The annual reception for the award of summer scholarships to area gifted students was held Wednesday, May 7, at the Southern Ohio Museum.
The South Central Ohio Educational Service Center’s (ESC) Gifted Services Department acts as liaison between businesses, individuals and organizations willing to sponsor Summer Enrichment Programs and students who are identified as gifted and are interested in participating in those programs.
Sponsorship provides the opportunity for students who otherwise might not be able to attend these programs offered by colleges and universities throughout the nation. This year, 32 students were awarded scholarships which will pay either all or part of their summer enrichment tuition costs.
The Scioto County ESC summer scholarships are for students who are designated as being gifted by the Ohio Department of Education educational standards for identified gifted students. Students who submit applications have them reviewed by a committee to review what the students want to do, the rigor of the program and how the summer program could affect the students.
The scholarship cost is limited differently by each class grade; elementary students can apply for up to $500; junior high students can apply for up to $1,000; high school students can apply for up to $1,500.
“Having resources like this one available for students is invaluable,” Sharee Price, ESC Gifted Services Coordinator, said. “Studies show that students need to continue their education during the summer months to stay current on everything. I think the students who participate not only benefit from the academic side of this program, but the social as well, because they get to be around other kids who think similarly to the way they do, which is not always the same in the average classroom setting.”
Students participating in the 2014 Summer Enrichment Programs and their educational choices are: Caden Banks, Andrew Crank, Kara Jo McCray, Hannah Simmons and Evan Wheeler, The Wilds; William Bentley, Emily Clausing, Hannah Miller, Wright State University; Matt Bickett, Oberlin College & Conservatory; Dutch Byrd and Grace Hobbs, Ohio University; Aaron Crank, Loyola University; Emma Fleenor, Monte Thayer, Katie Wood, Ohio State University; Makenzie Gleason, SOMC Summer Tech Camp; Bailey Hartlage and Hannah Simmons, Muskingum University; Megan Knox, Concordia Language Village; Sydney Kouns, Baldwin Wallace University; Anna Lovins and Noah Lovins, Eastern Kentucky University; Katherine Marsh, University of North Carolina; Ava McCleese, Cedarville University; Samantha McLaughlin, Cedarville University; Johnathan Miller, Shawnee State University; Billy Murphy, Purdue University; Ethan Sanford, Junior Achievement BizTown; Micah Simmons and Sarah Simmons, Ohio Northern University; Aashish Vemsani, Northwestern University; Casey White, North Carolina State University; and Blake Wood, COSI.
“I applaud the students and parents for going through the application process and I especially applaud the parents for encouraging their kids to pursue these summer educational avenues,” Price said.
Of the students to receive a scholarship from the Scioto ESC, one was Ava McCleese.
“I think they are giving opportunities to the students who are higher achievers and are preparing them to further their college opportunities and also giving them a taste of what they are interested in during the summer months,” April McCleese, mother of Ava McClease, said.
Ava will be a sophomore next year and plans on studying politics and policy. This summer she is exploring the history route and will participate in science next summer. Ava plans on pursuing a career with the U.S. government.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.