2019 Fellows In Action/Megan/

Fellows Week 9: Custer County

July 19, 2019
Hailey Walmsley and Megan Coan are still hard at work as they fulfill their internship duties in Custer County. Last week their team was fortunate enough to add two new members, Alyssa Beltran from Columbus, Nebraska and Angela Ehler from …

Hailey Walmsley and Megan Coan are still hard at work as they fulfill their internship duties in Custer County. Last week their team was fortunate enough to add two new members, Alyssa Beltran from Columbus, Nebraska and Angela Ehler from Elkhorn,Nebraska. With the new team members coming on board, some project restructuring has been done. The four interns now have 8 total projects and 3 weeks left to complete them.

Hailey and Megan are wrapping up their time in Arnold and Callaway. Over the course of the summer in Callaway, Hailey and Megan discovered, through a community wide survey, there was a lack of recreational opportunities in the area, especially for young adults. Last week they facilitated a focus group with 25-40 year olds living in Callaway to dive deeper into the recreational desires of the community. The group came to a consensus that the community would utilize a walking trail. Hailey and Megan are assisting with determining the steps on how to make this dream a reality. Once the steps are determined, they will hand the information over to Carla Kimball, Callaway’s Economic Developer. They hope to come back in a few years and see the progress on this project!

Hailey has been working to create some blog stories of people in Custer County, coming up with ideas to fill a vacant building in town, and helping revamp the curriculum for Youth Leadership in Custer County (YLCC). She considers having Angela and Alyssa on board as a blessing. She loves having more brain power in the office to help come up with some really unique ideas to complete the projects. Megan is working on creating a Custer County passport, continuing to connect the interns from other businesses in Custer County, and looking at the possibility of starting a dog park in Broken Bow. Hailey and Megan continue to work together on planning the Barn’s 10th year celebration.

This week Hailey and Megan are completing some volunteer hours helping with Custer County 4-H. The 4-H organization is near and dear to both of their hearts since it’s something they both grew up participating in. They will be helping by assisting with some of the static exhibit judges and getting all the projects ready to be displayed at the fair next weekend.

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RFI Fellows Helping AEDC Move Forward With Projects

July 16, 2019
Check out our Custer County fellows Megan and Hailey in The Arnold Sentinel! “In this job, I get to work on projects that play toward my strengths and interests. We aren’t just typical interns who come in and sit at …

Check out our Custer County fellows Megan and Hailey in The Arnold Sentinel!

“In this job, I get to work on projects that play toward my strengths and interests. We aren’t just typical interns who come in and sit at a desk all day filing paperwork or doing the job no one wants to do. We have a lot more responsibilities than traditional interns because we are challenged with finding a project, and seeing that project start to finish,” said Hailey

UN-L agricultural student interns Megan Coan (left) and Hailey Walmsley (right) are in Arnold once a week through the end of July to help the Arnold Economic Development Corporation with some big projects. The girls are also serving as interns in Broken Bow and Callaway.”
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Custer County Instagram Takeover

July 10, 2019
The Custer County fellows Megan and Hailey took over the Rural Futures Instagram story on 06/12/2019 to show you a day in the life of a Custer County fellow. They went on a road trip around Custer County!

The Custer County fellows Megan and Hailey took over the Rural Futures Instagram story on 06/12/2019 to show you a day in the life of a Custer County fellow. They went on a road trip around Custer County!

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Fellows Week 4: Custer County

June 14, 2019
Hailey and Megan are both loving their experience in Custer County so far! They are working on a variety of projects over the course of their time in Custer County. Although they are staying in Broken Bow, they aren’t just …

Hailey and Megan are both loving their experience in Custer County so far! They are working on a variety of projects over the course of their time in Custer County. Although they are staying in Broken Bow, they aren’t just working on projects there. The two of them will be working on projects in Arnold and Callaway as well.

Megan’s first project that she is focusing on is an “Intern Connection” project that will bring all of the interns within Broken Bow closer together to help them have a sense of belonging to the community. The first event that will bring all of the interns together will be June 20th. This event will be taking place along with the “Third Thursday on the Square” in Broken Bow that has live music, food, games, and fun for all ages.

Additionally, she is working on creating a Custer County passport. The purpose of this passport is to bring awareness to the hidden gemstones that each community in Custer County has to offer. She has spent her time touring Custer County’s communities to see what each community has that makes it unique and special compared to the communities within the county.

The final project that she is focusing on for Broken Bow is “The Barn.” The Barn is the visitor center for Broken Bow and is apart of the Sandhills Scenic Byway. Her goal is to increase awareness, create more events, generate revenue and drive more traffic to The Barn.

Hailey is working individually on two projects, the first is taking new pictures to market the community. The pictures of many of the buildings and events throughout Custer County are outdated. Hailey will be taking pictures of many of the main areas and attracts in Custer County.

For Hailey’s second project, she is working with a local nonprofit called Capable.

Capable runs a year-long program called Youth Leadership in Custer County (YLCC) for high school students throughout Custer County. Hailey is helping to rework the structure of the program to shift to a design thinking and entrepreneurship perspective.

Together the two of them are working side by side in Callaway and Arnold. In Callaway, they are currently interviewing business owners as well as community members to assess their needs. After collecting their data, they will evaluate it and move forward with what is the

greatest need in the community. In Arnold, they are working on business and housing improvement/development. They are assisting in evaluating the current state of houses/business in order to qualify for federal assistance from the government to improve the community.

Some events that they have gotten to experience in their few weeks in Custer County include Market on the Square, various ribbon cuttings, and the Muddy Creek Festival in Ansley. The Market on the Square takes place every Thursday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. The ribbon cuttings served as a great opportunity for the two individuals to meet key stakeholders in the community and the county. By attending the ribbon cuttings, they got the opportunity to get connected with the journalist at the Custer County Chief where she interviewed the two of them.

As Hailey and Megan have interacted with numerous community members over the past few weeks, there was one quote in particular that stood out to both of them, “Be open to what we don’t know.” After hearing that quote it put life into a different perspective for the two RFI fellows. The first time Megan and Hailey went through each community, they had the opportunity to meet community members and business owners. Nearly every person they met told them how happy they were for two to be in community, and couldn’t wait to see the work they did. This was a very eye-opening experience for the two, they got to see they weren’t just impacting the community, but also the people in it.

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