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Building confidence and pursuing dreams

More than 150 ele­men­tary and middle school stu­dents and their fam­i­lies from Mass­a­chu­setts descended upon Northeastern’s campus on Sunday for an awards cer­e­mony hon­oring the stu­dents’ out­standing aca­d­emic achieve­ments.

The stu­dents are par­tic­i­pating in the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity Center for Tal­ented Youth (CTY). Every year, CTY launches a global “Talent Search” to iden­tify the world’s brightest stu­dents in grades 2 through 8 who score excep­tion­ally high on stan­dard­ized tests (or demon­strate supe­rior aca­d­emic per­for­mance) in math­e­matics and/​or verbal rea­soning.

Last year, about 50,000 stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in CTY, which offers youth chal­lenging edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties such as summer pro­grams and camps, as well as online courses.

Jane Brown, vice pres­i­dent for enroll­ment man­age­ment at North­eastern, greeted atten­dees and lauded their aca­d­emic achieve­ments. She said the CTY pro­gram aligns with the University’s own mis­sion to help its stu­dents reach their full intel­lec­tual poten­tial through explo­ration, rig­orous aca­d­e­mics and inte­grated expe­ri­en­tial learning.

“All of you sit­ting here are intel­lec­tu­ally curious, active learners. These are char­ac­ter­is­tics you very much have in common with our stu­dents here at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. Like you, the stu­dents here are excited to learn, cre­ative, adven­turous, and eager to explore the world,” Brown said.

Eliz­a­beth Folan, a third-​​year North­eastern stu­dent majoring in Eng­lish, with minors in Italian and psy­chology, also spoke to the young stu­dents at the event, offering them inspi­ra­tion to take advan­tage of the ben­e­fits CTY has to offer.

Folan said Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram has pro­vided her with a sim­ilar oppor­tu­nity to pursue her pas­sion. Her heart has been set on becoming a lawyer since she was in middle school, so Folan was able to work at the Boston Bar Asso­ci­a­tion on co-​​op this spring. She col­lab­o­rated with pro­fes­sional attor­neys and learned about the many areas of law she might one day want to prac­tice.

Folan also gave an example of her friend, a chem­istry major who is working with fac­ulty and other stu­dents to ana­lyze and dis­cover cures for neglected, third-​​world dis­eases.

“This uni­ver­sity pro­vides stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ties to build their con­fi­dence and pursue their dreams,” she said.

– by Greg St. Martin

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