Amanda Thomas hopes that future generations will have the opportunity to experience North Carolina’s Governor’s School the way she, and thousands of others, have.
“You get to learn in an environment where you’re not restricted by grades or curriculum,” she said. “You learn in the best way that suits you, about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and how you can apply those things.”
The future of the Governor’s School, which was founded in 1963, is unknown now, due to a state Senate budget proposal that would eliminate $800,000 in annual funding to the summer program. The state House’s budget includes the money, which means both legislative bodies need to reach a compromise.
Thomas said she was part of one of the last classes able to attend for free. Legislators previously cut funding for the Governor’s School in 2012, forcing students to pay a $500 tuition fee.
“My older brother and I both had this genuine experience, and it saddens us that it’s something, possibly, that our future kids won’t be able to experience,” she said.
For Thomas, Governor’s School was an experience that she said prepared her for college in a way nothing else could have.
“They put so much maturity and expectations on you that you grown so quickly in just six week,” she said.
“I realized that things aren’t just black and white. We have only so much diversity in Shelby, but here I was with 400 people from all over the state. I got to see how art affected 10 other students from 10 other perspectives.
“I learned you’re living in a world of millions of people who aren’t…
click here to read more.