JaMaur Lyons, North Hardin High School, was among 12 students at The Gatton Academy of Mathe­matics and Science in Kentucky at WKU to receive a nationally-competitive National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarships for immersive, critical language study this summer.

Lyons will continue his study of Chinese language this summer with his NSLI-Y Scholarship in Taiwan. He is a first-year student in The Gatton Academy’s STEM + Chinese track taking courses in WKU’s Department of Modern Languages. Lyons is the son of LaTasha Burton of Vine Grove. “It will be fun learning about the language and culture while conversing with native speakers,” Lyons said.

This is the highest number of awards in a single year for Gatton Academy students.

NSLI-Y scholarships are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, offering full funding for the six-to-eight-week programs. Scholarships include a four-day orientation in Washington, D.C., or New York City, travel to and from the host countries, housing with host families, meals and all activities and fees. NSLI-Y immerses participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. The NSLI-Y program was launched in 2006 to promote critical language learning among American youth.

The Gatton Academy has three critical language tracks in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Russian called STEM + Critical Languages. Through these optional curricular tracks, students choose to pair progressively-rigorous critical language study each semester alongside the classic STEM curriculum offered to all Gatton Academy students.

This marks the ninth consecutive year Gatton Academy students have received NSLI-Y scholarships.