Twenty-eight outstanding Metro Louisville area high school students – all members of the 2011 class of Churchill Downs Governor’s Scholars (“CDGS”) – will be welcomed and honored at Churchill Downs, the famed home of the Kentucky Derby, during a reception at the track on Thursday, Nov. 17.
The students will be joined by their parents, family members and representatives of their respective schools in a reception at the historic track to celebrate their participation in the Churchill Downs Governor’s Scholars Program, which has funded participation in the overall Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program for nearly 300 students since it was launched in 2001.
The reception for this year’s class of Churchill Downs Governor’s Scholars is set for 11 a.m. (EST) in the Trophy Room on the fifth floor of the Churchill Downs Clubhouse. The 2011 CDGS class members will be honored by dignitaries that include Kevin Flanery; president of Churchill Downs; Dr. Aris Cedeno, academic dean of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars program; Rep. Darryl Owens, chairman of the Jefferson County legislative delegation, and other local lawmakers.
The overall Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program is funded by the Kentucky Legislature and corporate and private donors, but the Churchill Downs Governor’s Scholars initiative is unique in that it exclusively funds the participation in the overall program for students who have overcome personal adversity, illness and other life challenges to become high achievers in their personal lives and academic pursuits. The Churchill Downs Governor’s Scholars program funds the participation of one student from each of the Kentucky legislative districts in Jefferson County, some of which extend into surrounding counties.
Established in 1983, the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program allows more than 1,000 participating high school students from across the Commonwealth to spend five weeks on a Kentucky college campus between their junior and senior years to take part in an intense program of hands-on academic studies, leadership building activities and co-curricular programs.
Students are selected to participate in the program free of charge. The mission of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program is to enhance Kentucky's next generation of civic and economic leaders. The 2011 leadership programs were conducted on the campuses of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Danville’s Centre College and Murray State University.