Entrepreneurial Spirit Award bestowed upon Kearney resident


A devotion to her community and a dedication to bringing people together brought Alexandra Dillon to work alongside the Center for Rural Affairs, and that partnership has resulted in helping those she cares about most.

Alexandra provided Spanish-speaking trainers to deliver a program on safety during one of the Center’s Child Care Academies, and there are plans for more events.

“From this collaboration, I learned about the Center’s vision to develop an early childhood conference for Spanish-speaking child care providers, or individuals interested in becoming a child care provider,” said Alexandra. “I identified other community partners who were interested in a conference and formed a planning committee.”

Her diligence paid off. That conference, “Conferencia de Primera Infancia,” is set for April 30, 2022, in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Due to Alexandra’s enthusiastic and collaborative efforts, the Center has chosen her to receive its 2021 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

Each year, the Center chooses to honor someone who best exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that is so crucial to the future prosperity of Nebraska’s rural communities. This person has demonstrated outstanding support for the Center and exceptional dedication to small business development through technical assistance, business training, lending, and networking across rural Nebraska.

“Alexandra is very passionate about the work she does, and she’s very intentional,” said Jessica Campos, Center for Rural Affairs Women’s Business Center director. “She’s also very resourceful when it comes to helping a community she is working in.”

Alexandra is the early learning connections coordinator with ESU 10, in Kearney, Nebraska. She has been instrumental in helping implement “Safe With You” courses in central Nebraska by providing Spanish-speaking trainers and meals for participants.

Over the past year, Alexandra has also worked to connect the Center with resources and potential partners and collaborators, including Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and Hall County Community Collaborative (H3C).

“It is an honor to be recognized, and I am grateful for the work of the Center for Rural Affairs,” she said. “I am always interested in ideas to partner to facilitate positive, sustainable change within the communities I serve. Receiving this award encourages me and validates that the work I am doing is relevant and meaningful to others, and I hope, creating positive change.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no award ceremony will be held this year. The award was presented to Alexandra during the last week of February.