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Vision 2040 interns hoping to heat up Social Media

WILLMAR – It is all about the hashtags for Chloe Halvorson and Ingrid Figenskau, the 2018 Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 summer interns. the two Willmar High School and Kandiyohi County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities Program alum are traveling throughout Kandiyohi County documenting all they see and do on Facebook and Instagram, using the social media tag #KanDo.

“It changes everyday. You definitely do not get bored,” Halvorson said. “It opens your eyes to what is going on in the county.”

“They want younger people to come to town,” Figenskau said. “In order to do that you need to be more active on social media.”

Part of Vision 2040’s mission from the beginning has been to both engage the community already here and to attract new people. #KanDo is one program the organization has started to help achieve those goals.

“They want that to snowball and grow,” Figenskau said.

Vision 2040 Steering Committee member Ken Warner, speaking at the July 2 work session of the Willmar City Council, said Figenskau and Halvorson have been doing a great job and the passion and love they have for the community is obvious.

So far Halvorson and Figenskau have been to city celebrations, a Stingers game, live music at Goat Ridge Brewing in New London, a cruise on Green Lake, movies in the park at Robbins Island and paddling on the Crow River. They’ve also visited many businesses and organizations, helping to spread their stories through social media. Their plan for the rest of the summer is just as busy and varied.

“There is more than just First Street,” the main retail area in Willmar, Figenskau said. “There are so many places, you don’t even realize.”

Both Figenskau and Halvorson believe their months as summer interns will help them in their future business endeavors. They both completed the Kandiyohi County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program during high school and were told about the internship opportunity with Vision 2040 by KCEO adviser Tyler Gehrking.

“It’s like KCEO 2.0,” Halvorson said.

Halvorson is studying business management with a minor in psychology at Hamline University and Figenskau is a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, majoring in finance and information systems. They said they will take the skills they learn this summer back to school and will continue to use them in their professional careers.

Figenskau was attracted to the internship because it meant something new everyday.

“Also, it’s fun. You are not going to be stuck in an office all day,” Figenskau said.

While Figenskau and Halvorson have been posting photos for weeks now of what they have been doing, there is still work to be done to get more of the public involved.

“I would like more people to send us pictures,” Figenskau said.

A video on the Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 Facebook page,, explains how the public can join in on the #KanDo fun.

“It is a way to connect with people,” Halvorson said.

When the interns go back to school in the fall, the success and longevity of #KanDo will probably depend on the public continuing to participate.

“I hope it doesn’t fizzle out. It’ll be fun to see it grow,” Halvorson said.

While they both grew up in the Willmar area, the interns’ travels across the county have shown them many things about Kandiyohi County they didn’t know, and they have enjoyed sharing that with each other, Vision 2040 and the community at large.

“We’ve got to tell people about it,” Halvorson said. “We’ve got to learn about things together. It is definitely a lot of fun.”

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