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By KELLY RICHARDSON
HARDIN COUNTY — Dozens of area students will head off to college this summer — a year before they graduate from high school.
Thirty-one students from Hardin County have been chosen to attend the Governor’s Scholar Program and four students from four local high schools will spend three weeks at the Governor’s School for the Arts.
GSP is a five-week program for high-schoolers about to enter their senior year and is held at various colleges across the state. While there, students live in dorms and “major” in a subject area, affording them a chance to taste college life. Students also receive scholarships if they attend in-state schools. The first session of the program begins June 15 and the last session ends July 26.
GSA is a three-week program held at Transylvania University, where students can study dance, creative writing, music, drama, architecture or visual art. The program runs from June 22 to July 12.
Five students from North Hardin High School, five students from Elizabethtown High School, seven students from John Hardin High School and 14 students from Central Hardin High School will attend GSP.
To be considered, students must complete applications that include two essays and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. They also must list their achievements and community service in which they’ve participated. The application process took a few hours for some students and months for others.
North Hardin junior Molly Proffitt, who will attend GSP at Morehead State University and studying engineering, said she worked daily on her application for about two months.
“It was ridiculous,” Proffitt said.
John Hardin junior Ashley Eklund, who will study communication and social studies at Morehead State, said she worked on her application for about 40 hours right before the deadline.
The students were interested in the program for a variety of reasons, including scholarship money and a chance to see what college is like. Others had personal reasons.
Central Hardin junior Ryan Hays, who will study engineering at Morehead State, said that along with the scholarship, his older sister, who was chosen as an alternate for the program after her junior year, provided some motivation.
“I wanted to do better than her,” Hays said.
Central junior Beth Prather, who will study cultural anthropology at Centre College, wanted a little independence during the summer.
“I wanted to get away from my parents for five weeks,” Prather said.
Acceptance into GSA also includes an application and essays, but in addition, students must audition and interview for a spot in the program.
John Hardin junior Tamara Kamara said she wanted any chance she could to continue working on her acting.
“When you love doing something so much, you just want to it” whenever possible, she said.
North junior Stephanie Howard, who will study dance at GSA, said she plans to dance in college and hopes the program will help her improve and be prepared for college-level classes.
The students had many hopes of what the program will offer them, such as choosing a college major, how to live on their own and even how to do laundry.
“Going to school over the summer is not as lame as it sounds,” Eklund said.
Kelly Richardson can be
reached at (270) 505-1747.