Forty-three students from western Kentucky were selected to take part in this year’s Governor’s Scholars Program, with 11 other students chosen as alternates.

The Governor’s Scholars Program is a summer residential program for outstanding high school students in Kentucky who are rising seniors. It originated in 1983 as a result of Kentucky leaders’ concern that the state’s best and brightest students were leaving Kentucky to pursue educational and career opportunities elsewhere without fully understanding the potential of their talents at home.

Students who are selected attend the program for free. The Governor’s Office, state legislature and private enterprise come together to provide financial support.

GSP spokeswoman Beth Carrier said the program has not made any plans regarding how this year’s sessions will be held with regard to COVID-19 considerations.

“No final decisions or plans have been made regarding an on-site GSP summer program,” she said in an email. “Ultimately, those plans will depend on a number of other decisions and directives, including — but not limited to — the Office of the Governor and our host campuses.”

The program’s mission is to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders. Over the years, it has grown to include more than 1,000 students annually on three campuses. Those campuses rotate every three years. This year’s rotation includes Bellarmine, Centre and Morehead State.

The core curriculum for these summer sessions includes a focus area, allowing students to pursue a topic as a member of a small group; general studies, which emphasizes community leadership and service-learning; and a seminar, which allows for personal development in subjects like career choice and interpersonal relationships.

In order to participate in the Governor’s Scholars Program, students must be nominated by their high schools and then compete on a statewide level. Selection for the program is highly competitive, with an application process similar to that of prestigious colleges and universities.

In addition to an academic profile that includes difficulty of course load, grade-point average and at least one standardized test score, the application requires an outline of all extracurricular activities, a history of volunteer service and a list of job positions held.

Area students accepted into this year’s program include:

• McCracken County High School: Avery Bailey, Bailey Bowland, Brooke Bowling, Ava Chuppe, Gracie Conway, Olivia Dodge, Halle Harned, Rachel Hwang, Lynzi Lawrence, Emma Kate Schaff, Mason Wooten; alternate Kiersten Grimes.

• Paducah Tilghman: Allison Barrows, Raven Butler, Aiden Caywood, Zyla Dortch, Sam Kirchhoff.

• Ballard Memorial: Morgan Blankenship; alternate Andrew Paul.

• Calloway County: Lucy Burns, Caden Emerson, Ava Lewis, Lexan Roberts, Alexia Wyatt.

• Carlisle County: Kannon Bowles, Audrey Gill, Lauren Mantle, Mallory Wilson.

• Christian Fellowship Academy: alternate Mary Kate McCollum.

• Fulton County: Callie Coulson.

• Graves County: Carrie Cavitt, Devin Cope, Joselyn Erdmann, Olivia Gregory, Macy Rodgers; alternates Louis Driver, Dylan Norton, Laney Shoulta.

• Hickman County: Jenna Moore; alternate Kathryn Stahr.

• Livingston Central: Olivia G. Ramage; alternate Robert Schmitt.

• Marshall County: Madison Clark, Karly Jones, Ethan Morgan; alternate Madelyn Goins.

• Mayfield: Jimena Calderon, Gardinia Hernandez Say; alternate Blake McManus.

• Murray: Ella Brown-Terry, Mary Browder Howell, Patrick Jones, Kyra Shutt, Claire Whitaker; alternate Caroline Kim.

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