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Like-minded friends, awesome teachers

CTY scholarships for underserved students from rural communities
Posted September 16, 2013
Wyatt Blair, right, takes a break with some friends at a Center for Talented Youth summer program.  IMAGE: Marshall Clarke Wyatt Blair, right, takes a break with some friends at a Center for Talented Youth summer program. IMAGE: Marshall Clarke

Wyatt Bair was advanced from an early age; at just 4 years old, he told his mom that the Earth’s magnetic poles are squashed because of gravitation. But in the past, his intelligence interfered with both school, which was often too easy, and his relationships with peers, who didn’t always understand him. By fifth grade, “my vocabulary had extended to the point where if I went any further, people had no idea what I was talking about,” he says.

This summer was different.  Bair, a 9th-grader who lives in Ronceverte, West Virginia, was one of 40 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-graders who participated in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth—an intensive three-week academic program—through the Rural Connections scholarship.  Started last year and funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation through 2014, the Rural Connections program offers a full scholarship to talented but underserved students from rural communities.

The program allows Bair and kids like him to meet like-minded friends and “teachers who are going to be teaching really awesome stuff.”