The sirens shattered the quiet of the small town in the Nebraska Panhandle, and the safe, assured feeling locals had -- that bad things happened in other places.
News reports would tell of the gunman's spree which left his father dead; then, after failing to rob a downtown pharmacy, taking the pharmacist hostage during a 14-hour standoff, ending in a shootout with a SWAT team. That exchange left several law enforcement officers wounded and hospitalized, the pharmacist hurt, and the perpetrator dead.
The town of Alliance reeled from the violence, but vowed to take their community back.
Maria Swenson vowed to do her part, one troubled youth at a time.
"I thought about how tragic the lives of some of our young people are," she said. "Some never get the help they need, whether it's for lack of services, lack of money or lack of knowledge of what's out there, or a lack of perception that they do need some help."
She'd just need an SBA Microloan to... Read More