JAMESTOWN – Jamestown High School seniors, Sophie Schweiger, Allyson Buck, Veronica Hansen, and Chloe Short will soon have a prestigious opportunity – an all-expense paid Chautauqua experience during one of the first three weeks of the season at the Young Writers Institute as recipients of the 2019 Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Alumni Association Scholarship.
JHS English teachers Barbi Price and Charles McKenna nominated the four students for this prestigious award. All scholarship applicants were required to submit samples of creative work, as well as a letter of recommendation from an educator. The JHS students each sent a work of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction describing a dramatic scene, event, or memory, a 1-2 page piece describing a difficult decision they or a fictional character had to make and how it was resolved, a two-page nonfiction response reflecting on something they would like to change in their community or world and how they would go about promoting that change, and finally, a personal statement on why they wanted to attend the Young Writers Institute.
“These students are avid readers and were recommended because of their maturity and their love of language,” said Price. “This Chautauqua experience will appeal to them because they are intellectually curious; they will fit right in with a community of like-minded creative writers.”
Thanks to the Chautauqua’s CLSC Alumni Association, the JHS students will live on the historic grounds of the Chautauqua Institution with a host family and have the opportunity to attend daily lectures by world-renowned experts, nightly concerts, and live theatrical performances, as well as take advantage of waterfront recreation opportunities and the fitness center.
“After participating in last year’s ‘Traveling Stanzas,’ I can hardly express my excitement for spending an entire week in the beautiful cultural center that is Chautauqua,” said Veronica Hansen. “From its carefully tended gardens, to its esteemed concerts and unique art galleries, to its influential lectures, Chautauqua offers its visitors an unforgettable experience.”
Sophie Schweiger added, “During my time at Chautauqua, I am looking forward to learning new writing skills and hope to develop techniques to help me later in my school career.”
At the Young Writers Institute, Sophie, Allyson, Veronica, and Chloe will be mentored by a faculty of nationally-recognized, published teaching-artists who, over the course of the week, will help the students hone their writing through short exercises, close study of work by contemporary writers, and workshops. Each student will have the opportunity to work one-on-one to develop a plan for future growth and to attend readings by writers-in-residence at Chautauqua’s Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall.
“I am grateful to be included in this program,” remarked Allyson Buck. “I want to learn new ideas and improve my writing.”
The students are looking forward to their experience. The Week 3 theme is “A Planet in Balance – partnership with National Geographic” and Week 4 is “The New Map of Life – Living longer.”
“Writing has been a passion of mine for a long time,” added Chloe Short, “and I’m excited to be spending a week at Chautauqua doing what I love with the friends that will be going with me.”
“I’m so pleased that our JHS students have been afforded this opportunity,” Price noted. “It will broaden their scope of experience, expose them to unique cultural events, and give them a chance to network with people whom they might not otherwise meet. I’m sure that these deserving students will be intellectually stimulated and culturally nourished by their week at Chautauqua.”