University of Nebraska-Lincoln student Paige Kniep didn’t know she wanted to return home until completing her Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF, Hometown Internship in 2021— now she plans to build a life in Deshler. Kniep, who served as Deshler Community Fund’s Hometown Intern in 2021, said the experience was among many factors that inspired her to make the choice to return to Thayer County after college and start a business in her hometown.

Kniep is one of six college students returning to the program this year. This summer’s group of Hometown Interns is the largest yet with 23 students serving in paid internships in 16 communities throughout the state including Bennet, Diller, Wayne, Keith County, Cuming County, Hebron, Deshler, Columbus, McCook, Crofton, Norfolk, Butler County, Red Cloud, Chester, Howells, and Nemaha County. Interns will forge new connections and strengthen existing bonds as they work on community-building projects.

Hometown Interns work with local NCF affiliated funds on a variety of projects tailored to their community and the interests and skillsets of the interns. While the specific tasks and projects will vary from one Hometown Internship to another, NCF provides numerous opportunities for interns to connect 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. Get to know this year’s Hometown Interns at

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