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Adults Urged to Apply for Internship to Help Youth Discover their 'Spark'
Kansas Ag Connection - 01/28/2022

The Kansas 4-H program and the state's Department of Education are introducing an internship program for adults this summer to support Kansas youth that one official says will "spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and extension work."

"We'll be doing lots of STEM and natural resource programming, as well as direct career and college readiness programing," said Shane Potter, a youth development specialist with the Kansas 4-H program.

Potter said the strong infrastructure of Kansas 4-H will help adults network with professionals and engage with communities during the 12-week summer internship.

Interns will have a unique opportunity to help youth further their learning outside the classroom. "The summer program will directly seek to address learning loss as a result of loss of instructional time," Potter said. "This is not only an opportunity for youth to have more direct education, but also to find what inspires them through 4-H project activities.

"The program has multiple benefits," he added. "Not only will it help the youth in our communities, but through the adult interns we are building the next generation of potential extension workers so they can explore what it's like to work in positive youth development and Kansas extension."

Potter called K-State Research and Extension a "connector" between the community, research, and the university. Potter said adult interns will have the opportunity to help their community and see what it is really like to be an extension educator.

"We'll be working with schools, after school programs, libraries and a lot of community partners to reach a large diverse group of youth," Potter said.

"The application process for community hosts has already started, and we've had applications from across the state," he said. "We plan to provide options where interns will be in a single county and do a high contact in-depth program, as well as participate in larger multi-county educational programs."

He said he encourages adults who are driven, want to help their community and further explore a career in extension education to apply for the internships.

"Through increased youth and adult partnerships the internship program will provide, we are helping youth identify goals and develop an open mind and try new things, which can help youth achieve greater academic success and employability," Potter said.

"We want (adult) interns that are going to help drive that vision and who have a strong desire to make a difference."

More information about the Kansas 4-H summer internship program can be found online, or at local extension offices in Kansas.

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