Five Berea students attend the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program


From R to L: Cora Livingston, Ryan Whitt, Aubrey Smith, Emy Lovell, Emily Nigro


Five seniors from Berea Community High School (BCHS) attended the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) on three campuses across the state over the summer of 2018.

Exceptional students from across the state are selected to attend GSP based on academic excellence and community involvement. From BCHS, Cora Livingston, Emy Lovell, Emily Nigro, Aubrey Smith, and Ryan Whitt (an impressive number of chosen scholars for the small school) were presented with the opportunity to attend a program that makes many new gateways to success available. Among the extensive and impactful benefits of GSP, one that initially draws many is that the scholarship money could potentially make a student’s college education free. Yet what scholars often find to be the most valuable take-away from the program is less tangible: the friendships. Emy Lovell, a participant on the Northern Kentucky University campus, said of her experience, “I miss GSP so much because it was such a close-knit, open community and I felt so accepted in my endeavors.” Ryan Whitt, a scholar on Murray State University’s campus, further articulated, “The social aspect unveiled the true meaning for the program for me: that I could connect with others in a wonderful environment.”

While the social aspect was overall emphasized as the most impactful, scholars also experienced collegiate level academics. Based on their interests students were grouped together, where they attended classes, seminars, and went on educational field trips to academically immerse them similarly to college. While both the social and academic aspects of GSP overshadowed any negatives, all of the scholars made it clear that GSP is not easy. It made them uncomfortable to be away from the things they knew and loved, such as home, family, and friends. This discomfort, however, is a necessity to complete the program and reap the benefits. Providing high schoolers with an experience that will allow them to transition with ease to college means that they must experience something new, and discomfort often goes hand in hand with uncertainty.  When asked if the program was worth it, Morehead State University scholar Aubrey Smith was certain: “100 percent. It is a fantastic experience that can’t be explained in a such a way that can do it justice.” The number of students from BCHS who were able to experience this program is truly remarkable, as well as the impact it has made on all who have participated.