I grew up in a small Nebraska town. I didn’t dream a lot and I remember often feeling very alone. What I did have was a lot of ambition and a desire to do something big and meaningful with my life.
I essentially ran away two weeks after graduating high school to attend the Art Institute in Colorado. Suddenly I found myself living in the Capitol Hill district in downtown Denver. More alone than ever, I could count my Denver friends on one hand. We were all busy trying to be ‘artists’ and make it in the big city. I managed to miss out on the chance to get a fake ID with the rest of my underage classmates. Lucky for me, I didn’t really have much time to socialize (insert sarcasm here) between a nightshift waitress job and school.
Opportunity was slow to come after graduating. After a few years of struggling, I found myself in Omaha.
Here, I had a sincere opportunity to grow my career. I have a job where I get to do big, meaningful things and I love what I do.
But that’s not what I care most about.
Most importantly, I’ve found people here – a ‘tribe’.
My tribe does not all look like me or think like me.
They do not all believe in the same things I do.
They have my back, but I damn sure better be doing the right things. They challenge me to be better.
My tribe does not all know each other, but I know all of them. There is one thing we all have in common – we do things that make a difference, that help and provide opportunity for other people. From little things like helping transport kids around to activities or simply grabbing them from daycare if we are running late from work. To big things like addressing issues of poverty in the community, or providing access and help to those with disabilities, or trying to connect the generational gap so we can all better understand one another.
Those efforts, big and small, make this place – Omaha, a place my tribe all wants to be. And a place we all now feel passionate about.
They are there for me, and I am there for them,
we are there for others.
They are there for me, and I am there for them, and we are there for others.
I am not alone here. I found a tribe in Omaha and that made it home. This place is amazing – because the people you find here make it so.
– Kim Sellmeyer, Creative Director – Greater Omaha Chamber