Darcy Arends and Kenzee Kucera are spending their summer in Stuart, Nerbaska. The two girls are currently students at the University of Nebraska Lincoln that are in an internship program called Rural Futures Institute (RFI).
Interns have been working on community development projects, such as a marketing and communication plan for the Stuart Community Foundation Fund. They have worked with the fund advisory committee to raise awareness in the community of the fund.
They have also been working on a safety brochure for the gas company in Stuart that will be sent out to residents in the area. The interns have been attending meetings and getting involved in the community celebrations.
Arends spoke about how their internship benefits the village of Stuart, "I think we bring a different view and perspective on things. . . . I would like to say that we have been able to help different committees find a purpose and a driven force."
"Stuart is already doing so many amazing things in their community," said Kenzee. She explained that they are there to help with all the things they don't have time for.
Students apply for this internship and are then paired up with a community that has also applied to the program. This year there were four communities selected, which is the most that RFI has ever served. The communities that received interns this summer were Brownsville, Cambridge, O'neill and Stuart.
According to Darcy Arends, "There are so many real-world applications and learning throughout this whole project."
Arends is from Lincoln and is working on a major in Secondary Math Education with a minor in Leadership and Communication.
"Eventually, I hope to move back to a smaller town, so I think a lot of this is really applicable . . .," said Kenzee, "It's good life experience as well, like figuring out how to build relationships in a community where you don't know anyone."
Kenzee is a Lawrence, Nebraska native who is majoring in Family Science with a minor in Leadership and Communication and Psychology. She plans to use the knowledge she has learned in hopes to one day be a guidance councilor.
"We really had a good time here this summer, everyone has been really welcoming to us," said Kenzee.