Gifted Education Specialist Laurie Followell works with a student.
Even though the current school year is barely two months old, some MCHS students are already working toward applying to the Governor’s Scholar Program for next summer -- and Gifted Education Specialist Laurie Followell of the MCPS Crown Center is here to help.
Followell offers free application workshops for students hoping to land a spot at GSP, a summer residential program aimed at enhancing Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders.
“We talk about what you can do right now to better increase you chances to be selected,” Followell said. “We go over completing the application step-by-step,which would include how you write the essay, how you list community service, what the student can do for community service that would reflect particularly well -- really everything in that application.”
Followell held the first session September 25 and will have three more on: October 16, October 23, and November 6. The session are held at 6:00 pm at the Crown Center which is located in the Area Technology Center. Applications for the GSP program are typically due in December.
“We basically take a look at a part of the application at each session, and then at the last session we look over the entire application,” Followell said. “I also have students who were accepted in the past that are willing to give us their applications so we can look at those and see what they did.”
This past summer, Marion County Public Schools had eight students accepted into the prestigious program. Among those was Nicholas Kaminski, who took advantage of the four prep sessions Followell offered last year.
“They were really beneficial because I brought in my essay and Mrs. Followell helped me out with that,” Kaminski said. “And the previous attendees shared their experiences and really made me want to go.”
Followell also offers to proofread applications even if students aren’t able to make it to her prep sessions. She’s also planning to have some of the students who attended GSP this summer provide some advice to prospective applicants.
And while GSP only accepts applications from current high school juniors, the workshops are also open to current sophomores who might want to get a head start on the process.
“A lot of people think you have to have an extremely high ACT score to be selected and that’s not necessarily true,” Followell added. “So I try to encourage people who are good students that have a real chance for being accepted to come to the sessions, even if they’re not happy with their ACT score.”
For more information on the study session, contact Laurie Followell at Laurie.Followell@marion.kyschools.us