Hometown Internship Program

Nebraska has 58,000 unfilled jobs. Today, people attraction is priority one for ALL of Nebraska, and the best way to attract people is by cultivating relationships with young adults who already have friends and families in our hometowns and may be interested in returning sometime in the future.

Nebraska Community Foundation is announcing a new opportunity for community-based affiliated funds: Connect with young people who have gone off to college by involving the students in hometown summer internships!

The NCF board of directors will partner with affiliated funds to offer college students a paid internship to serve their hometown communities during their summer break. This is a new endeavor for NCF board and staff members, but a pilot program in Nebraska City last summer was highly successful, and it has encouraged us to challenge other communities to help move this “bring them back home” initiative forward. You can read all about Nebraska City intern Chloe Higgins’ experience here.

Here is what we propose for the NCF Hometown Internship program:

A hometown intern is a current undergraduate college student who lives at home for the summer. The intern will discover and document the assets and abundance of their homeplace. They will help to 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.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Nebraska Community Foundation

  • The NCF board will offer up to 10 challenge grants of $1,500 to $3,000, to be matched on a one-to-one basis with local funding by community-based affiliated funds that have completed action planning.
  • The student interns will be part-time 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 and a general planning template for internships.
  • NCF will connect hometown interns and affiliated fund champions to learn from and share with one another.

Community-Based Affiliated Fund

  • Fund Advisory Committee members identify and recruit local college students who might be interested in a hometown internship.
  • 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.

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
  • Anything charitable, educational or civic benefit oriented that you or your hometown intern can imagine!

Involving your hometown intern with these types of projects can create deeper connections between your community and your young people who are attending college. And you may be surprised by the enthusiasm expressed by students you approach.

There has been a great deal of interest among students involved in UNL’s elite Honors Program. NCF may be able to arrange conversations with potential interns from the Honors Program who are from your hometown.

Find out more about this brand-new opportunity for your community by contacting your NCF Fund Development Coordinator. We’ll be happy to brainstorm ideas with you and go into more detail about how the program will work.