Clarke Central High School junior, Dory MacMillan, has received an all-expense paid scholarship to attend the Bezos Scholars Program at the Aspen Institute. MacMillan selected Clarke Central English Department Chair Ian Altman as the educator scholar to attend, and they will focus on issues related to undocumented students.
“Dory is a student that excels not only academically, but is truly a community-conscious individual who is already making a difference here in Athens,” said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue. “I commend her and Mr. Altman for being tapped to attend this prestigious program, where they will be able to further gain ideas on how to make a difference locally and globally.”
The Bezos Scholars Program brings together 12 of the nation’s top public high school juniors and 12 exceptional educators for a week of exploration, dialogue and debate at the acclaimed Aspen Ideas Festival, June 26 – July 2, 2012. Scholars will connect with international leaders, thinkers, entrepreneurs and creative artists and engage in lectures, presentations, and discussions spanning a range of critical topics.
“I look forward to working with other inspired students and educators to create change in our communities. I hope to come back from Aspen with ideas to help undocumented students in their struggles to gain basic rights that I believe they should be afforded,” said MacMillan. “I am both humbled and excited by this opportunity.” MacMillan is the daughter of Tad MacMillan and Amy Gellins of Athens.
Past scholars shared meals and intimate roundtable discussions with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams and author and New York Times columnist David Brooks, among other notables.
"Dory MacMillan is a superb student, and to have been selected as one of only twelve Bezos Scholars in the nation is a very rare honor. Her commitment to social justice matches her drive for academic excellence. I feel lucky to have been selected by Dory as her Educator Scholar, and I look forward to working with her in Aspen this summer,” said Altman.
Following a week at the Aspen Ideas Festival, each team of student and educator scholars plans a Local Ideas Festival that focuses on an issue or topic that is relevant to their hometowns. In addition to putting ideas into action that inspired them in Aspen, scholars will continue to connect with their peers across continents and cultures to deepen the impact of their festivals. During the next academic year, scholar teams apply for $1,000 seed grants to launch sustainable Local Ideas Festivals. The foundation has provided grants to 66 first-time festivals and 35 continuation festivals since the first Local Ideas Festivals were launched in 2006.
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