Jan. 25, 2006 – Academically talented high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply for three available scholarships to the Junior Statesmen Summer School offered by the U.S. Interior Department. The deadline to apply is Feb. 24.
However, former Junior Statesmen Ernest Morris said that even if you don't qualify for an Interior Department scholarship, the organization raises funds to defray expenses for students who need financial help.
Valued at $3,875, the scholarships pay tuition and room and board. Students are responsible for their own airfare.
Morris, a St. Croix resident, and St. Thomas resident and former Junior Statesmen Marc Stridiron are working to get the message out to V.I. youth about the scholarships and the program.
"They get to meet top students from all over and attend top universities," Morris said.
A total of 1,300 students are admitted to the program each year. About 100 of them come from the territories and insular areas.
Morris said that since 1991 more than 200 V.I. students have attended the program. Last year 14 attended.
He said in addition to the experience of attending a summer program at a prestigious university, attendance looks good on college applications.
The programs are at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.; Yale University in New Haven, Conn.; Northwestern University near Chicago; Stanford University near San Francisco; and Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.
Stanford, Northwestern, Yale, and Princeton host monthlong sessions, while Georgetown hosts two three-week sessions.
Students live in college dormitories.
Admission to the Junior Statesmen program is competitive and is based on the applicant's academic achievement, leadership and interest in politics or government.
Both young men and women may apply.
Students must submit their high school transcript, a three-page personal essay and a letter of recommendation from a counselor or teacher.
Morris, who attended Junior Statesman programs at Yale in 1993 and Georgetown in 1995, said the program is truly worthwhile.
"It really prepared me for the college-level experience," he said.
Morris went on to study at Yale. After graduation, he attended Howard Law School and is now a law clerk at the Superior Court on St. Croix.
Stridiron could not be reached for comment.
The two will make presentations at various high schools and conduct public information meetings on both St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The St. Thomas meeting will be held at the Government Employees Retirement System building. The St. Croix meeting is at McDonald's in Villa LaReine shopping center. Both are at 6 p.m. Feb. 9.
St. Thomas school visits are scheduled at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Antilles School, 9 a.m. Feb. 1 at Sts. Peter and Paul School, 11 a.m. Feb. 1 at All Saints Cathedral School, and 11:15 a.m. Feb. 7 at Charlotte Amalie High School.
On St. Croix, visits are scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 26 at Seventh-Day Adventist School, at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 26 at Good Hope School, at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Manor School, and at 10 a.m. Feb. 1 at Central High School.
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