University of Nebraska-Lincoln prepharmacy student Katelyn Richardson knew she wanted to go beyond her studies and get a glimpse into what life would be like as a pharmacist. She found that opportunity through the Foundation for Thayer County Health Services Fund and Nebraska Community Foundation.
She joined the latest batch of young Nebraskans to participate in NCF’s Hometown Interns program, which kicked off in Summer 2020 with 13 interns across the state, then continued with a winter round. The extended break between the first and second semesters offered interns a chance to get more immersed in their respective communities. Richardson settled in and learned by doing at Thayer County Health Services in Hebron.
“I wanted to gain experience in the pharmacy field and see what happened day to day to learn more than I would just shadowing,” Richardson said. Beyond learning, she also felt like a valuable member of the team when a new pharmacy opened downtown.
“I got the chance to really contribute and be a part of the team to help get things started,” she said.
The Chester native learned a lot during her internship, and local leaders have asked her to continue as a pharmacy tech should her schedule allow.
“I had a great experience,” she said. “It was nice having the internship close to home so I could live at home over the break. The people I worked with were also very helpful in teaching me about what the field was really like.”
In addition to learning more about the field, Richardson got another perspective on the Thayer County community and everything that makes it unique.
“I appreciate that our community tries to create events to have more community involvement. Pancake feeds, parades, etc. bring everyone in the community closer together and help to make new connections.”
The experience led to a new appreciation for the county that raised her.
“I’m excited by how much our community wants to improve to keep our community interesting and make people feel welcome. I want to be able to come back and help be a part of continuing to make our community a great place for people to live.”
She said the experience has inspired her to return home someday to work in Thayer County.
“I want to live in a small community most likely close to family,” Richardson said. “I want to live in a community where your neighbors know you and try and help you however they can and vice versa.”