GSC President Dr. Peter Barr with Loretta "Nikki" Whytsell
and Justin Morris, both are former Calhoun High graduates
Glenville, WV - Thirteen Hidden Promise Scholars graduating from Glenville State College were the guests of honor at a dinner held on Friday, April 30th in the Mollohan Campus Community Center Ballroom. GSC President Dr. Peter Barr who first envisioned the Hidden Promise Scholars (HPS) program in 2006, presented commemorative plaques and Hidden Promise Scholars class rings in honor of their achievement.
The Hidden Promise program is an alliance of GSC and 41 county school districts in West Virginia, Ohio, and Connecticut aimed at increasing the number of high school and college graduates. The program currently has nearly 1,800 scholars system-wide and over 100 full-time students enrolled on the Glenville State College campus. The HPS program aims at improving the number and quality of high school graduates, raising ACT scores, increasing the number of students going to college, and growing the number and quality of college graduates.
“Students are selected by county principals and superintendents, starting in the 8th grade to attend distinct summer camps based at GSC. At the camps, which continue and expand each year until they graduate from high school, they interact with GSC students and faculty and explore the vistas that a college education opens. They also travel to special destinations and events, are exposed to a range of academic and cultural experiences, and receive mentoring when needed, by HPS staff and 80 GSC-based student mentors. Mentors talk about the college experience and make the college experience a focal point of young Hidden Promise Scholars’ dreams,” said Barr.
“Since coming to Glenville State the Scholars program has been pivotal in my professional life. Early on, I recognized that the achievement of the Glenville State mission reached beyond those who, from family custom, normally apply to college. The heart of the Scholars program is about dispelling the myth that college is an exclusive society just for those perpetuating a family tradition of earning college degrees,” Barr stated.
Barr also told the graduates and their undergraduate peers in attendance, “The Hidden Promise program is all about potential, your potential to succeed in the classroom, on the campus, and the places where you will go. You were nominated and selected as a Hidden Promise Scholar by some sign of your motivation, persistence, energy, commitment, stamina, focus, and ambition. I do not overlook the challenges ahead. You will be entering a highly competitive job market and your entrepreneurial and professional ambitions will be challenged. But a college degree will always boost your standing--opening doors you hadn’t expected, and putting windows where there were walls.”
This years’ graduates are: Autumn Bloom, who graduated from Gilmer County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2009; Robert Rogers, who graduated from Gilmer County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2010; Courtney Cutlip, who graduated from Roane County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2012; Katherine “Kate” Williams, who graduated from Roane County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2010; Ethan Epling, who graduated from Roane County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2010; Katelyn Lake, who graduated from Webster County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2011.
Also, Sara Linger, who graduated from Lewis County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2010; Landry Marrs, who graduated from Doddridge County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2010; Megan Prater, who graduated from Clay County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2010; Loretta “Nikki” Whytsell, who graduated from Calhoun County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2010; and Justin Morris, who graduated from Calhoun County High School and entered GSC in the fall of 2009.
Each graduate gave a short speech and expressed their gratitude for the support they received from HPS staff and their peers in the program. They also spoke about travels to New York City and other destinations, opportunities to perform community service, and the privilege of both receiving and providing mentoring.
In addition to accepting a plaque and commemorative ring, new graduates inscribed the Hidden Promise Book. In signing the volume, graduates commit to ‘always accepting the obligations and the challenges of guiding the young to education, knowledge, and love of the human spirit; to demonstrating respect for all people, and cultivating the trained, yet free, minds appropriate to sustaining and advancing a democratic way of life; and to striving to become knowledgeable, ethical, caring citizens who embody the qualities that the Hidden Promise program fosters.’
To learn more about the GSC Hidden Promise Scholars program, contact GSC Hidden Promise Scholars Program Coordinator Teresa Sterns at Teresa.Sterns@glenville.edu or (304)462-6100.