By James Fields and Emmeline Zhao, originally published by The 74 Million.
Residents of tiny Taylor, Nebraska, call Megan Helberg a returner — one of the kids to grow up in the town of 190 people, leave to attend college in the big city, and then return to this rural community in the Sandhills. More than just a familiar face, Helberg is an acclaimed educator whose mission is to help develop her hometown and nurture the next generation of returners by weaving a tight social fabric. One way she does it is by traveling to show students and their families something of the world.
This story was originally published as part of the “Weaving a Stronger Society – Starting in our Schools” series celebrating educators who use community to help students succeed in school and life. The series was produced by education news site The 74 Million in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project and support from The Walton Family Foundation.