Gurdon youth invited to NYC for National Young Scholars Program

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For The Arkadelphian

GURDON — This summer, Callen Johnson, from Gurdon, will join outstanding elementary school students from across the nation to take part in a unique academic development experience, the National Young Scholars Program, taking place in New York City at St. John’s University.  

Gurdon youngster Callen Johnson is headed to The Big Apple for academic development

The National Young Scholars Program is one of the Envision by WorldStrides family of programs ( that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom.

Callen was nominated to attend the forum by his fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Janell Forthman, at Gurdon Primary School.  In addition to participating in Student Government as President of the GPS Student Council and the 21st CCLC Program, Callen is also passionate about soccer and plays for both Arkadelphia Parks and Recreation U10 team USA and Arkadelphia Futbol Club U11.  With dreams of one day becoming Governor, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator and President of the United States of America, Callen is looking forward to further developing his leadership skills and working together with other students to use their creativity and critical thinking skills to help impact the future.   

“As an alumna of Envision myself, I am excited for Callen to meet, work, and collaborate with fellow high-aspiring students from other cities and schools,” said Amanda Freitag Thomas, SVP for Envision. “Hands down, my favorite part of attending an Envision program was being with motivated students in an environment designed to help us challenge our assumptions, meet new people, and grow. Creating that same learning environment is a central focus for all of our programs. At National Young Scholars and NYLF Pathways to STEM, students build the confidence and skills needed to excel in the classroom while gaining exposure to STEM fields and concepts. They learn how to adapt to and communicate in new situations, to new challenges, and with new people, which, given how rapidly the world is changing due to technology and innovation, are essential skills for success.”

For over 35 years, Envision by WorldStrides has empowered extraordinary students to become their best selves through programs that enable them to discover their passion, explore a career, and positively impact their world. In 2018, Envision became part of the WorldStrides family. The largest provider of educational travel and experiences in the United States, WorldStrides works with over 50,000 educators each year to help more than 550,000 students see the world — and themselves — in new ways.

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