MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – School starts back up for Bibb County students in less than a week, but ten high school students spent part of their summer hitting the books during a prestigious state education program.
"To me there's kind of a life before GHP and a life after GHP," upcoming Central High School senior Kelton Ellis said.
Ellis says his life has changed for the better since he came home from the Governor's Honors Program (GHP) earlier this month.
"Sometime in the second week I actually realized that this is a great experience and I'm really enjoying and learning a lot," he said.
Ellis is one of 10 Bibb County students chosen to participate in the enrichment summer program this year. After a rigorous interview and application process, he and hundreds of students from across Georgia spent four weeks at Valdosta State University.
"It gave me faith in my generation because I saw so many future artists and poets and writers and musicians and politicians. There were 700 of us really brilliant kids on the campus having a good time," Ellis said.
Students spent six days a week in classes. Ellis studied social studies and math. He loved how different it was from your typical high school lesson.
"Most of my classes were discussion based and I don't get to have a lot of discussion in my classes at Central, they're mostly just lectures."
Kelton's father says the program gave his son a taste of what college will be like. He adds it was more than just an education experience.
"The social aspect of it is the main thing I honed in on cause I know he can do the work, that's a given, I know he can do the work, but socially I think he'll be alright," Quentin Ellis said.
And he will take those lessons he learned with him as he moves forward in his education.
The Georgia Department of Education celebrated the 50th anniversary of GHP this year. It is funded by the state and students participate for free.
Click here for more information on the Governor's Honors Program.