Congrats to WCHS GSA and GSP Class!

WCHS's 2019 class of GSA and GSP students and a brief overview of the two programs


The WCHS students who made it into the GSP and GSA summer programs.

Governor’s School for the Arts is a three-week program that rising Juniors and Seniors in Kentucky can apply for. It is a great opportunity for high schoolers to develop their skills in the art forms they are interested in. Students can apply for Architecture and Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Film & Photography, Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. Each discipline is taught by world-class instructors who are masters in their artform. The program is free for all who attend. While at GSA, students will attend seminars, lectures, workshops, master classes, and field trips. For more information about what GSA has to offer click here. The program encourages Kentucky students to stay in-state for college, as students who attend the program are eligible for scholarships for almost every college in KY. The scholarship award amounts vary. Depending on one’s GPA and ACT score, students can earn anywhere from $1000 a year to full-tuition. For more information on scholarship opportunities click here.

This year six WCHS students were accepted into GSA.

From left to right: Colin Teague (Instrumental Music: Tuba), Hunter Story (IM: Trumpet), Ben Humpries (IM: French Horn), Simon Atkins (IM: Viola), and Sophie Hill (Vocal Music). I got into GSA as well, but I am choosing to go to GSP. Photo by Kristen Wilson.

As one of the students who was accepted, I wanted to offer some tips for applying.

  1. If you don’t get in your sophomore year, try, try again! As a sophomore, I was chosen as an alternate. I applied again as a junior and got in. Applying twice shows your dedication to your artform.
  2. Start completing your application early. The application launches at the beginning of October 2020. The application is completely based on your skill in your art form. Your ACT score, GPA, or extracurriculars have no bearing on whether or not you get in. I applied for Visual Arts. No matter what art form you apply in you have to complete a short answer and video question. You must also get a recommendation letter from a teacher and an administrator. The rest of the application varies by artform. I applied in visual arts. I had to create a landscape, still life, and self-portrait and I had to submit six other artworks and pictures of five pages out of my sketchbook for the first round application. I procrastinated my first year and didn’t start my application until late December. The application was due at the beginning of January and I ran out of time to put my best effort into all my pieces. In order to show the judges the best representation of your skills you should give yourself plenty of time
  3. Attend an info session or prep workshop! Unfortunately, I never went to one, but they give great tips for strengthening your application. If you don’t know where to start, attend an info session. If you have part of your application done, go to a prep workshop to get critiques on what you’ve done so far.


Governor’s Scholars Program is a five-week program that rising seniors can apply for. Students participating in the program choose a focus area that while at GSP they will pursue in depth. Some of these topics include visual arts, journalism, math, Spanish, health science, etc. Students will also participate in what is called general studies, which are classes that are focused around community leadership, service learning, and resolution development. There are many different speakers and performers that are invited onto the campus during the program. Students also go on a variety of different field trips pertaining to their focus area. For more information on what to expect out GSP click here. Like GSA, GSP is also a free program, and it also encourages students to go to college in-state. There are many fantastic scholarship opportunities for GSP scholars as well. For more information on the scholarships, you can earn from participating in GSP, click here. The application process is very different from GSA. Students must be first nominated by their high school. Here at WCHS, the student nominees are determined by a committee based on the strength of each application. The GSP application includes a difficulty of course ranking, GPA, and ACT, SAT or PSAT score, a list of extracurricular activities, volunteering hours, and achievements, as well as a teacher recommendation, community leader recommendation, and personal essay.

This year six WCHS students got into GSP.

From left to right: Ryan Alvey, Logan Craig, Justin Lehmkueler, Jaid Goh, and Ashlyn Martin. Ben Humphries got into GSP as well but is choosing to go GSA. Photo by Kristen Wilson.

Here are some tips for applying for GSP:

  1. Start early! This application is a very lengthy process. In order to best represent yourself on your application, give yourself plenty of time to fill it out.
  2. Ask for teacher/community recommendation letters early. Also, ask teachers and community leaders you have made personal connections with. Don’t ask a teacher you only had for one semester freshman year to fill out your recommendation letter. The same goes for your community leader.
  3. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself. This was the hardest part of the application for me because I felt like I was being too boastful of my accomplishments. However, they want to know anything and everything you’ve ever done, even the most obscure stuff you could possibly think of. For example, in my extracurricular activities section, I included how I played a season of rec soccer in ninth grade. That was the year I quit soccer, but I still put it on my application because it was still an extracurricular I participated in.

Congrats to all who got in! If you are considering applying to GSP or GSA, you should! It’s a great opportunity for Kentucky students who want to attend college in-state.