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Building confidence and pursuing dreams

Photo by Christopher Huang.

More than 150 elementary and middle school students and their families from Massachusetts descended upon Northeastern’s campus on Sunday for an awards ceremony honoring the students’ outstanding academic achievements. 

The students are participating in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY). Every year, CTY launches a global “Talent Search” to identify the world’s brightest students in grades 2 through 8 who score exceptionally high on standardized tests (or demonstrate superior academic performance) in mathematics and/or verbal reasoning.

Last year, about 50,000 students participated in CTY, which offers youth challenging educational opportunities such as summer programs and camps, as well as online courses. 

Jane Brown, vice president for enrollment management at Northeastern, greeted attendees and lauded their academic achievements. She said the CTY program aligns with the University’s own mission to help its students reach their full intellectual potential through exploration, rigorous academics and integrated experiential learning.

“All of you sitting here are intellectually curious, active learners. These are characteristics you very much have in common with our students here at Northeastern University. Like you, the students here are excited to learn, creative, adventurous, and eager to explore the world,” Brown said.

Elizabeth Folan, a third-year Northeastern student majoring in English, with minors in Italian and psychology, also spoke to the young students at the event, offering them inspiration to take advantage of the benefits CTY has to offer.  

Folan said Northeastern’s co-op program has provided her with a similar opportunity to pursue her passion. Her heart has been set on becoming a lawyer since she was in middle school, so Folan was able to work at the Boston Bar Association on co-op this spring. She collaborated with professional attorneys and learned about the many areas of law she might one day want to practice.

Folan also gave an example of her friend, a chemistry major who is working with faculty and other students to analyze and discover cures for neglected, third-world diseases.

“This university provides students the opportunities to build their confidence and pursue their dreams,” she said.