Kentucky Scholar Intern

KSI Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis.

To apply to be a Kentucky Scholar Intern, click here.

Goal:  UK’s Kentucky Scholar Intern (KSI) program is designed to match exceptional undergraduate students to the needs of communities in eastern Kentucky by providing unique, 2-4 month, experiential internship opportunities in nonprofit agencies and local / state governments.

Who is eligible?:  The KSI program application is available to rising Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors from the University of Kentucky.  KSIs must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher and can come from any academic discipline.

Where do KSIs intern?:  Students have interned at Pine Mountain Settlement School (Bledsoe), Christian Appalachian Project (Various Locations), Center for Rural Development (Somerset), UK Cooperative Extension 4-H (Jackson), Shaping our Appalachian Region (SOAR), and Legal Aid for the Blue Grass (Morehead).  If you live in eastern Kentucky and would like to intern with another organization there, we can help set that up.

What does KSI offer students?:  Each internship allows a student to earn academic credits through a combination of service learning, distance learning, research credit, capstone projects, or practicums. Additional requirements may be necessary for academic credit depending on the policies of participating UK departments.  Interns learn important workplace skills and gain invaluable experiences working with organizations.

Subsistence Allowance:  A subsistence allowance of $500-$1,000/month will be provided to students.  The allowance is intended to help cover housing, utilities, food, transportation, and some incidentals.  However, the subsistence allowance may not cover all living and travel expenses.  Where food and lodging are provided by the partner agency, the allowance may be reduced but not below $500/month.

Housing:  The KSI program will help identify and facilitate housing options, but KSIs will be responsible for their own housing (i.e. signing a lease, paying rent and utilities, etc.).  The housing options may be different from location to location and could include home stays or other group housing to reduce an individual’s overall costs.

Faculty Support:  Before their internships begin, KSIs will need to identify a faculty or staff advisor to help support the service learning component of the internship. We can help you identify an advisor.

Internship Dates:

Summer:  May to August (2-3 months) – Exact dates to be determined with each student

Fall:  August to December (2-4 months) – Exact dates to be determined with each student

For more information on the Kentucky Scholar Intern Program, contact

Students:  Click Here for important tax information.

KSI Partner Agencies

Partner Agency:  Center for Rural Development

Partner Agency Description:  Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life for the citizens we serve. The Center also aspires to be the nationally recognized model for successful rural development.  The Center’s programs and services concentrate around four focus areas: Public Safety, Arts & Culture, Leadership, and Technology.  Among its many services, The Center supports Rogers Scholars and Rogers Explorers, the Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute, the Appalachian Rural Development Philanthropy Initiative, technical skills training, community grants, and CenterNET2 video conferencing services.

Partner Agency Website:

KSI Internship Location:  Somerset, KY

KSI Internship Description:

KSI interns could work in one or more of the following areas depending on skills, education, and background:

  • Broadband Initiative:  The Center is heading up a broadband plan that will create an open access fiber optic network which will deliver robust, reliable and affordable internet to communities in eastern Kentucky (and across the state).
    • KSI skill set development:  Working on a high priority project; community and state level engagement; working with stakeholders; creation of economic development and sustainability models.
  • Youth Engagement:  Through our Rogers Scholars, Rogers Explorers, and Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) summer youth programs, we help middle school through rising high school juniors develop the skills to seize their potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders. 
    • KSI skill set development:  Education and leadership development; curriculum and planning development for youth camps; advocacy planning; community engagement; working with local schools and educators.
  • Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC):  The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, led by The Center for Rural Development, is a program funded by the Department of Homeland Security which provides training and resources to rural first responders. RDPC provides both instructor-led and web-based training to emergency management agencies throughout all 50 states and 6 U.S. territories.
    • KSI skill set development:  Planning and organizational skills; customer relations; multi-tasking; scheduling; training coordination; data entry; curriculum development; technical support; web development; help desk support; working with emergency management personnel at local and state levels
  • Hospitality Management:  The Center currently manages a 105-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel which helps expand and enhance our event offerings and the image of The Center.  The hotel also aids the expansion of economic development in our community.    
    • KSI skill set development:  Hotel management; customer service; event planning/management; wedding consultation; technical applications; multi-tasking; scheduling; team work.
  • Arts and Culture:  The Center hosts a performing arts series, special concerts, and events that enrich, entertain, and inspire the imagination of people of all ages.  The Center also conducts arts outreach to communities in our service area. 
    • KSI skill set development:  Artistic selection; reading and understanding tech riders; house management; arts outreach; and theatrical technical support.
  • Workforce Development/Training:  Your Center of Learning provides workforce training for individuals, businesses, and organizations that can position them to positively impact the economy of the region and state.
    • KSI skill set development:  Preparing, planning, and executing training programs; gathering and recording survey information; registration services; customer relations; technical support.
  • Marketing and Public Relations:  Marketing all of the above programs and initiatives through a multiple and layered advertising approach.  The Center must raise public awareness about all of our programs and services through the individuals that we impact.   
    • KSI skill set development:  Writing press releases and marketing text; photography; social media marketing; web development; commercial production; videography; radio interviews.
  • Fundraising:  The Center is in the planning stages of a Major Gifts campaign to support the Youth programs, the arts, and other community development initiatives in the region.  The goal in the coming year is to lay the groundwork to kick off the campaign in early 2018. 
    • KSI skill set development:  Learning about fundraising and major gift campaigns.

Partner Agency:  Christian Appalachian Project (CAP)

Partner Agency Description:  For more than 50 years, the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) has been building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia. CAP’s life-changing programs and services truly restore hope for thousands of children, families and seniors who struggle each day to break free from poverty.  CAP serves people in need in Appalachia through educational programming, home repair projects, elderly services, hunger, and poverty relief, and much more. 

Partner Agency Website:

KSI Internship Location:  Various (to be determined based on position, but may include Jackson, Rockcastle, McCreary, Johnson, Martin or Floyd counties)

KSI Internship Description:

KSI interns could work in one or more of the following areas depending on skills, education, and background:

  • Early Childhood Educator:  Child development programs include teaching reasoning, communication, social, physical, and emotional development as well as creative expression for preschoolers ages 3-4 in CAP child and family development centers.
  • Camp Educators/Summer Camp Counselor:  Based out of CAP’s summer camp locations., educators serve in elementary/middle schools during the academic year to implement a practical living curriculum and as well as tutor.  Interns may also plan teen retreats and community events, assist camp maintenance, recruit campers, or serve as camp counselors.
  • Youth Worker:  S.P.A.R.K. (Scholastic Preparation, Arts, and Recreation for Kids) serves children ages 5-18.  The Youth Worker designs presentations and activities to engage students in academics, the arts, and recreational activities, leads field trips or day camps, and assists children and teens with homework.
  • Home Repair Crew Members/Team Leader:  Home Repair Crew Members serve in teams of 2-3 and assist the crew leader in home repairs and new construction.
  • Food Pantry Caseworker: Caseworkers serve in teams with other volunteers to serve the walk-in food need of families and organize monthly government commodities distributions to the elderly.  Caseworkers also pick up food donations from local food banks and businesses and help to unload and organize food shipments.
  • Elderly Services Caseworker: CAP’s Elderly Services caseworkers help seniors access the services, medical care, and human connection. By providing services such as home visitation, transportation, and social activities, caseworkers ease the effects of rural isolation and allow homebound seniors citizens to remain in their homes longer.
  • Family Advocacy Caseworker: Caseworkers provide emergency assistance, including food, utility assistance, household goods, and clothing.  Caseworkers assess the needs, provide any necessary short-term assistance, and make appropriate referrals to other programs.  Caseworkers also help to organize seasonal school and garden programs and annual retreats.
  • In-Home Respite Assistant:  Provides respite services to children, adults, and elderly who are developmentally, physically, and/or mentally challenged. Assistant will be responsible for providing daily care to participants according to specific training and participants’ individualized care needs, including bathing, feeding, nurturing, recreation, and socialization.
  • Thrift Store Associate: Interns sort donations, steam clothing, help keep the store clean and organized, and perform retail functions.

Partner Agency:  Legal Aid of the Blue Grass

Partner Agency Description:  Legal Aid of the Blue Grass provides high quality legal assistance to low income and other vulnerable people through direct representation, education, advice, advocacy and coordination with other community resources.

Partner Agency Website:

KSI Internship Location:  Morehead, KY

KSI Internship Description:

  • Perform duties related to legal cases under the supervision of attorneys
  • Deliver and file pleadings to courthouses in Rowan and surrounding counties
  • Prepare documents as instructed by attorneys
  • Perform legal research
  • Assist with preparation of exhibits and documents for trials/hearings
  • Administrative tasks in support of legal cases.

Partner Agency:  Pine Mountain Settlement School

Partner Agency Description:  Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS) has been serving the communities of Harlan County and beyond through education and leadership for over 100 years.  Its flagship program integrates placed-based environmental education with traditional Appalachian arts and crafts.  Located in the beautiful mountains of Eastern Kentucky, our 800+ acre campus serves as a living laboratory for students who attend day and overnight courses.  Pine Mountain Settlement School is a designated National Historic Landmark and encompasses the Bickford State Nature Preserve, making it one of the most biodiverse and important wildlife corridors in the Southeast.  In addition to hosting K-12 and college-age school groups, Pine Mountain Settlement School also serves as a community center for local residents and offers innovative agriculture, sustainability, cultural arts, and naturalist programs for adult and family audiences.

Partner Agency Website:

KSI Internship Location:  Bledsoe, Kentucky

KSI Internship Description:

Kentucky Scholar Interns will immerse themselves in the culture, environment, and program at Pine Mountain Settlement School.  The intern will be an integral part of our staff, working directly with K-12 and adult audiences, but will also support our farm, facilities, and administrative staff with various projects, depending on the individual’s experience, interest, and availability.

  • Working with PMSS staff to support the mission of Pine Mountain and provide a safe, fun learning environment for our participants
  • Providing direct programming to K-12 students and other groups visiting the School
  • Participating in all education and safety trainings
  • Maintaining classrooms and teaching materials. This includes helping with the care of classroom animals
  • Building capacity for the organization by providing direct or administrative support for various community, agricultural, and sustainability programs.
  • Assist with community development including but not limited to: Day Camp, Science Camp, Reading Camp, PMSS Baseball League. 
  • Work alongside PMSS Summer Associate VISTAs in facilitation of PMSS Summer Feeding Program.
  • Work alongside PMSS Summer Associate VISTAs in development of trail maps, exercise references for PMSS community gym, and development and facilitation of healthy eating education for local community

Partner Agency:  Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)

Partner Agency Description:  Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is a champion for Appalachia Kentucky.  Through collaboration and innovation, we have established a network of partners, representing individuals, organizations, and businesses, who unequivocally believe THERE IS A FUTURE IN APPALACHIA.  Our mission is to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, improve the quality of life, and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky.

Partner Agency Website:

KSI Internship Location:  Pikeville, KY

KSI Internship Description:

The Digital Media Intern will report directly to the Associate Executive Director and will assist in the development and implementation of SOAR and SOAR Innovation's overall external strategic communication plan as well as roll it out and handle the day-to- day communications responsibilities. This role will also provide support to the SOAR Innovation team. Duties include: website, e-newsletter, positioning and marketing collateral, social media, press releases, and media contacts. We are looking for someone who can be both strategic and hands-on.

  • Contribute the generation of digital media (website, e-newsletter, social media, annual report) content that engages and informs audience segments.
  • Determining the communications goals for SOAR's key audience segments
  • Increasing SOAR brand awareness across key audiences
  • Incorporating SOAR's vision, mission, and approach in all communication as well as establishing consistent overall messaging and branding
  • Make sure all SOAR communication reflects SOAR and SOAR Innovation's brand image and a high-level of professionalism.
  • Daily Facebook posting and tweeting
  • Contribute/ Assist in development of social media strategy
  • Track and measure the audience level of engagement with SOAR communications, website, and social media outlets over time. Test and evaluate the effectiveness of communications activities.
  • Write and distribute press releases
  • Coordinate and assist in the production of videos (through partners such as Pike TV, BitSource, and others) highlighting SOAR and SOAR Innovation's work (the proof) throughout the region

Partner Agency:  UK Cooperative Extension Service - 4-H

Partner Agency Description:   The Kentucky 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension. The Extension's mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of Kentucky citizens through non-formal education for the entire family. Extension agents and volunteers take the results of university research and explain it in such a way that different age groups can learn and apply the information to their own lives. Kentucky 4-H believes in providing positive youth development experiences that all youth to experience belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

4-H is a youth organization committed to building outstanding leaders with marketable skills to succeed in today's global society. 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults. The four H's represent the idea of Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. These are the values members work on through fun and engaging programs.

  • Head: Managing, Thinking
  • Heart: Relating, Caring
  • Hands: Giving, Working
  • Health: Being, Living

Partner Agency Website:

KSI Internship Location:  Jackson, KY

KSI Internship Description:

2019 Kentucky Youth Development Summer Intern.  Major areas of responsibility:

  • Archive KY 4-H Historical Documents
  • Review KY 4-H Citizenship/Civic Education curriculum
  • Attend 4-H Teen Conference
  • Visit county 4-H Offices to observe summer programming
  • Assist in the office on other tasks as assigned (and if time allows)