Growing Yourself and Your Community

Growing Yourself and Your Community

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Being adaptive to new ideas and being open to others can go a long way. My name is Logan Kalkowski and I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. I am a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and will be starting my final year of undergraduate this coming fall. You may be wondering what a city boy from Omaha is doing in Bruning, Nebraska. I have had the chance to be a part of the Nebraska Bankers Association’s student internship program in Lincoln where they work with community banks to give college students, like myself, an opportunity to learn about the banking field. When I was in the process of finding a bank that would fit for my summer internship, I came across Bruning Bank—a family owned bank with roots in agriculture. The bank seemed to have energy to move forward into the future. I put Bruning Bank down as my first choice for my summer internship. Within three days, I had received a call from Fred Bruning, the CEO of the bank. I thought that was very impressive that the CEO of the bank would take time to call a college student looking to be an intern.

In the phone call, we scheduled a meeting so I could visit the branch in Bruning and take some time to learn more about the bank and myself. This was a big part in the decision to come to Bruning. The community and the bank seemed to take time to get to know me. They were showing interest in me as a person.

The story of how I made it to Bruning from Omaha is what I would call a success story. I have had the chance to drive across the state and visit several small communities throughout my young life and there is always that one thing that keeps the town alive. Personal connection to the community. Although some communities are having tough times staying at the forefront of an ever-changing world, they will always hold personal connections. And for someone from Omaha, I find that attractive about a small community. Having never lived in a community that was more than thirty-five miles from a Walmart in my life, it made it very exciting to enter into the local grocery store and explore the aisles while being greeted by everyone in the store and learning about how they ended up in Bruning. The thing that really got my attention was when I walked into the store a second time.  The checkout counter and meat department staff remembered me and we could strike up conversation. I have never been able to gain that experience in Omaha and Lincoln.

The people and the community are keeping rural Nebraska at its roots. It is important that all small towns are open to new comers and are able to take them under their guidance and help make them feel at home. I have often heard the phrase Your Home is where your heart is… and it takes the people in your community to make that a reality.

Don’t let small town life make your life small, take your life and make it what you want it to be. Be involved, be a part of the people that make up your community, and always outstretch your arms to visitors and welcome youth. I would like to thank Bruning Bank and the community in Thayer County for welcoming me into the community.

Logan Kalkowski
Bruning Bank Intern
UNL Ag Banking & Finance Student