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The Tilghman Bell

The Student News Site of Paducah Tilghman High School

The Tilghman Bell

The Student News Site of Paducah Tilghman High School

The Tilghman Bell

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Insiders Scoop on GSP

Before I applied for the Governor’s Scholar Program almost a year ago, I had no idea what it was or what to expect if I was accepted. So, here in an inside look for any potential applicants that are looking for more details on this incredible program.

This summer, I had the honor of attending the 2023 Governor’s Scholar Program at Centre College in Danville, KY. The Governor’s Scholar Program (GSP) is a summer program for rising seniors that “strives to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders. Established in 1983, the program fosters academic and personal growth through the balance of a strong liberal arts program and a college-like experience.

The program is 5 weeks long and located at three different in-state college campuses. Scholars are randomly assigned a roommate to share their room with. Scholars are also assigned a focus area class (according to what your interests are), a general studies class (random topic chosen by the faculty teaching the class), and a leadership seminar class (taught by an RA). Along with daily scheduled classes, the program also hosts various activities and events designed to keep the scholars entertained and out of their dorms.

To become a Governor’s Scholar, you must complete a lengthy application with consists of detailed lists of activities, service hours, and honors, as well as an essay, two letters of recommendation, and grade reports. You will also select three focus areas out of a wide variety of choices that you are interested in studying. For Tilghman students who are applying, you will first submit your application to the guidance office to be scored. Since Tilghman is only allowed to send approximately ten applications to the state, a panel of Tilghman administrators and teachers select the best applications to submit to the program. The application for the 2024 program has not yet opened, but it will be released in the coming weeks.

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If your application makes it through both the school and the state round, you will receive a letter of acceptance in April. You will also be assigned your focus area class and the campus where you will spend your summer.

Although each program varies slightly throughout the different years and campuses, the overall GSP environment has remained constant since 1983.

This past summer I was assigned to the philosophy focus area. My teacher was Lisa Hicks, a professor of philosophy at Stanford High. My general studies class was taught by James Bland, a pediatric dentist from New York, who taught us the significance of our senses in regard to forming memories. My leadership seminar was taught by Peyton McCubbin, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky and a devout Kappa Delta. These are just a few faculty members that I made valuable connections with among many others.

In addition to the consistent schedule for classes, the program also schedules various activities such as several guest speakers (including Governor Andy Beshear), classical movie showings, weekly showcases, a community arts day, a community service day, ACT prep courses, a college fair, and a college application and interview workshop. Along with scheduled activities, there were several clubs that would meet periodically throughout the five weeks. The clubs were created and led by RAs, or created by scholars with an RA sponsor. Some examples of clubs from this summer are Trivia Club, Friendship Bracelet Club, Baking Club, “Swifties” Club, Bracket Club, Swing Dancing, CD Painting, Rock Painting, Rap Club, and Rotten Tomatoes Club.

Outside of class, Scholars have the option to attend clubs or activities, or spend their free time on campus with friends or in their dorm. Some of my favorite things to do during my time at GSP were play poker in the dorms, go to the classical film showings in the movie theater on campus, attend random clubs (especially swing dancing), play billiards in the student center, performing in showcase, and going to the Friday night parties.

My experience at GSP was one I will never forget. I made so many connections with people that I now consider my best friends. The atmosphere of GSP was so incredibly unique- everyone is welcomed and accepted for their differences. What I thought would be the most boring summer of my life turned out to be the best and most unforgettable experience. I highly recommend applying to this program and discovering all the incredible opportunities GSP can offer you.

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About the Contributor
Fiona Caywood, Editor-in-Chief
Fiona Caywood is a senior at Paducah Tilghman. She is the editor of the Tilghman Bell, captain of the varsity Girls’ Soccer Team, and president of the Student Equity Advisory Council. She is also member of Student Council, Beta Club, National Honors Society, Interact Club, Pep Club, the Speech Team, the Tilghman Choir, and Concordia. Fiona is also a 2023 Governor’s Scholar and a student ambassador for Tilghman.

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