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The Columbus Area Future Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation, is expanding its capacity through a new coordinator, Eve Ortmeier, and two new interns trained by the Rural Futures Institute, Amber Ross and Clayton Keller, released information from the organization says.

Eve Ortmeier began working for the Columbus Area Future Fund (CAFF) on May 14. Originally from Beemer, she recently earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication: organizational leadership and public relations from Wayne State College. Ortmeier is making a return to Columbus, having worked last year as an intern for the Columus Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I am very proud to join the Columbus Area Future Fund and to work toward its mission to raise the funds that will shape the future of Columbus and our region,” Ortmeier said through a released statement.

Ortmeier will serve as the main point of contact for the CAFF and will handle the coordination and organization of the Fund’s activities, partnerships and involvement in the community.

The Columbus Area Future Fund has also partnered with the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce to welcome two students from the University of Nebraska to live, work and serve the Columbus area for 10 weeks this summer. Organized through the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, RFI Student Serviceship connects current and future leaders and mentors in acts of service and strategic, future-focused projects that work toward a thriving rural future.

While in Columbus, Clayton Keller and Amber Ross will be splitting their time between the Columbus Area Future Fund and the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. Both Ross and Keller will be integral to the CAFF’s “Toward a Bolder Future Campaign” this summer, assisting with marketing, event planning and administration, released information says.

Amber Ross is a junior from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in agribusiness. She is from Callaway, a small town in central Nebraska. Ross says her work with the Rural Futures Institute has revealed to her the importance of community development and her own passion for it. She is excited to spend the summer in Columbus learning about community development on a regional scale.

Clayton Keller is from Columbus, Ohio. He served for two years as a full-time Latter-Day Saints missionary and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brigham Young University—Idaho. After graduation, he entered AmeriCorps as a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA). He spent his VISTA service year in a capacity building role with an Omaha-based nonprofit, DIBS for Kids.

Currently, Keller is earning his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha. He says his love for service moved him to apply for the RFI Student Serviceship program this summer.

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