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Summer Honors draws the region's top high school students

Summer Honors Olympics 2012
Students attending the Summer Honors program will participate in myriad events and activities designed to foster learning and leadership.

Bringing in more than 40 top-tier high school students from several counties, the University of North Georgia's Summer Honors program will feature events and activities to stimulate and engage young minds.

Summer Honors is an academic and leadership experience for rising high school seniors. A collection of faculty, staff, and students from UNG will host and guide attendees as they spend 13 days and 12 nights experiencing a taste of the range of opportunities the university has to offer, including an overview of UNG's majors and courses.

"During this program we work with some of the most talented teenagers in the region, and we give them a preview of the college experience as the camp is a 12-day microcosm of college life and choices," said Dr. Robb Sinn, director of Summer Honors. "During the program, three important areas of focus will compete for the students' time and attention: academics, leadership, and fun. Much like college, they will have to budget their time to address all three."

The range of activities and events during the program includes essay contests, quiz bowls, leadership discussion round tables, time at the observatory and planetarium, an etiquette dinner, a trip to Pine Valley to experience team-building exercises on the ropes course, and fun social activities such as a pool party and hiking and rappelling on Mount Yonah. Students also will be exposed to the many majors and subjects the university has to offer with college-level instruction from UNG professors.

"We have typically found that, among Summer Honors attendees, fewer than 10 percent of the students have UNG on their 'radar' for colleges they are considering attending," Sinn said. "By the time they leave, we have generally made the top three for more than a third of the participants. We have matriculated between 12 and 15 percent of all students who have attended Summer Honors since 2006."

The program, which is externally funded, is supported by the school systems in Dalton and the counties of Cherokee, Whitfield, Fannin, and Murray. Combined, these school districts provided 44 scholarships for Summer Honors 2013.

"These students are usually within the top 10 to 15 students in their class," Sinn said. "A large part of our focus for the program is on leadership, and for the first time, this year we will be offering an undergraduate research component. Some of our own UNG undergraduates will present their work to the high school students and mentor them as they contribute to the projects."

Summer Honors begins Sunday, June 16, and will run through June 28. To learn more about the program and the full spectrum of opportunities offered, please visit the website.

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