MOUNT VERNON — Several area students, their parents and interested parties gathered together on Sept. 21, for the 6th annual celebration of the Ohio Summer Honors Institutes. Specifically designed for high school freshmen and sophomores who have been identified as being gifted, the institutes give the students the opportunity to spend a week on a college campus, delve into a topic in which they are interested and learn about college life in general.
John Jurkowitz of the Knox County Educational Service Center coordinates the program. “I think anytime you take a high school student on a college campus, when they have, perhaps, never been on college campus before, this gives them an opportunity to see what it is like,” he said. “I think if I get them on a college campus early on, they start thinking about it sooner. Based on their comments, they always enjoy being with other kids like them. Being with a college professor, on a topic they have chosen, really seems to keep them interested.”
Each of the students at the celebration shared highlights from his or her Institute experiences. Chase Springer, Mount Vernon High School, studied engineering at Ohio Northern University. He said the institute showed him that college can sometimes be fun, but it can also be tiring because of all the work.