ARLINGTON -- Two Arlington Memorial High School students have been accepted into the 2014 Governor's Institutes of Vermont program, according to school spokeswoman Melissa Smith.

Mackenzie Gross, a junior, was accepted into the Current Issues and Youth Activism Institute, and Maggie Smith, a freshman, will attend the Institute on Information Technology and Digital Media. Both of the students participated in a rigorous application process and submitted faculty letters of recommendation to the program. Students accepted into the program receive a signed proclamation of congratulations from Gov. Peter Shumlin.

GIV was founded in 1982 by Christine Graham, Steven Kaagen, Ellen Lovell, and Stephan Morse. The next year, then-Gov. Richard Snelling gave his blessing, and the Governor's Institute of the Arts was established, and enrolled its first students. In 1985, the program added the Institute in Current Issues and Youth Activism at the School for International Training and the Institute in Science and Technology, at the University of Vermont. In 1996, the Asian Cultures Institute, and in 2002, the Education and Information Technology Institutes were formed. Most recently, the program added a Mathematical Sciences Institute in 2004. All told, the program has served over 10,000 students since its inception.

At her institute, Gross will examine the connections between current issues, policy, and political questions that directly impact youth through seminars with Vermont politicians and activists, as well as leadership skills workshops and debates.


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Smith will learn about electronic game design, cybersecurity, coding, digital video, web entrepreneurship, and object-oriented programming. The IT Institute is hosted by Champlain College in Burlington.

Students who have just completed grades 9-11 are eligible for the summer programs. "Every Governor's Institute is as unique and special as the students who attend," reads the informational section of the program's website, "But they all share some common attributes. They're all focused on YOU, the student, and the topics you love. They're all very concentrated, intense blasts of learning, discovery, and thought, all rolled up into more fun than you think could even be possible. They all introduce you to inspiring mentors and Vermonters your age that we bet you'll stay in touch with forever."

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB