Last updated: April 25. 2014 9:45AM - 550 Views

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Several Grayson County High School students will get an early taste of college life this summer during the Governor’s Scholars Program, a five-week, summer residential program for outstanding Kentucky high school students between their junior and senior years.

Candidates for the Class of 2014 are Bret Crawford, Abby Gibson, Bethany Harting, Cameron Hicks, Jessica Hughes, Jessica Johnson, Alexis Schmidt, and Courtney Vincent. Hannah Ashley and Corbin Harris were selected as alternates.

The Governor’s Scholars Program was initiated in 1983 to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders. Students who are selected attend free of charge, with financial support for the Program provided by partnerships between the Office of the Governor, the Kentucky State Legislature, and private enterprise.

The 2014 sessions will be hosted by Bellarmine University in Louisville, Murray State University in Murray, and Morehead University. The core curriculum for these summer sessions provides for a Focus Area or “major” assigned according to scholar preference on the application. General Studies courses frequently include service-learning in the community and Seminar or discussion-based small group sessions emphasize respectful debate and discussion.

Participating students must be nominated by their high schools and then compete in a highly selective competitive process on a state-wide level. In fact, the application itself is good experience, since the process is similar to that of prestigious colleges and universities.

It starts with an academic profile that includes difficulty of course load, GPA, and at least one ACT or SAT test score. Other factors include extracurricular activities and leadership positions, a history of volunteer service, and jobs. Teacher recommendations and an original essay round out the requirements.

While the students won’t know until later this month which focus areas they will study or on which college campuses they will live for five weeks this summer, they are looking forward to many new and exciting experiences. In addition to a brief taster of college life, they will get to meet other students from all over the Commonwealth. Scholarships and other opportunities often come along with graduation from the program, as well. Most Kentucky colleges and universities award GSP graduates with four-year tuition and sometimes more.

GCHS has been very well represented in the program since its inception, but especially in the past few years. Community members review applications and provide feedback to students which high school counselor Kasey Haycraft believes has helped improve the process and increase students’ success.

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