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The student news publication of Bryant High School in Bryant, Arkansas

Prospective Online

The student news publication of Bryant High School in Bryant, Arkansas

Prospective Online

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Students aim for higher goals: sophomores apply for ASMSA

With her ASMSA shirt on, sophomore Anna Gayle Griffiths represents her future high school. | photo Madeline Colclasure
With her ASMSA shirt on, sophomore Anna Gayle Griffiths represents her future high school. | photo Madeline Colclasure

With summer vacation approaching, students make vacation plans and say goodbye to their friends until the fall. But sophomores Anna Gayle Griffiths, Rex Hearn and Hayden Henson will start school this fall living on campus at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA) in Hot Springs.

ASMSA is an elite residential school for juniors interested in mathematics and science. All three students got their applications at the beginning of the school year.

“You had to write a lot of essays and fill out a bunch of extracurricular [activities] you’ve done,” Griffiths said. “But over all I wasn’t all that stressed out about it.”

Hearn’s application process did not go as smoothly.

“I was very excited to do it,” Hearn said. “I got the application online and filled it all out and did all the essays; it turns out that that was last year’s application. So I had to write four more essays all about a month before the application was due.”

Both Griffiths and Hearn will be taking more science classes while Henson will be focusing more on math.

“I want to be an electrical engineer,” Henson said. “I want to study a lot of engineering and math, and probably some computer science as well because that’s a big thing in their curriculum.”

Griffiths wants to study global climate change, so she will be taking more science classes.

“My parents have always been involved in protecting the environment so it’s kind of a passion of mine,” Griffiths said. “We’ve always recycled and built gardens.”

Hearn is also basing his classes off of his future career choice, neurology.

“I researched a lot and saw that they had a lot of classes that I need to do what I want to do in the future,” Hearn said.

Along with filling out an application and writing multiple essays, the students had to go through an interview process.

“[The interview] wasn’t easy but it wasn’t stressful,” Griffiths said. “The interviewer was really nice about it. They mainly asked us what we wanted to be when we grow up, how our grades are and what are our hardest classes.”

Henson had a similar interview experience.

“I didn’t think I’d make it past the application, so I was shocked that they asked me for the interview,” Henson said. “Once I got into the interview and it started, I was really nervous, but after the interview started and the process kept going I felt more laidback and really good about the whole thing.”

Hearn applied for the priority deadline, so he was called back for an interview early but was snowed in on the day of the interview.

“I was just waiting anxiously hoping they would call me back again for the normal interview,” Hearn said. “That was the most anxious two months of my life.”

Since ASMSA is a residential high school, Henson’s and Hearn’s parents were weary of allowing them to attend, unlike Griffiths’ parents who encouraged her to attend.

“At first, my mom was kind of against it because one of my brothers is graduating high school this year and the other is already in college,” Hearn said. “So she didn’t want an empty nest this early, she thought she had two more years. Once she looked at the school, she realized that it’s what I need and she supports me. It’s just that she’s going to be lonely. I promised I’d come back on the weekends to give her company.”

Living on campus is what Griffiths and Hearn are most excited about while attending ASMSA.

“It’ll almost be like living in a dorm with your friends,” Griffiths said.

With the ASMSA student body being smaller than the high school’s, Hearn predicts there will be a higher expectation of the students along with more one to one discussions with the teachers.

“When I shadowed [at ASMSA], one of the classes only had three people in it,” Hearn said. “That was the neurology class. At Bryant you don’t even know everyone’s name in your grade and there you know everyone in the school.”

ASMSA has a policy that every student must go home once a month, but all three students plan to visit home more often.

“I’ll probably call them a lot, text them some, write them letters,” Griffiths said. “I promised I’d be home for the home games of football.”

Henson and Hearn promised to call home often, or at least send a text.

“I promised my mom I’d come home at least three times a month,” Hearn said. “Really texting and calling, and for the first month she’s going to be calling me every three hours.”

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  • Z

    Zoe McGregor | Aug 16, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I have always wanted to go to this school since the seventh grade. My most favorite subject that I am interested in there is science. I plan to be a Wildlife Veterinarian when I grow up. So, I thought that this school would be right for me. Somewhere I can fit in at.

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