Lead for Nebraska - Community Impact in Action
The Rural Impact Hub is empowering rural communities throughout the state in a big way. We are partnering with Lead for America (LFA) to launch an affiliate program placing fellows in Nebraska’s rural communities to do real work and revitalize Nebraska’s small towns.
Focusing on issues like civic engagement, rural broadband access, digital literacy and economic development while working to make returning to your hometown possible and not the exception to the rule, Lead For Nebraska will fill in the gaps and focus on growth. These tools will directly impact how communities communicate and grow for the next generation.
We are partnering with a nationwide leader for rural empowerment Lead For America to establish Lead for Nebraska (LFNE). LFNE will enable communities to bring back their homegrown young leaders, adding transformative capacity to address their most significant challenges, while building the next generation of leadership in rural communities.
In doing this we are challenging the narrative that success means “leaving your hometown and never coming back.” By recruiting, training and placing recent college graduates into two-year fellowships in their hometown public institutions, local government and economic development offices we will create opportunity. In the short term, our fellows will tackle their communities’ most pressing and complex challenges; in the long term, they will catalyze a movement to grow the bench of changemakers in Nebraska communities.
We currently work with rural communities to increase literacy in digital communication and digital marketing and offer community-impact programming. The Rural Impact Hub’s flagship community in Auburn, Nebraska, also includes a collaborative community space for co-working and meetings available to community nonprofits and organizations. The Lead For Nebraska initiative will take that idea statewide.
How will Lead for Nebraska Effect Change?
- Lead for Nebraska fellows will embed in the community they serve for a two-year period. Giving them an opportunity to dig in, make connections and fill in the gaps for overworked and underfunded organizations that are working for good. They will partner with a local host to become a dedicated member of the community all while helping lead the way on decreasing the digital divide.
- Not every host community will have the same needs. This is why fellows will do listening tours in the community they serve to help identify the most pressing issues and ways these communities can unite for a solution. Fellows will then make a plan with their community leaders and get to work.
- Along with the Rural Impact Hub, fellows will create opportunities for locally specific training for the communities where they are placed or work on research to bring opportunities back home.
- Match host sites throughout the state of Nebraska with talented and driven recent graduates from our state who have a passion for leadership, change and engagement.
- Make returning to rural communities the norm.
- Define goals for a two-year fellowship that include impactful opportunities for communities and fellows.
- Find locally oriented and actionable ways to encourage economic and community development in rural Nebraska.
- Research and identify solutions for rural broadband access in communities where it’s needed most, and help those communities who have it leverage it.
- Create free locally specific training programs to reduce the digital divide and build digital literacy in rural America.