Introducing our new Executive Director
The last place in the world that Alisha Forbes expected to settle down was in the United States. The last place in the United States that she expected to settle down was in her home state of Nebraska. The last place in her home state that she expected to settle down was in North Platte. Sometimes, God has a different plan.
Alisha grew up in a small town of 500 in the country with her six siblings — all of whom were adventurers. She had a great imagination, but her biggest dream was to go to college and pave way for a better life. She was the second of seven to graduate from a four-year institution. As a student at Doane College, Alisha was a nationally-recognized student journalist and competitive public speaker. She took as many opportunities as possible to study and travel abroad, and thus fell in love with the many colors, smells, tastes and cultures that make up our world.
Although she had gone to school to be a journalist, her life direction changed when she was trekking through the Usambara Mountains of Tanzinia to write a story about fresh water wells that had been dug by a local non-profit. She had gone into neighboring villages to interview community members. As she asked them questions, they asked for help. It was then that she decided she wanted more out of life than telling stories; she wanted to help humanity by getting her hands dirty. When she returned toi the U.S.; she started a meal donation program at Doane that not only fed the entire community but also provided much-needed household supplies. She began volunteering to help ESL students learn English. And, she published a speech about how investment in children’s programs would create long-term economic stability for the U.S.
Two years later, Alisha received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media, but she still pursued her love for philanthropy hoping to eventually break into the non-profit sector. By a series of miracles, Alisha ended up in Ogallala near family. She worked with her father’s church to start a program that bused underprivileged children to church where they received breakfast, education, games and lunch. Before she knew it, Alisha was in North Platte working in marketing for the Telegraph until she was appointed the new Executive Director for Mid-Plains United Way.
She was finally able to scratch that itch that had started so long ago in the mountains of Eastern Africa. Now, settled into the last place that she imagined, she is living the American Dream in North Platte, Nebraska. And, she can’t imagine how life could get any better than this.