The expansion offers more opportunities for ambitious young Nebraskans to return to their hometowns and further the mission of their local NCF affiliated fund. This program helps 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.
The 2020 class of interns brought a multitude of skills to their communities, assisting with promoting local arts, sharing success stories, mapping community assets and much more.
“In all instances, the students made considerable impacts on their affiliated funds and their hometowns. Meanwhile intern supervisors and other local volunteers learned that young Nebraskans care deeply about their communities and are just waiting for an invitation to share their visions for the future,” said NCF President and CEO Jeff Yost. “We are thrilled to invite even more young Nebraskans home this summer to continue this inspiring community-building initiative.”
Hometown Interns will be working with local volunteer leaders on a variety of projects customized to the community they live in and the interests and skill sets of the interns. While the specific tasks and projects will vary from one Hometown Internship to another, NCF will provide numerous opportunities for interns to connect with one another throughout the summer to give them space to learn from each other, share ideas and foster appreciation for their hometowns while contributing to community development efforts at the local and statewide level.
“My work last year as a Hometown Intern was eye-opening,” said Miranda Shreves, who will serve as one of two Hometown Intern Coordinators this year. “I hope this year’s class gains the same perspective and more.”
Hometown Intern program partners include University of Nebraska Extension; Nebraska Honors; the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication program; and the Center for Civic Engagement.
The 2021 NCF Hometown Interns are:
Amber Cherney, Cuba, Kansas
The Cloud Community College and Kansas State University Student will help Chester Community Fund conduct research to expand their donor base, as well as promote the fund through social media and video projects.
Dakota Cherney, Chester
Cherney, a 2020 Hometown Intern, will serve as one of two Hometown Intern Coordinators. He will offer support and advice to interns, organize peer learning sessions, meet one-on-one with interns, document their work for publication, and much more.
Megan Collins, Hebron
The Central Community College student will spend the summer getting hands-on healthcare experience with the Foundation for Thayer County Health Services Fund while learning about the opportunities available to young adults in Thayer County.
Hayley Denner, Diller
“The Concordia University student will work with Diller Community Foundation Fund to promote the fund on social media, prepare youth survey results for communitywide release, and help grow the fund’s Youth Philanthropy Contest.
Emily Erickson, Albion
The University of Nebraska-Omaha student will manage social media for Boone County Foundation Fund, as well as help with planning an asset map, newsletters and the Boone County Big Give event.
Katie Hawk, Ewing
The UNL student will work with Holt County Economic Development to create a community needs assessment for the Village of Ewing, as well as help plan and prepare Holt County’s leadership program.
Cheyanna Jacobe, Deshler
Jacobe, also a Central Community College student, will join Megan Collins of Hebron getting hands-on healthcare experience with the Foundation for Thayer County Health Services Fund.
Cheyenne Knehans, Red Cloud
The California Institute of the Arts student joins Red Cloud Community Fund to assist with heritage tourism projects.
Luke Kramer, Rosalie
The UNL student will help Cuming County Community Fund with many projects aimed to further the fund’s goal of community improvement and enhancing the long-term viability of the county.
Paige Kniep, Deshler
The UNL student will work with Deshler Community Fund on a variety of promotional and operational projects throughout the summer, including networking with local business owners, reviewing youth survey results and more.
James Mockry, McCook
The York College student will help McCook Community Foundation Fund capture, record and share their community’s assets through an updated asset map. Mockry will also help with creating a virtual Heritage Square tour.
Emily Morrow, O’Neill
The UNL student will work with O’Neill Community Foundation Fund on a variety of outreach efforts, including marketing, social media, public relations and donor appreciation.
Rachel Orth, Ogallala
The UNL student will play a role in helping Keith County Foundation Fund plan the Keith County Big Give event.
Luke Partsch, Nebraska City
The UNL student joins Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund to help plan and promote The Dream Switch Project, work with the Youth Advisory Committee and help with developing a sustainable program to welcome newcomers to Nebraska City.
Connor Rosfeld, Callaway
Rosfeld, a UNL student, will join Callaway Community Fund’s effort to establish a donor database, as well as help plan a fall fundraiser, promote economic growth alongside the village’s economic director and work on newsletters.
Kelli Schoch, Columbus
The Chadron State College student will assist the Lakeview Education Fund with social media marketing as well as community event planning and reaching out to local leaders.
Jocelyn Shipman, Guide Rock
Shipman, a student at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, will work with Red Cloud Community Fund on various projects for The Valley Child Development Center.
Miranda Shreves, Johnson
Johnson, also a 2020 Hometown Intern, will serve as a Hometown Intern Coordinator alongside Dakota Cherney. She will also offer support and advice for interns, assist with the organization of peer learning sessions, serve as a mentor to interns, document their work for publication, and much more.
Austin Truex, Norfolk
The UNK student will split his time between Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund and Northeast Nebraska Growing Together, focusing on community marketing.