Extension News

Johnson County 4-H’ers Receive Hills Bank and Trust Company Leadership Grants


AMES, Iowa – A $2,000 scholarship has been awarded to three Johnson County 4-H’ers, Katherine Aunan, Jacob Koepnick and Ian Michel.

The Hills Bank and Trust Company Leadership Grant is awarded to as many as 20 students each year. The recipients, who apply during their junior year in high school, attend nine hours of leadership training sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company during their senior year. Afterward, they receive $500 per semester for two years. The scholarship may be used at any of Iowa’s accredited universities, colleges or community colleges.

Katherine Aunan, Iowa City, is the daughter of Tom and Sue Aunan. In high school she participated in orchestra, National Honor Society and drama, served as co-president of Students Pursuing A Mission and was an active leader in her youth group as a member of the Student Ministry Team. She also taught English classes at Parkview Church and was recognized as a National Merit Commended Scholar.

“The training program has helped me learn more about myself and the ways I should work with others,” Aunan said.

A recent graduate of Iowa City West High School, she plans to attend the University of Iowa to major in Spanish and pre-dentistry.

Jacob Koepnick, Iowa City, is the son of Kevin and Tina Koepnick. He was involved in ambassador’s club and choir in high school while serving as a show choir dance captain. He was also a football captain and founding member of his school’s “Top-of-the-Line” club that focused on strength and conditioning and helped the team win the conference football title this past fall. 

“The training program has helped me analyze the way I act in leadership situations, and it helped me identify strengths I have as a leader as well as areas in which I need to improve,” Koepnick said. “It also taught me new ways to help motivate other members of the group to maximize their impact on the task at hand.”

A recent graduate of Iowa City High School, he plans to attend the University of Iowa to major in chemistry.

Ian Michel, Riverside, is the son of Richard and Maureen Michel. In high school he was involved in choir, band, jazz band, soccer, math club, science club, Future Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), 4-H, county youth council and National Honors Society. He served as thespian president, marching band drum major and as a student mentor while participating in the Iowa State University Honors Choir, the University of Iowa’s Junior Science Symposium and the University of Northern Iowa’s Upward Bound Math and Science Program. An Eagle Scout, Michel has also received state fair recognition for his work on environmental issues and helped head the Boodle Box Project that sent care packages to U.S. military personal from Iowa.

“I know I want to continue to serve others after participating in this program,” he said. “During college I plan to become involved in the campus ministries program and participate in mission projects around the world.”

A recent graduate of Mid-Prairie High School, Michel plans to attend Central College to major in vocal music and biology/pre-medicine.

In Iowa, the 4-H program is a part of Iowa State University Extension and headquartered on the ISU campus in Ames. For more information about 4-H, how to get involved or how to apply for a 4-H Scholarship, contact the local county office of ISU Extension.


Contacts :

Mitchell Hoyer, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-1531, mhoyer@iastate.edu

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu

Hannah McCulloh, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-9915, hmac@iastate.edu