Statesboro High’s Sam Pollak was accepted into the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) and will attend the program over the summer at Valdosta State University to enrich her education in mathematics.
Pollak, a junior, said, “Math has been my favorite subject since I was little; I’ve just always had a weird fascination for numbers … I’m hoping that GHP will tap more into the theories and unorthodox concepts that math has to offer.”
In order to reach her position of acceptance, Pollak went through a lengthy application and interview process, being asked “really out-of-the-box questions that tested [her] mental math.” She looks forward to the opportunity GHP will provide for her to challenge herself academically and make her summer worthwhile. Pollak aspires to study either finance or accounting in college, and she views the GHP experience as an advancement of exploration in her math-related interests rather than as a career-oriented pursuit.
The Governor’s Honors Program is a residential summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors in which students receive educational enrichment in their field of acceptance. During this program from mid-June to mid-July, students attend classes for a major course determined by their field of nomination and a minor course decided by students upon acceptance.
The hallmark of GHP is the atmosphere it provides for students with meritorious academic caliber who are not regularly surrounded by such student competence in their classes at high school. GHP is, thus, a nexus bringing together similarly motivated and talented students to benefit from interaction and mutual learning.
SHS alumnus from the Class of 2014 Trisha Mitra, who attended the GHP program for mathematics during the summer of 2012, said, “Governor’s Honors offered me perspective; it allowed me to mentally grasp the importance, complexity, and flexibility of mathematics.”
Trisha described the ways in which GHP allowed her to explore mathematics without the constraints imposed by a classroom setting, such as grades and necessary assessments. The “classes” were not so much classes as they were enrichment; without the pressures of grades, she was able to participate in engaging discussions for which the scope of learning and exploration far surpassed that endowed by conventional classroom curricula.
Natasha Liston-Beck, a current senior at SHS, attended the program for art during the summer of 2014. “The best part of GHP was the atmosphere,” she said. “Everyone was incredibly passionate about something; any conversation I had with someone was exciting, hilarious, and enlightening all at once.”