Center For Talented Youth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   This summer I attended the Center for Talented Youth (C. T.Y.) summer program. C.T.Y. is run by Johns Hopkins University for students between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, who qualify by earning high scores on the SATs in seventh grade as part of a national talent search. C.T.Y. programs are run at several different colleges around the United States in two three-week sessions. Usually participants in C.T.Y. live at a college for three weeks, but commuter programs are available at some sites. There are a large variety of different courses to choose from in the humanities, mathematics, and sciencess. Each student picks one course for the entire session.

I attended C.T.Y. at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and took a writing course. It was my first time at C.T.Y., and I was a little worried before going that all the kids would be nerds and that we'd never have any fun. I was totally wrong. They were all normal teenagers interested in normal teenage things. I met a lot of different kinds of people: athletes, artists, environmentalists, etc. The social atmosphere was great. Unlike school, which is often exclusive, this was inclusive. No one was ever left out because they were weird or different. I made a lot of great friends and still keep in touch with several. Although classes ran for five hours every day, there was still time to play sports or music, make art, or just hang out. During the weekends there were special activities, dances, and trips to the mall and movies. As for my course, I found it more interesting and challenging than normal school classes. The teachers respected our opinions and intelligence and we were able to discuss topics usually left untouched in school. Although the course was challenging, it was not difficult; we had plenty of time to complete homework during the two-hour evening study hall and had no tests. I feel I learned a lot in my course. I really enjoyed my experience at C.T.Y. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn over the summer but doesn't want to attend anything like summer school. n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 38 comments. Post your own now!

rachjuja said...
Jun. 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm
If we choose to bring our laptops are we aloud to use it anytime out of class other than during activities or are we monitered
EL FUAAA replied...
Jul. 17, 2011 at 7:53 am
no point. No Wifi
Kasen replied...
Jun. 23, 2015 at 11:17 pm
There's definitely WiFi there.
Some 7th Grader.... said...
May 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Hey guys, I just got into the CTY program.... Im nervous and need some tips... 



3. What do we need to pack?

4. What can I expect? (Taking a writing course)

5. What is the schedule for the day? I.E. wake up time, school time, relax time?

Please leave a reply to my questions 

pianogirl123 replied...
May 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

1.  Yes you can bring your phones and ipods, but you're totally responsible for it.

2.  I'm pretty sure you could...but I don't see a lot of other people bringing theirs to CTY.

3.  I would pack everything on the CTY Checklist: What to Bring/What Not to Bring.  Also check out RealCTY (website), it has a lot of great tips on what to bring for tradition or if you need to bring a stash of food (you might get hungry during the night, or the food might suck).

... (more »)
Livelaughlovewrite said...
Apr. 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm
Anyone who's ever been to CTY knows its unlike anything you've ever experienced! Carlisle session 1 last year was amazing! I met so many great writers and i plan on going back this year. I absolutely adore everything about it! There should be no question about attending, it is a must. CTYers are a breed all their own, with a thousands new words and quirks. We relish in being wierd! If you fit this, then you'll fit in perfectly!
Bubble Gum said...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm
Last year I attended a CTY online course (in writing, in fact) and have recently been thinking about trying out a camp this summer. Your article convinced me! Great job!
allisooon33 said...
Jun. 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm

CTY was definitely THE most amazing 3 weeks of my life. No doubt about it. The friendships you make there are not regular friendships. They're indescribable bonds that last a lifetime. The atmosphere is just generally positive, because everyone is having the time of their lives. Everyone is there because they want to be. A lot of activities that are planned are completely lame, but it doesn't stop CTYers from having fun. You enjoy every experience, even the bad ones, at CTY. Where I went last... (more »)

mcphee replied...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm
please advise on what university you stayed at
iwanttobeforeveryoung said...
May 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Your article was interesting but as a veteran CTYer I have to say CTY is so much more than the watered down basics you mentioned.  What about the traditions?

I love CTY and I love the Passionfruit.

EleniAneziris This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 13, 2014 at 11:40 pm
I definitely concur.
Tatiana said...
Jan. 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm
I had just been accepted into CTY and was unsure if I wanted to continue with the summer program, but now I'm pretty sure i'd love to do it! Great job!
swimmer said...
Dec. 12, 2009 at 4:52 pm
I luved cty, but I can't decide what is better Lancaster or JHU, and the reasons so I convince my mom one way or the other
Kelsey W. replied...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 3:39 pm
Lancaster definitely! it's amazing...summer '11 is my onemore year and i'm definitely going to lan for my next two years. i've gone for the past two as well. i'm gonna miss CTY so much!! <3
VWH94 said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 6:07 pm
Yes, definitely go Lancaster! CTY is amazing
BradP27 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 2, 2009 at 4:47 am
Lifetime CTYer from the day I went to the first day camp after 2nd grade. 5-year-freak eligibility too (bonus!) Carlisle Session 2 talent show MC two years running. Time of my life. I love CTY and I love the Passionfruit.
Abby M. said...
Sept. 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm
I have been to CTY twice now and it really is amazing. i enjoyed both summers and really hope i can go back for my last two years.
V... replied...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm
Go Lancaster!!!
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