Monday, July 23, 2012

This is GSP.

For the last several months, any time someone asked me what I was going to be doing this summer, I'd pause for a second, unsure what to say.

"I'm working with GSP," I'd answer. "You know... the Governor's Scholars Program." Then I'd wait for the question: "Uh ... so what's GSP?"

And what is GSP, after all? It's the Governor's Scholars Program. It's five weeks. It's high schoolers from all across Kentucky. But those descriptions don't really explain GSP. It's not a summer camp, but it's not an academic camp. It's not high school, but it's not college. I've done it twice now, once as a scholar and once as an RA, and they were the hardest and best summers of my life.

GSP gives high-achieving high schoolers the opportunity to meet other high-achieving high schoolers and realize that they aren't alone. The scholars discover their passion and potential, and they learn that their talents are also their burdensthat those who can do, must. The confident ones discover that the world doesn't revolve around them, and the shy ones realize that their intellect doesn't have to alienate them. 

All of that might sound a bit dry, but on the individual level, it's life-changing. As a scholar, I discovered people who loved me. I learned that I could make friends and that I wasn't hopelessly awkward in all social settings. As an RA, I learned to love people and invest in them and give back what I'd been given.

So what is GSP? It's five weeks of magic. And somehow in those five weeks across three campuses, a thousand high schoolers form one community. There's nothing else like it. It's the lanyard hanging on my doorknob and the ugly green t-shirt in my closet. It's the bags under my eyes and the dirt on my feet. It's the warmth in my chest and the ache in my heart. It's GSP.

Video by scholar Katie Paxton.

1 comment:

  1. Great description, Jane! I can't explain it to people either... I think I'll direct them to this post. :)