June 25, 2012

CTY offers summer scholarships for gifted rural students

All kids need a place where they feel like they belong. But when you are smart and living in a rural area, finding classes and cultural opportunities, libraries and labs, and teachers and peers to inspire and engage you can be difficult.

Rural Connections, a new scholarship program launched this summer by Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth, addresses this need. Rural Connections gives bright seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders from low-income rural families the opportunity to attend CTY’s challenging summer programs and join a community of learners. Students selected for the program receive a full scholarship to attend a three-week residential summer program at one of CTY’s 24 U.S. sites, as well as supplemental academic and peer support following the program.

According to a 2005 study by the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, many gifted students from rural schools encounter less-challenging academic programs than those from suburban and urban schools. These students are also less likely to be identified as gifted, to have access to a well-developed variety of programs and, perhaps most critically, to have peers who share their intellectual interests.

More than 120 students will be reached through the three-year initiative, which is funded by a major grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

This year’s class of 42 Rural Connections Scholars hails from more than a dozen states, including Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas.

CTY summer courses range from astrophysics and advanced cryptology to zoology.