Each summer some of Kentucky’s brightest future leaders attend the Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) or the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE). Competition for spots in these two free programs is fierce. This year, six Grant County students will be among attendees.
Juniors Megan Million, Brizeida Aguazul, Jackson Utter, and Summer Smith have been chosen to attend GSP. Their alternates are Georgia Thompson, Tucker Ammerman, and Ashlyn Robinson. Attending GSE will be Junior Alex Zepahua and sophomore Marissa Barker.
Each summer some of Kentucky’s brightest future leaders attend the Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) or the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE). Competition for spots in these two free programs is fierce. This year, six Grant County students will be among attendees.This summer’s five week GSP sessions will take place on three college campuses: Centre College, Morehead State University, and Murray State University. Students will not find out their session dates or which campus they will be on until May 19.
Every student chooses three of the offered focus areas and will be assigned one. Those assignments, too, are yet to be revealed.
All six students are excited for the opportunities the programs promise.
Utter looks forward to “networking with future leaders, and I can attend Eastern Kentucky (University) for free.”
Smith agreed, saying, “I’m definitely really excited for the scholarship opportunities that come with being accepted into GSP, but I’m also just super excited to go on the adventure of being away from home with a bunch of strangers for five weeks.”
The arduous GSP application process began back in the fall. Said Smith, “Applications technically started in September of 2022, but I started mine in June because I was so motivated.”
According to Aguazul, “Applications were due to the district before Christmas Break. There they edited and suggested ideas to make our applications stronger. After we got our applications back, they gave us a week to edit them, and then they sent them to the state level.”
In addition to writing as essay, students were required to provide information on extra-curricular activities, volunteer service hours, school activities, and honors/awards. Finally, each needed to provide two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher and one from a community member.
The process can be overwhelming. Aguazul said, “The further I got in completing my application, the more nervous I got. I mentioned to a teacher of mine that I wasn’t going to finish my application out of fear. She, however, gave me one of the biggest pep talks and told me to not be afraid of my competition....I’m beyond thankful for her and her faith in me.”
Zepahua and Barker will be on the campus of Northern Kentucky University for the three weeks long GSE program.
Students chosen to attend GSE will focus on business and entrepreneurship. According to Zepahua, the application process involved not only a written application but a creative video about himself.
According to the GSE website, students will “be exposed to experienced entrepreneurs, startup tools, funding, pitch competitions, emerging technologies, and scholarships.”
Barker explained that as part of the program, they will be “creating a project/business for a panel of judges with a group of other entrepreneurs.”
None of the six students going to GSP and GSE has ever spent that long away from home, and some nervousness is evident.
Said Aguazul, “I’ve left home throughout the summer for around one week every year, and each time I was ready to be home after the second day. So five weeks away from home will definitely be hard....I’ve talked to GSP alumni and they all say it was one of the best experiences of their lives, which helps comfort me a little.”
Zepahua says of his first extended time away from his family, “It’s bittersweet.”
But overriding any nervousness is a great sense of excitement. Perhaps Smith voiced this best for the whole group: “I think I’m gonna end up having a blast.”
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