2023 Governors Honors Finalist

NCCA Student Selected to Attend Georgia Governor’s Honors Program
Posted on 05/08/2023
Bobby StephensEastside High School and NCCA Stem Institute junior, Bobby Stephens, will head to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro in June to participate in the prestigious 2023 Georgia Governor’s Honors Program.

The Georgia Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) is a residential summer program for skilled, knowledgeable, and talented high school sophomores and juniors. GHP offers instruction that is significantly different from the typical high school classroom and is designed to provide students with academic, cultural, and social enrichment necessary to become the next generation of global critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders.

GHP will take place June 18-July 15, 2023, at Georgia Southern University. During the program, students attend classes in the mornings and afternoons in specific areas of study, and they participate in a wide variety of social and instructional opportunities every evening. Meals and rooms are provided by the program.

Students interested in attending must participate in a series of interviews and should be able to speak eloquently and in great detail about the subject they choose. They are students who desire to work with their subject outside of school and go above and beyond. Students may be nominated in Communicative Arts (ELA), all the Foreign Languages, Math, Science, Social Studies, Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, Engineering, and Agriscience. Stephens will participate in Engineering/Programming at Governor’s Honors.

“One thing that I’m really looking forward to with Governor’s Honors is just that community and the relationships that I can build,” said Stephens. “I know that me just being here amongst other engineering students, it’s a lot more drafting, drafting and design and manufacturing and there’s not really a big place for computer programming but at GHP I feel like I’ll be at a community of my peers who have the same interest as me and jut being surrounded by those people will help me learn more and help me grow my skill set as well as share some of my experiences with them.”

Stephens’ passion for computers and programming has grown exponentially over the years since he first became exposed to computers back in his elementary school days at Palmer-Stone Elementary School in pre-kindergarten.

He explained how his passion for programming began.

“I started to learn how a computer works at a really, really young age and from then on, I just found a passion for computers, learning how they work and how to use them very well just took flight,” he said. “Throughout elementary school and middle school the skillset just built and at Cousins Middle School I joined the VEX (robotics) team and so from there I got to kind of start engineering. Once I got to high school it merged together doing VEX here. That’s one of the main reasons I came to NCCA and STEM was the VEX program….when I got on the team, I knew what I wanted to do…I wanted to program….Since it was something that I really wanted to do that I was passionate in I began to take it upon myself to learn more and just keep pursuing and trying to be better.”

He added, “I’m really still hungry for more. I really believe VEX is the biggest contributing factor to my passion and interest for computer engineering because before that it was just tinkering around with computers doing new things with the computer end but when that software meets hardware it’s just something different. “

In fact, Stephens sees himself attending college to pursue his passion and then making that passion a career. Several prestigious colleges are on his radar, but he hasn’t narrowed down his selection just yet.

After college, he is considering a career in IT blended with cybersecurity—perhaps working with the United States government.

“Cybersecurity is definitely needed,” he explained. “We’re just reaching an age where everything is connected, and everything needs security. Everything is vulnerable.”

“I am so impressed by Bobby’s passion and willingness to continually learn more,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Superintendent of Newton County School System. “I think participating in Governor’s Honors will help him take his skillset to the next level.”

She added, “Governor’s Honors is a very prestigious program and earning admission is no easy task. Bobby was obviously up to the challenge and I’m extremely proud of him for representing his school and our district so well! I cannot wait to see what his future holds.”