I grew up in a small town in the Panhandle of Nebraska called Alliance. We are commonly known for Carhenge, UNL alumnus and basketball star Jordan Hooper, and the BNSF Railway. We are a town with a population of approximately 8,500 people, but that number is always fluctuating. According to the 2010 Census, statistics showed Alliance as a predominately white community with 87.49% of residents (7,429 out of 8,491 people) identifying themselves with the “white alone” option on the survey concerning their race. Also only 12.34% (1,048 out of 8,491 people) of the population in Alliance was made of “persons of Hispanic or Latino origin.”
I mention the above because when I arrived on the UNL campus in the fall of 2014, I had one of the most eye opening, impactful experiences of my life. I had culture shock.