Twenty-six students began their 10-week internships in 16 Nebraska communities on May 24. They are the newest cohort of Rural Fellows, an experiential learning program organized through the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Rural Prosperity Nebraska initiative.

These students will work with mentors and leaders in their assigned communities to plan and execute community-improvement projects. Designed by the communities themselves to meet the needs of local residents, some of these projects include increased civic engagement, tourism development, social media marketing, and improved mental and physical health capacities.

While communities design their projects, students are often given the freedom to apply their education in executing the projects.

Student fellows are paired with communities based on their education and experience. They are prepared to meet whatever challenges lie ahead.

This year’s fellows represent 13 communities, 11 majors, four countries and two states.

This will be the second year that Valentine has hosted two Rural Fellows. Grace is from Congo with a Master of Public Health, Carine is from Rwanda and will be a senior at UNL in integrated science. Marlette Grace Dulcinee Mabiala-Maye, “Grace” will help address daycare issues and Carine Mushimiyimana will help with recreation and trail opportunities in Valentine. They will also be involved in other projects in the community.

Be sure to listen to KVSH radio in the next couple of weeks for an interview with our Fellows.