Nate Metschke has discovered another perk of living in a small town.
The Neligh-Oakdale band director posted a plea for help on his personal Facebook account last night.
He stated, "We have several talented Neligh-Oakdale Students that would like to attend the Young Americans vocal/dance/theater workshop in Tilden next week, but lack the $60 to attend. If you are willing to sponsor one of these students so they can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity that only happens every 3 years, please contact me."
His call for sponsorship was met with an overwhelming response.
Within hours, Metschke had nearly a dozen people volunteering to sponsor a student and pay the fee for the student to attend.
"When I came to work today I had 13 and I'm already up to 17," he said. "The generosity just keeps flowing."
More people have expressed an interest in sponsoring a student if there are more than 17 who plan to attend the workshop. Metschke said he was very moved by the response of the community and the power of social media.
"I was overwhelmed," he said. "The kids are really lucky to live in a community with such supportive people."
Students who can't go because their parents said they couldn't afford it, or ones that didn't even ask because they knew they couldn't afford it, will be given a chance to have this unique learning opportunity.
"When I was younger, I didn't realize how important it actually was," Metschke said, "But I've been attending the workshops the last few years, and I see what it does to the kids and how the Young Americans treat the kids...how they make them feel and how they change their lives."
Elementary music teacher Patricia Miller created a form for the students who were unable to go. They will be able to write a short paragraph about why they want to attend Young Americans. The responses will be read tomorrow and the two teachers will select the students.
Metschke said that many of the sponsors wished to remain anonymous, but he still plans to have the students write thank-you cards.
"I thank everyone who's been a part of it," he said.