Broken Bow, Neb.

Host Team

  • Andrew Ambriz
  • Deb McCaslin

Leanne Gamet

Hometown: Paxton, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Major: Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Communication

Jessica Weeder

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


About The Serviceship Experience

Jessica and Leanne thoroughly enjoyed the variety of projects they worked on in Broken Bow. They were quick to credit their Lead Mentor, Andrew Ambriz, Executive Director of Custer County Economic Development, for their long list of accomplishments. As a former mentor (McCook, Neb., 2017) and a former RFI Serviceship intern himself, they felt Andrew empowered them to accomplish far more than what they thought they could do.


In assisting the community in identifying the feasibility of a YMCA in Broken Bow, the interns conducted extensive research, hosted community discussions and tours to help determine the desire for both wellness and childcare opportunities that the YMCA provides. They conducted a feasibility study using interviews and a survey, and coordinated a meeting with CEO of the Kearney YMCA to discuss the possibility of a connection with their organization.

Another project was assisting with business advertising for the bikers traveling through the area heading to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. This evolved in such a way that the Sturgis Chamber has reached out to Broken Bow to discuss other potential collaborations.

Additional projects included researching and applying for a Leadership Certified Community designation, which is in the final stages, and working with the City administrator to conduct cold calls to learn about placing ads in a variety of media to promote Broken Bow and Custer County. Leanne also wrote eight articles for the Custer County Chief and as an Ag Communications major she really enjoyed using the skills she had learned at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


At the top of the students’ lists are the relationships that they made and the connections that will remain.

Leanne explained, “We are hoping we left a legacy of sustainability with our projects. What we heard over and over again was that people in Broken Bow could have done what we did, but because we were able to solely work on those projects, we were able to move them further along than others might have accomplished.”

Jessica explained that all of the materials were in place to ensure continued progress on their projects, and they also left ideas and new goals for the community.

Personally, Jessica enjoyed:

Leanne’s key takeaways were:


Final Presentation

Weekly Updates

July 13, 2018

Just like the infamous taco truck showing its potential by making regular appearances around Broken Bow, our projects are starting to show their potential and even have begun to wrap up! We finished our promotion cards for Sturgis this past week and have plans to distribute them to Christian biker groups that ride through Broken Bow on the way up to Sturgis as well as the bikers that go to the neighboring town of Arnold this coming weekend for Devil’s Den. Devil’s Den is a biker rally in which they also do a poker run to raise money for several different causes.

On Jul. 2, the YMCA project really got moving. During that morning, we and the steering committee, which we put together, met with Denny Placzek who is the CEO/Executive Director of the Kearney YMCA. The steering committee showed their strong interest in getting a YMCA facility to the city of Broken Bow. Denny had mentioned during that meeting that he has never seen such a driven group of community members determined to get things moving so quickly.

All Week Eight Updates

June 29, 2018

Since we are at the halfway point in our internship, we have realized a couple of things. First, we have gotten a lot done on our projects and have met a lot of people who are very willing to help us out. Second, we have a lot left to do before we leave at the beginning of August.

Our last two weeks have included attending more economic development meetings, attending another radio talk show, having lunch with Chuck, Theresa and Helen and continuing to enjoy Broken Bow, Neb. We continue to host our weekly coffees, and this past Monday, we tried something new. We hosted ‘Refreshments and Feedback’ at a local bar and grill to try to draw more of the younger population out. We had our last coffee with the community on Wednesday morning which was a great way to tie up loose ends and get some final feedback.

All Week Six Updates

June 15, 2018

Things in Broken Bow are still going great! We have met more and more people, and it is getting easier for people to recognize us. Our main project with recreation is still coming along. We hosted our first coffee with the community event on Monday, Jun. 4, and two more that following week. Meeting members of the community and different organizations, such as the Rotary Club, has been very eye opening. It is great to hear their opinion and how much they love their town. We have decided to do a recreationally focused survey to get more input that people would rather give anonymously. We met with stakeholders from Adams Land and Cattle, as well as Sargent Pipe, to get their opinions on what recreational additions would help the community.

NET came to the community of Broken Bow for a segment on the new library here but stuck around for something they call “Town Talk.” During this talk, community members came together to talk about the things they are most proud of and some of the “jewels” in town and county that people may not know about. This was a great time for everyone to voice their opinions about the station.

NTV visited the town and did an interview of us for the news. We were able to talk about the RFI Serviceship program, as well as our projects, our upcoming coffees with the community, and future goals when we graduate college.

All Week Four Updates

June 1, 2018

We have both been very busy here in the community of Broken Bow! Both with working on major projects and a few smaller ones here and there. Our first week consisted of meeting a multitude of people and setting up coffee talks with the community. Our plan there is to reach out residents for their opinion on recreational opportunities here in Broken Bow.  We have started working on tourism and getting in contact with potential partners in Sturgis and surrounding areas in South Dakota. Another smaller project has been contacting television stations to get a ‘Through My Eyes’ promotional commercial about Broken Bow out across the state. We have learned a lot about cold calling Nebraska TV stations and getting campaigns put together to run this ad. Two smaller projects we are taking on by ourselves include making Custer County Leadership Certified and a Livestock Friendly County.

Both of us are really looking forward to involving ourselves in the local culture by participating in more festivities and celebrations throughout the summer!

Leanne and Jessica discuss the community coffee talks they’re hosting live on the air for 92.3 KBEAR.

All Week Two Updates