Cozad, Neb.

Project Description

Cozad’s Serviceship interns will address the community’s priority project of housing by conducting a complete inventory that will include the condition, ownership, and tax status of each vacant property. The housing inventory will greatly advance Cozad’s efforts toward rehabilitation, code enforcement, and re-occupancy. Additionally, Serviceship interns will take the lead to revitalize the highway corridors, which offers the first impression of the community and is critical to attracting new investment to Cozad.

Host Team

  • Jen McKeone (Lead)
  • Susan Kloepping
  • Laura Rody
  • Kirk Riley
  • Laurie Yocum


Christy Cooper

Hometown: Waverly, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Major: Agricultural Education

Shelby Utech

Hometown: Hubbard, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Major: Agricultural Economics

The Latest

July 13, 2018

Most recently, Jen and Christy headed to Lincoln for the Nebraska Diplomats Banquet and the Nebraska Governor’s Economic Development Summit. The Nebraska Diplomats are a group of community leaders who use their personal and professional connections to promote the state’s quality of life for future business. Our lead mentor, Jen, was asked to speak about our Pitch It in Cozad project at the Governor’s Summit the next day. Governor Pete Ricketts applauded Cozad’s work during his final remarks. It was an incredible opportunity to network with other community leaders and hear the great work they are doing.

“It’s time to think differently about our small communities. Cozad is taking a creative approach to solving challenges,” Christy said.

All Week Eight Updates

June 15, 2018

Hustle – that’s what the last two weeks have been like for us. Between our first and second rounds of Music Monday and the Nebraska Economic Developers Association (NEDA) Conference in Gothenburg, Neb., we have been constantly on the move.

Music Mondays have had absolutely rave reviews. It is so encouraging to see a community come together for music and food – not just once, but weekly. The concerts have attracted people of all ages; everyone from young children to the residences of the assisted living facility, Meadowlark Pointe. We are very grateful for the many community members and city workers who volunteer to help us set up and tear down the temporary fencing and picnic tables. The attendance of Music Mondays has been outstanding and is continuing to increase. The first week we had 275 guests and this week we had almost 400! Music Mondays have been so successful we’ve had to book additional food trucks to accommodate everyone. The musicians we have hosted so far are Formally Three, Samantha Schutte and Lana Greene.

All Week Four Updates

June 1, 2018

In Cozad, we hit the ground running during our first couple of weeks. We’ve attending multiple meetings including, but not limited to, Cozad City Council, Rotary, and the Cozad Development Corporation Citizens Board. We’ve already gotten one project almost wrapped up and are working hard on several small tasks that have been overlooked for too long. The people in Cozad are marvelous—we can’t wait to build more connections in town!

The past two weeks, Shelby assisted with Cozad’s first Biz Kids Camp. There were ten middle school students that had four days of classroom instruction from Janita Pavelka, Entrepreneurship Educator. Shelby shared some of her entrepreneurial experiences with the students as well as helped prepare them to start their businesses. The biz kid students learned from local entrepreneurs and businesspeople, the UNL-Extension EntrepreneurShip Investigation curriculum, which led to everyone starting a new business.  Shelby will help these students launch their businesses at Music Monday in Cozad on June 4th.

All Week Two Updates