Center For Talented Youth | Teen Ink

Center For Talented Youth MAG

By Anonymous

   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

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This article has 39 comments.

Sarah42342 said...
on Sep. 27 2011 at 4:46 pm

on Sep. 27 2011 at 4:44 pm
I went to Lancaster. Amazing. The best place ever. I was a squirrel (first year, 12 or 13) but definitely coming back. The teachers, RAs, and whole ambiance was ostensibly friendly and fun. The one thing i regret is not being there now. THE-ACKIE FTW 

on Aug. 3 2011 at 3:02 pm
papermargins GOLD, Bridgewater, New Jersey
15 articles 2 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Would you rather die on your feet or live on your knees?"

I loved CTY so much...the memories there will last forever. I had the chance to meet amazing people, have loads of fun, all within a welcoming and open environment. I can sincerely say it was the best three weeks of my life !!!

EL FUAAA said...
on Jul. 17 2011 at 7:53 am
no point. No Wifi

on Jul. 17 2011 at 7:52 am
Going to CTY today. imma first yer

rachjuja said...
on 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

pianogirl123 said...
on May. 12 2011 at 8:33 pm
pianogirl123, -, California
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

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).

4.  I took a writing course last summer at LMU (Crafting the Essay). :)  It was a great experience, the class was challenging but it was fun!  My teacher and the people in my class made it fun too. 

5.  You wake up in correspondence to your breakfast time.  Or you could wake up whatever time you want ya know, to shower and get ready.  After breakfast you might have some time to socialize before class...okay actually here:

-Wake up

-Get ready for class/b-fast

-Breakfast:  If you're a slow eater, you might just straight go to class after breakfast (but you get into your class group with your teacher and walk to the classroom together).  If you eat fast, you might have time to go back to your room if you forgot something or whatever and then go to the meeting place.  After breakfast my friends and I played frisbee almost everyday. 





...And then I think after lunch it was activities.  The activities there are great!  You have an activity that you do everyday (the same, like swimming everyday), and then a different activity everyday (ex: Monday- Paper Airplanes, Tuesday- Scattergorie)

You'll have relax time everyday, but you should spend all the time you can with your friends! 

They send you a thing in the mail that explains it.  No worries, you'll have fun! :)

on 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 

on Apr. 5 2011 at 5:24 pm
Livelaughlovewrite BRONZE, Danbury, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:

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...
on 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!

on Nov. 13 2010 at 3:39 pm
Kelsey Wong BRONZE, Ardsley, New York
4 articles 0 photos 5 comments
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

allisooon33 said...
on 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 year, the food was terrible, the showers/bathrooms were dirty, and the dorms weren't exactly..nice. But getting through all of that with your hallmates was just another thing to enjoy. When I finish with my last year, I'm definitely coming back during my college years to be an RA. Every little thing that happens at CTY is a moment to cherish.

No matter how hard I try, I just cannot capture the full essence of CTY with just words. It's impossible to know what it is like until you experience it for yourself.

Bye, bye miss american pie; drove my chevy to the levee but the levee was's a song that you'll never forget after CTY.


on May. 8 2010 at 1:57 pm
iwanttobeforeveryoung GOLD, Forest Hills, New York
11 articles 2 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When the power of lover overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
-Jimi Hendrix

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.

Tatiana BRONZE said...
on Jan. 24 2010 at 7:17 pm
Tatiana BRONZE, New Market, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We must never, never, never give up" -Winston Churchill

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...
on 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

VWH94 said...
on Dec. 8 2009 at 6:07 pm
Yes, definitely go Lancaster! CTY is amazing

V... said...
on Dec. 8 2009 at 6:05 pm
Go Lancaster!!!

FishStark said...
on Dec. 2 2009 at 4:47 am
FishStark, Harwood, Maryland
0 articles 0 photos 19 comments
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.

bkwrm13 GOLD said...
on Sep. 9 2009 at 8:26 pm
bkwrm13 GOLD, Liberty Lake, Washington
10 articles 0 photos 2 comments
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.