After four years and more than 3,700 students surveyed, Nebraska Community Foundation’s Greater Nebraska Youth Survey affirms young Nebraskans’ desires to include the state in their future and a preference for smaller communities.

This year, Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF, and the Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha surveyed 980 middle and high school students in 11 communities. Their key findings included students preferring small towns, wanting to remain in Nebraska and having a strong desire for safety.

Despite high levels of engagement in local organizations and businesses, most students (76%) said they do not feel like they play a role in their community. Adults in Greater Nebraska can help these youth feel more involved by inviting them to take part in local organizations, offering them a seat at the table.

Students cited job opportunities elsewhere as the main reason they would not live in their community as an adult. They understand the availability of health care and agriculture jobs in their towns, but do not perceive possible opportunities in other fields, such as the arts, recreation, tourism, business management, information technology and media, among other careers in which they expressed interest.

Read the full article and access the results at

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