Meet the Interns

Ben Yarnell
Junior in Journalism and Digital Media
Southwind District – Erie

1. What inspired you to apply for an internship with the Kansas 4-H Foundation?
I applied to be an intern because, as iron sharpens iron, I wanted to sharpen the Kansas 4-H Foundation while being sharpened myself. I was looking for the opportunity to give back to an organization that means something to me, while also being able to develop and learn new skills I can carry on into a future career. I found the opportunity to do both here at the Foundation, and as they say, the rest is history.

2. Fill in the blank. _____ Grows Here.
Communication Grows Here

3. What skills did you gain during your time as a 4-H member that you continue to use today?
If I had all the time in the world, I still wouldn’t be able to list all the things 4-H has taught me in my life. However, I would say that the most important thing I still use today is interpersonal communication. No matter what you do or where you go in life, you will always have to interact with someone else, and it isn’t always easy. 4-H taught me about working with personalities different from my own, and how to deal with those personalities if the situation gets a little sticky.

4. What does philanthropy mean to you?
Philanthropy is the act of bettering the community you reside in, no matter where you may happen to be. From cleaning up Neosho County roads as a young 4-Her to raising over seven thousand dollars worth of toys for the Manhattan Salvation Army with my fraternity in the past couple years, I have felt that making an effort to benefit my community should always be a priority in my life. In a world where selfishness and greed can abound, we need more people learning about the importance of philanthropy from a program like 4-H.

5. In what ways has this internship allowed you to give back to the 4-H program?
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, one of the basic human psychological needs is recognition. In our work at the Emerald Circle Awards Banquet and Friends of 4-H Day, I have seen that need fulfilled for hard working 4-Hers receiving state awards as well as donors being recognized for their generosity to the 4-H program. I can tell it’s something they won’t soon forget, and being able to help provide that experience to 4-Hers and donors alike is something I am happy to give back to the 4-H program.

6. What message would you like to share with Kansas 4-H donors?
Every donation made to the Kansas 4-H Foundation makes a difference, no matter the amount. Some people think that because they only have $5 to spare, they shouldn’t even bother because the Foundation handles donations hundreds of times bigger than that, but they’re wrong. Even the smallest donations can pool together with other donations to provide scholarships, opportunities, and benefits to 4-H’ers all over Kansas. Never let your capacity to give make you hesitate, in the end, every dollar is highly appreciated.


Mikey Hughes
Sophomore in Ag Communications
Local 4-H Program: Barton County

1. What inspired you to apply for an internship with the Kansas 4-H Foundation?
I know a few of the previous interns, and they all really enjoyed working with the Foundation. I wanted the opportunity to impact Kansas 4-H on a state level. The Foundation does amazing things for Kansas 4-H, and I’m overjoyed to help with that.

2. Fill in the blank. _____ Grows Here.
Persistence Grows Here.

3. What skills did you gain during your time as a 4-H member that you continue to use today?
I did a wide range of projects. The beef project taught me about responsibility and commitment. I had to work with my steer every day and make sure he was well taken care of. Forestry helped me gain knowledge about Kansas and the environment. Leadership helped me grow my comfort zone and become comfortable in front of people.

4. What does philanthropy mean to you?
Philanthropy is the desire to help others through your actions. 4-H has given me multiple opportunities to make a difference. I am currently a co-chair of the state 48 Hours of 4-H committee and I love helping people create plans that positively impact the lives of others.

5. In what ways has this internship allowed you to give back to the 4-H program?
This internship has helped me learn why it is important to give back to 4-H. Without the amazing donors and alumni, Kansas 4-H would not be nearly as impactful. It also taught me about the fast-paced world of event planning.

6. What message would you like to share with Kansas 4-H donors?
Thank you for donating. You have made a major difference in the lives of every Kansas 4-H’er. I can feel the impact whenever I visit Rock Springs, come home to Clovia after a long day of classes, or receive a scholarship that allows me to attend Kansas State. Everyone deserves the opportunities 4-H has given me, and you, as a donor, help give those opportunities to everyone.


Janae McKinney
Sophomore in Ag Communications
Local 4-H Program: McPherson County


1. What inspired you to apply for an internship with the Kansas 4-H Foundation?

I love to work with anything involving 4-H and had heard wonderful things from previous Kansas 4-H Foundation Interns. I was thrilled when I found out I would be able to intern and make my own memories here at the Foundation. I want to connect with past and present 4-H members to help grow Kansas 4-H as a program and make a difference on the state-level.

2. Fill in the blank. _____ Grows Here.
Passion Grows Here.

3. What skills did you gain during your time as a 4-H member that you continue to use today?

I grew up in the Dog Project in 4-H and I credit many of my achievements to my time spent training my dogs. I didn’t just learn how to make a dog sit or stay but how to be responsible and a leader among my peers. 4-H does a great job of teaching you practical skills while laying the foundation for life skills along the way.

4. What does philanthropy mean to you?
Philanthropy means giving back and helping those who may not be able to help themselves. At Alpha of Clovia, we host several philanthropy events promoting the American Cancer Society and raising money for a great cause.

5. In what ways has this internship allowed you to give back to the 4-H program?
This internship has allowed me to see a different perspective of the 4-H program. I can now see where donors fit in and why it is so important to grow Kansas 4-H. Donors who had great 4-H careers, want to keep a legacy of 4-H going, even if it means still donating when they are not here. To me that is an incredible donation for which we could not thank them enough and what allows the Foundation to make more opportunities for 4-H youth everyday.

6. What message would you like to share with Kansas 4-H donors?
Thank you to all the Kansas 4-H Donors. Kansas 4-H thrives because of your generous support. I have benefited from two scholarships because of your donation. I hope you continue to help keep our state 4-H program growing if you are able to. I take pride in knowing we have one of the best 4-H programs in the nation and it is because of alumni who are always giving back whether in time or monetary donation.