By Kaili Carson
Dare to know. This simple phrase may not mean anything to you, but it means the world to me. Allow me to explain: I attended the Governor’s Scholars Program at Northern Kentucky University this past summer and “Dare to know” was our campus theme. At first, I had no idea what those three words meant nor why they held enough significance to plaster them all over our pamphlets and t-shirts. Now, I finally comprehend and fully appreciate what it means to dare to know. Daring to know is never being satisfied with where you are intellectually- it is a hunger, a passion for learning that can never be diminished by our culture of instant gratification and contentment with mediocrity.
This, I believe, is the essence of the Governor’s Scholars Program, and students who possess such an insatiable curiosity for the world around them are the lifeblood that keeps the program alive and well. Now that I have bombarded everyone with long-winded sentimentalities, it would probably be prudent to explain a little bit more about the program itself. The Governor’s Scholars Program is a five-week educational enrichment program for upcoming seniors that demonstrate excellence in academics, leadership, and service. The program selects between one-thousand and eleven-hundred of the Commonwealth’s best and brightest and divides them up between three college campuses for the summer. While at GSP, students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone both academically and socially. Each scholar is assigned two classes, a Focus Area and a General Studies; however, these classes are not organized like your typical high school classroom. There are no grades and no set amount of curriculum to get through before the end of the semester. Rather, scholars are encouraged to delve deeply into the subject and explore what interests them within the parameters of the class. I speak from experience when I say that the classes at GSP are an opportunity to rekindle your childhood curiosity and ignite a new appreciation for education. Ask any alumni of the program and they will tell you that, while the classes are spectacular, what really sets GSP apart is the community that is built on each campus. While there, you meet some of the most dedicated and talented young leaders that this generation has to offer and are presented with the opportunity to learn and grow with one another. Your classmates and hallmates become your family and you build relationships that last a lifetime. I certainly know that I met some people at the Governor’s Scholars Program who changed my life for the better and I plan to remain in contact with for years to come.
I wish that I could capture the magic of the Governor’s Scholars Program in one, single newspaper article, but I’m afraid that it would be impossible to do even in a multi-volume novel series. I encourage any juniors that are interested in GSP to apply. The application is already up on the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program website (here is the link: http://gsp.ky.gov/). I will readily admit that the application process will require your blood, sweat, and tears, but believe me when I say that it will be worth it if you are accepted. I am forever indebted to this program; GSP changed my life and has molded me into the person that I am today. With this being said, I again implore all of you reading this to consider applying for GSP, whether you are a junior who has the opportunity this year or if you are a freshman and have a couple of years to wait. GSP will make you a more confident leader and open doors for you that you could not even begin to imagine.