Youth Retention = Community Growth

“Research shows that if by 5th grade, if youth have a positive experience in their community, they’re much more likely to stay in that community or come back to that community after college.” ~Kayla, UNL Extension – Central IV

“We believe in teaching entrepreneurship as a community and in our schools because that’s the kind of people that we want to bring here. That’s the kind of people we want to stay here. We want our kids to know that being an entrepreneur is not just about owning a business. Its an idea. Its an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to grow our own community. ~Josh, Zangger Popcorn Hybrids

“The most interesting part of Josh Zangger’s presentation was you can have a business in a small town area and have a business that can run all over the world.”  ~Zach, Youth Entrepreneur

“We have a very strong Valley County Community Foundation, Chamber and Economic Development. Our business people are very kind and generous about sharing their time and their talents and helping youth growth. It seems like the list is never ending of great entrepreneurs in our community that we can showcase.” ~Kayla, UNL Extension – Central IV

“Because of community involvement, our business classes can expand the ideas that the kids can have. They can see real world applications. They can interact with business owners and hope to have a job like them. It takes it out of the box so that there’s more imagination from the kids and it’s really exciting to see. The kids gravitate to the business tours and the interaction and commitment from the community.” ~Jennifer, Ord Public Schools

“There’s a lot of opportunity for kids in our local communities to develop a product and market it anywhere in the world.”  ~Josh, Zangger Popcorn Hybrids

“It’s important as business owners that we stay involved with the youth weather it’s through the entrepreneurship camp or school or other organizations. Let them realize that we care. We want them back here. We want them to help develop this community and be the next leaders here.”  ~Josh, Zangger Popcorn Hybrids

Watch the VIDEO featuring ESI Camp (2014) HERE!

Classroom Work

Photo courtesy of Nebraska Loves Public Schools

Josh Zangger

Photo courtesy of Nebraska Loves Public Schools


The statements above and comments made throughout the video highlight the powerful partnerships that are being formed within our community and throughout the state when it comes to providing valuable experiences for local youth. Instilling a positive mindset that opportunities exist in Valley County is a large component of local youth retention and alumni recruitment efforts with the ultimate goal of growing our population and contributing to our county’s vitality.

We are so grateful for Nebraska Loves Public Schools for offering their time and talent to produce this amazing video that allows us to share our story in a powerful way and for the local entrepreneurs and volunteers who helped to make the last four years of ESI Camp a meaningful experience for local youth. Last, but certainly not least, we are extremely grateful for our local youth – their creative ideas and willingness to explore and learn is truly inspiring.


Bob & Youth

Photo courtesy of Nebraska Loves Public Schools


Photo courtesy of Nebraska Loves Public Schools


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