BENNINGTON >> Four local organizations teamed up to send six Mount Anthony Union High School students to two weekends at the Governor's Institute of Vermont.

The students were able to attend thanks to support from the Community College of Vermont, Global-Z International, The Lightning Jar, and Southwestern Vermont Health Care. The Governor's Institute of Vermont, or GIV, was created in 1983 to increase access to arts education among Vermonters. It was expanded, beginning in 1985, to include science and technology subjects as well. Their Winter Weekend programs are open to high school students who are nominated by their teachers. The first weekend was Feb. 5-7, and the second will take place Feb. 19-21.

The six students are sophomore Taylor Brandmeyer who will attend the Debate and National Issues program, which will help students think critically and communicate persuasively about national political issues; freshmen Jayden Buck and Lucas Longtin for Astrophotography, which is being offered througn a partnership with Northern Skies Observatory and will teach students how to capture and manipulate cosmic images; junior Noa Chaney for the Acting Masterclass, a comedy and theater workshop lead by Blue Man Group actor Isaac Eddy; junior Mia Prouty for Entrepreneurship, and junior Faith Sullivan for Global Issues Dialogue.


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Four of the six students are also members of the Emerging Leaders program, which is overseen by the Bennington County Industrial Corporation's Workforce and Education Group and is supported by a Vermont Department of Labor internship grant.

"The health and vitality of the Bennington community and its surrounding area is so important to SVHC," said Jim Trimarchi, SVHC's director of planning, "Partnering with GIV, Global-Z, The Lightning Jar, and Community College of Vermont to provide these growth opportunities to students is a great way to show our commitment to the community and ensure we have a high quality workforce for the future."

"This is a tremendously important program providing high school students with access to critical STEM and entrepreneurship skills," said Dimitri Garder, CEO of Global-Z and interim director of The Lightning Jar, a collaborative work space on North Street in Bennington, "Supporting this program allows us to further our mission of promoting entrepreneurial development and the creative economy."

"Thanks to generous support from Bennington area partners, the Governor's Institutes of Vermont is thrilled to have a record number of Bennington area students attending our Winter Weekend programs this year," said Erika Nichols-Frazer, development director for GIV, "We applaud the members of the Bennington community and the dynamic team at Mount Anthony Union High School for their concerted efforts in encouraging Bennington students to explore learning opportunities outside of the school setting, prepare themselves for the future, and for helping students gain access to these incredible opportunities."

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.