Six interns will be assisting with Operation UNITE’s summer youth prevention programs in 2022.

Funded through a Kentucky AmeriCorps grant, the interns will primarily be helping coordinate the five regional Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps with Jarrod Polson in June and the week-long residential Camp UNITE program for middle school-aged youth in July.


Pictured from left, seated, Robbie Thornhill, Ellisia Edwards, Paige Arnett, and Alyssa “A.J.” Hacker; back row, Beth Werner and Justin Mink.

“Having college-age interns adds strength and credibility to UNITE’s prevention programs every summer,” said Nancy Hale, UNITE president and CEO. “They are able to connect with youth on a more personal level.”

“The peer-to-peer mentorship has been exceptional,” Hale continued. “We are always excited to welcome the new ideas and creative energy these interns bring to UNITE programs.”

Arnett, a resident of London (Laurel County), studied radiology at Eastern Kentucky University last school year and will be continuing her studies as a sophomore at Somerset Community College in the fall.

Edwards is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, where she is studying biology and chemistry. She is also a resident of London (Laurel County).

Hacker was graduated from Rockcastle County High School in May. The Brodhead (Rockcastle County) resident will be attending the University of Kentucky this fall studying medical laboratory science.

Mink, from Livingston (Rockcastle County), will be a sophomore at Eastern Kentucky University where he is studying international relations and political science. He is a 2021 “I Am UNITE” Scholarship recipient.

Thornhill, from London (Laurel County), is studying business administration at Eastern Kentucky University. He will be a junior this fall.

Werner, who resides in the Shelby Valley community of Caney (Pike County), will be a sophomore at Morehead State University. As a 2021 “I Am UNITE” Scholarship recipient, she is pursuing a degree in elementary education.

These six interns began their service in mid-May.

UNITE began offering summer internships in 2010.