Hands-on Learning for Youth with a Passion

“Governor’s Institutes of Vermont: Hands-on Learning for Youth with a Passion,” Vermont Woman Magazine


The outspoken voices of four young high-school women, who just participated in one of nine Governor’s Institutes of Vermont (GIV), best captures the spirit of GIV’s educational empowerment:

“I wanted to have conversations that don’t happen at school.”
“Traditionally men are in leadership roles. The women here want to change that.”
“There is only so much I can do on my own. Here I learn ways to make a difference.”
“I wanted more confidence to speak out.”

Their particular Institute happened to be focused on Current Issues and Youth Activism and was held at The School for International Training in Brattleboro in July. But each summer, in nine different focus-areas and locations, 12-day long residencies geared to Vermont high school students on Vermont college campuses provide transformative educational opportunities. GIV also organizes two winter events.

For many, this exposure to college and intellectual dialogue is life-changing. Each Institute brings together like-minded students who are passionate about the arts, or engineering, or math, science, technology, entrepreneurship, world cultures, or as in the example above, activism and current events.

“Our students tend to have a strong intellectual or artistic curiosity that isn’t fully satisfied in their school curricula,” says Karen Taylor Mitchell, GIV’s executive director. “They’re students who function well in an independent learning environment, and it’s so inspiring to see them electing to spend their summers learning about issues they’re passionate about, when they could be on a beach instead of spending twelve hours a day doing math, or learning about other cultures. They love it!”

– See more at: http://www.vermontwoman.com/articles/2014/0914/gouvinstitutes/gov-institutes.html#sthash.vby1wHfM.dpuf

Karen Taylor Mitchell

Karen Taylor Mitchell

Karen is Executive Director at the Governor's Institutes of Vermont.

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