By Joseph Pratt
The South Central Ohio Educational Service Center’s annual reception for the award of summer scholarships to area gifted students was held last week at the Southern Ohio Museum. Students who received scholarships to attend the Miami Summer Scholars Program were recognized along with those who received scholarships to attend other summer programs. The South Central Ohio Educational Service Center’s Gifted Services Department assists Miami University in recruiting students for this program.
Scholarships for Scioto County students come from both Miami University and Scioto Foundation grant monies. This year there were 35 Scioto County scholarship applicants and eight scholarships available. The Scioto Foundation, through their Bess and Marie Pixley Fund, has supported the Miami Junior Scholars program for the past eighteen years. Miami’s traditional Junior Scholars Program has been redesigned, and the Scioto Foundation is continuing to partner with the new Summer Scholars Program.
This selective, two-week program is designed for academically talented high school students who will be juniors or seniors in the fall of 2014. Students will work with Miami’s world-renowned faculty in intensive academic modules centered on specific topics of interest, with themes like fine arts, entrepreneurship, medicine, social justice, sports management and more. They will experience college life and acquire learning experiences designed to prepare them for the college application process, including workshops focused on application essay writing, ACT/SAT test prep, and developing marketable leadership skills.
“Students will be placed in an academic module and will have the chance to really delve deeply into a topic that is interesting to them, by influential Miami faculty members and professionals in the field,” Annie Kafoure, director of the Miami Summer Scholars Program, said. “Students will get an idea of what academic and college life is like, as well as being able to attend workshops with admission experts, who will help them prepare for the college admission and application process.”
To be eligible for this scholarship, Scioto County students must complete an application, write an essay, and have participated in rigorous coursework during high school earning a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average.
Students who received scholarships to participate in the 2014 Miami Junior Summer Scholars Program are: Dylan Amburgey, Whitney Jenkins and Sarah Soares of Northwest High School, Carrie Conley of South Webster High School, Benjamin Justice of Valley High School, Dominique Lodwick of Wheelersburg High School, Katherine Marsh of Clay High School and Samantha McLaughlin of Minford High School.
The program was recently changed from a six-week course to a two-week course. The previous program was called the “Junior Scholars Program.” The Scioto Foundation and Miami also had a partnership to create educational opportunities for Scioto County Students before the program made the recent changes and Miami is glad to continue it. The two-week program makes it easier for students to schedule into their summer and also makes it a quicker and easier class for professors to design for the students. The classes will be intense and engaging, while offering topics that students can’t easily find in high school settings.
“Miami is incredibly grateful for the partnership with the Scioto Foundation,” Kafoure said. “They have been extraordinarily generous for many years and have made it possible for students to have this engaging experience for students. Of course we are excited to introduce them to our campus, but it is so much broader than that, we are so happy to connect them with other students and people with diverse cultural backgrounds.”
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.