COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI News) – Since 1981, the Mississippi Governor’s School has been helping academic achievers from across the state get a taste of what it is like to live and attend classes at a university.
It’s the start of a three week program, and for the high school students moving into the dorms, it’s a time for them to get used to what university life is like.
“It gives them the opportunity to really experience the collegiate level, get excited about college, because while they’re here they’re enrolled in courses that are basically on the college level. And it’s also an opportunity for them to meet peers and interact with peers that are like them, that are that academic, driven student,” said MGS staff member, Betsie Cutrer.
For a lot of these students, this is perhaps the first time that they have been away from home for this extended period of time.
MGS staff, some of whom were MGS students themselves, make it a priority to make sure that the transition is smooth and not overwhelming.
“The R.A.’s, they make sure that everything is healthy and provide for the students. The staff that was here last year, most of them are back this year. They’re really helpful in making sure that the students have the best experience they can have,” said Johnny Yang, a staff member and past MGS student.
“MGS does such a great job of fostering a community while the students are here and fostering really friendships that grow into family,” said Cutrer.
The students who attend MGS are among the top performers in their schools in the state.
A program like this helps ensure that they will do well beyond high school and college.
“The people that I’ve met here are the most outstanding people. I’ve seen them everywhere: Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta Club, you name it. They’re there. They’re active people, and in the near future you’re going to see them in the newspaper. I’m excited for that,” said Yang.
When these three weeks are up, organizers and staff hope that this will inspire students to spread what they have learned and make their community a better place.
“We don’t want them to just experience MGS and then leave it behind at the W. We want them to take MGS to their schools and to give to scholars around them at their home schools what they learned here,” said Cutrer.
Since it’s start, MGS has helped over thirty-five hundred students by giving them a passion for learning and bettering their community.