GHP semifinalist exudes unlimited potential


Courtesy of Serena Xu

Serena Xu recently received the distinction of a Governor’s Honors Program semifinalist, and aspires to attend GHP in the area of music. “Music has always been a huge passion of mine, ever since I was young. I would love to be a part of GHP in order to just focus on spending four weeks solely on doing something I love with some of Georgia’s greatest,” Xu said.

Chancelor Gordon, Reporter

Georgia’s Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) named NC Magnet junior, Serena Xu, as a semifinalist in the Music area of nomination on January 29, 2021. Specifically, Xu hopes to attend GHP for vocals. GHP, an extremely prestigious program, takes place over the summer at Berry College each year.

As a residential summer program, GHP attendees live at Berry for four weeks, gaining an educational experience on a college campus. During the day, students attend classes in their designated area of study, and in the evening, students participate in other social and instructional activities. 

The program offers instruction that is significantly different from the typical high school classroom and that is designed to provide students with academic, cultural, and social enrichment necessary to become the next generation of global critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders,” said the GHP website

Students must receive a nomination in their desired area of study before undergoing department, schoolwide, and county interviews to achieve the distinction of state nominee. State nominees must fill out an application, attain the title of semifinalist, and obtain a state level interview before the final selection. All interviews took place online and through video submissions this year due to of COVID. 

The entire selection process spans ten months which may sound lengthy; however, thousands of students apply for GHP each year and the extensive process proves necessary to find the best candidates. Whether a student attends GHP or not, the process in itself can give students a beneficial experience. 

“Just in general, I’d recommend trying out for GHP to anyone. Even if you don’t make it, I think GHP is still a really influential process to go through. Throughout preparing for the process, I’ve been able to reflect on questions about my subject area that have helped me understand how much of an influence music has had on my life. Preparing for the online video submissions and interviews in general have helped me learn what I could improve on,” Xu said.

Although she nervously awaits the final result on March 26, Xu expresses much excitement as well. Attending interviews and learning more about the GHP program provided Xu with a fun, and occasionally nerve racking, experience. She knows that this only marks the beginning and much more will come from her time at GHP. 

“I am most looking forward to the community I’ll get to be a part of at GHP. You’re basically spending four weeks with people you’ve never met before, and you’ll really be able to form a tight-knit group of people who are as passionate about your subject as you are,” Xu said. 

Outside of the classroom, Xu participates in varsity volleyball, advanced chorus, and numerous clubs at NC, including Heart to Heart and EcoWarriors. Xu also volunteers at the public library and participates in a plethora of extracurricular chorus activities, including All-State and Honor Chorus in pursuit of her love of music. 

“From the GHP experience, I honestly hope to grow myself as a singer. GHP is a chance to learn about subjects you typically wouldn’t talk about in class, so I would love to be able to spend some time solely focusing on improving myself in the field of music,” Xu said.

Regardless of the final result, the NC community feels extremely proud of Xu and all that she continues to achieve. Receiving the selection as a semifinalist remains a high honor, and NC cannot wait to see all that Xu will accomplish in the future.