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GSP Students Reflect on Summer of 2019
GSP Group
(by Don Meador, Allen County Schools) 
   Allen County-Scottsville High School seniors Olivia Brown, Ella Burch, and Allie Byrn spent five weeks this summer participating in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP). The program allows approximately 1,000 rising high school seniors to spend five weeks taking college-level class work at selected Kentucky colleges and universities during the summer proceeding their senior school year. College and university professors challenge the students with rigorous course work designed to stimulate thinking, cultivate ideas, and help students explore academic areas in line with student interest.

  As Brown, Burch, and Byrn start their final year at AC-S, the trio reflects on their experiences in the prestigious program.

   Brown spent her summer on the campus of Morehead State University. Her focus area of study was philosophy with general studies in food sciences. Brown notes that it was an eventful learning time.

   “I had a really awesome experience,” Brown said. “I did things that I would not have had the opportunity to do in Allen County. I went to an opera in Cincinnati and that was fun. We also toured the Morehead campus farm and that was fun too.”

   Brown adds that daily learning opportunities were enhanced by her new-found friends.

   “We had classes every day, our focus area three days a week, and our general studies two days a week,” Brown explained, adding that free time offered the opportunity to make friends. “You would usually have class for two and a half hours and then free time for the rest of the day. You could go to the gym or hang out with friends or take field trips with your classes.”  

   Brown points out that the five-weeks at Morehead was an experience that will help her this year and in years to come as a college student.

   “This has really boosted my confidence in speaking up for myself,” Brown said. “I didn’t know anybody else at Morehead. I had to branch out and meet new people. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. I can use that here (at AC-SH).”

   For Ella Burch, her summer was spent on the campus of Centre College in Danville---ironically the college in which her mother (Kelly Burch) graduated from in the mid-1980s. In addition to her general studies class, Burch was immersed in history during her stay.

   “My focus area was historical analysis and we talked about magic in history and how that changed and evolved,” Burch explained. “We did a mock Salem Witch trail and I had to converse out of my chair as spectral evidence. It was very out-of-my-comfort zone but it was fun.”

   Burch notes that the GSP experience challenges students to go beyond their comfort area and helps students prepare to attend college next year.

   “It (GSP) is a safe place to come out of your comfort zone but they help you do it the right way before you are on your own at college,” Burch added. “This will help me when I go to college to know that even if I miss home, I can make it through.”

   Burch gained many fond memories and friendships following the brief five weeks. Even though the process to earn acceptance to GSP is lengthy and time-consuming, she is quick to point out that it is worth it.

   “I would do it all over again,” Burch said. “I would recommend GSP to anyone. There are so many great memories.”

   Allie Byrn attended Bellarmine University in Louisville. Her focus area was the Health Care Industry and her general studies were about Sherlock Holmes.

   “My focus area was the best part,” Byrn explained. “In high school you get to look at textbooks and they talk about health care but at GSP we were able to go to hospitals and see them (health care professionals) at work in research and things. GSP is more in-depth learning. It’s goes deeper than what you get in a high school class.”

   Byrn’s summer included one trip that she will remember for years.

   “We went to a cadaver lab and checked out human brains,” Byrn said. “I got to hold a human brain. I was like ‘is that an eyebrow.’ Also, the eyes were still attached. That was cool.” 

   Byrn is a second-generation GSP student---her father (Jeremy Byrn) went through the program in the mid-1990s. She adds that the GSP leaders at Bellarmine kept her busy with activities and special moments designed to help students make the adjustment to being away from home.

   “You are always doing something,” Byrn said. “You meet so many people. There were more kids there than they are in my senior class. But, they (the leaders) made it as comfortable as possible. We went all out for birthdays. My favorite part was Friday’s when you got a little sticker for your nametag that would say happy Friday. They try and make you feel special.”

   AC-SH juniors interested in attending GSP in the summer of 2020 can contact the high school guidance office for information on the application process.  

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570 Oliver Street, Scottsville, KY
Phone: (270) 618-3181
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