Alliance, Neb.

Host Team

  • Chelsie Herian (Lead)
  • Joni Jespersen
  • Pasha Korber-Gonzalez
  • Ellen Lierk
  • Tonya Mayer
  • Susan Unzicker

Haley Ehrke

Hometown: Orleans, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Major: Agribusiness

“I gained a new perspective. I came from a rural community, and I understand that if we don’t have these businesses, we don’t have these communities. It drives me now to appreciate my community, and I want to create that impact.”

Mirissa Scholting

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

“To future students — be a part of the Rural Futures Institute. It’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone and have a new place to call home. I definitely think I could call Alliance home.”

About Alliance

Box Butte County, Neb., has a population of approximately 11,000, with the county seat, Alliance, Neb., being home to about 8,000.

About the Serviceship Experience

Haley and Mirissa worked through the Marketing Hometown America process, developed by Nebraska Extension through RFI funding, with members across Box Butte County. Chelsie Herian, lead mentor and Box Butte Development Corporation Executive Director, appreciated seeing the county’s communities through the eyes of these two college students. The Serviceship experience furthered the corporation’s mission to maintain, enhance and diversify the economy of Box Butte County, Neb.


YouTube Channel!



Final Presentation


Weekly Updates

July 20, 2018

We are in the last two weeks of our serviceship in Box Butte County and can’t believe how fast the time has gone! We are working on finishing our Marketing Hometown America video and compiling pictures and videos that we have taken so that Box Butte Development Corporation can use them for future projects.

Another part of our project we are working on is creating short videos to help explain Box Butte Development Corporation’s mission: “To enhance, diversify and maintain the economy of Box Butte County.” By creating these videos we will be able to help explain what Box Butte Development stands for, believes in and offers to their patrons.

Last week we volunteered for Bands on the Bricks which takes place every Friday in July in Alliance and the first Friday in August in Hemingford. We drove an ice cream truck around town to get some footage of people buying ice cream. We also worked on a Husker Prep advertisement and helped pick stock photos for the new Holiday Inn Express.

All Week Nine Updates

July 6, 2018

We can’t believe it is already the 7th week of Serviceship! Things are starting to wind down and we have been editing like crazy for our Marketing Hometown America video! We have continued to meet amazing people and have gotten to do some traveling to surrounding areas on the weekends which has been nice!

The main focus of our last two weeks has been to write interview questions, visit businesses, wrap up footage content, and conduct interviews for our final product.

We have also finished up our volunteer project at Carhenge. Our lead mentor, Chelsie Herian, gave us six tires and we power washed them and spray painted them. Then we planted flowers in the tires to help beautify Carhenge.

All Week Seven Updates

June 22, 2018

The past two weeks in Box Butte County have flown by! We are very fortunate that Scott Frost, Matt Davison and Bill Moos came to town for an afternoon! We got to listen to them all speak and then got a picture with Scott Frost. We also got to meet former Husker Jordan Hooper, who is originally from Alliance.

The project has been coming along great. We have come up with hashtags for every town in Box Butte County. They are: #OurAlliance, #HemingfordisHome, and #BountifulBerea. We have also been working on hashtags for other various places around the county like Carhenge, Knight Museum and Sandhills Center and the Alliance Recreation Center. We have taken pictures and video all over both Alliance and Hemingford and have scheduled to take pictures and video in Berea. We have also started to do some editing on the videos we have taken thus far.

All Week Five Updates

June 8, 2018

It’s hard to believe that three weeks have gone by already! We have been very busy in Alliance working with the Box Butte Development Corporation to develop our video for the Marketing Hometown America Project for Box Butte County.

For the last three weeks, we have been meeting new people from Hemingford and Alliance, moved out of our host family’s house and into our duplex, worked on developing hashtags and our video project and volunteered at Carhenge.We have also spent some time in Hemingford working out of Mobius Communications-Hemingford Cooperative Telephone Company and have been in touch with businesses there as well. We plan to film more footage there in the upcoming weeks.

All Week Three Updates

May 25, 2018

The concept of our project is to create a Marketing Hometown America video to attract new residents to Box Butte County. We are also creating social media hashtags and providing input on websites that are involved with Box Butte County.

We have had a very busy first week. On Monday, we toured Alliance to get an idea of where everything was and met the people who work in our office. On Tuesday, we toured Hemingford, met many business owners and had a meeting. On Wednesday, we worked on hashtags and video ideas, had a meeting at the Knights Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance and then had an afternoon meeting in our office. On Thursday, we had a meeting at First National Bank with the branch president and the president of First National Bank from Omaha, Clark Lauritzen. Then, we went to Chadron and had a meeting with the Western Nebraska Development Network. We also discussed the Alliance and Hemingford websites with our lead mentor Chelsie Herian. On Friday, we sat in on a talk with the Alliance Times-Herald and also visited with a storyteller about our project.

All Week One Updates