Comm Arts Applicant Chronicles GHP Journey


Photo Courtesy of Linda Byerly

My mom and I standing before the GHP ceremony. Many kids that attended GHP the previous year performed at the event.

Ashley Wilhelm, Managing Editor

This year, I had the privilege to participate in the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) for Communicative Arts. During my first time competing in GHP, I was unable to advance to state interviews.

GHP is a very rigorous process filled with a lot of twists and turns. Last year as a sophomore, I felt so lost in the process, and I was terrified of rejection. After a year of rejection, I was ready for whatever GHP had to throw at me this year.

I began this year just as I did last year with a ton paperwork. I would never have finished all of it without the love and support from my friends. I felt that if I didn’t get far last year, so why would I this year?

Last year, while filling out the pages and pages of the forms, I realized that I did not have enough to put on my application. I did not have a lot of experience with winning awards or leadership. I was simply a teenage girl that felt like she had a story to tell but did not feel like it was worth telling.

An enthralled audience watches former GHP attendees perform and display their excellence. This took place last year.

Ashley Wilhelm

This year, I had more experience in those areas and it was easier. After I turned in the paperwork I did not have high hopes because I felt like it was not good enough. But this year, I felt like I had a new, stronger hold on what I wanted to do. I knew that English was my passion but now I know what I can do with that. When I heard that I got a county interview, I was ecstatic.

I feel like I am a bad person to give interviewing advice because I may be a freak of nature in that I do not get nervous about interviews but I have this: be yourself. It sounds absolutely cheesy and I hate using the word ‘cheesy’ but it is 100 percent true. Both times I talked to my interviewer like they were an adult that I was having a casual conversation with and they liked me. We discussed books and my aspirations.

I would have never had the courage to put myself out there to be judged by the people at GHP without my endless support system. GHP is very stress-inducing and overwhelming at times. Not getting in or getting cut early in the process is nothing to feel bad about. Being selected to send in paperwork is a huge deal in itself.

Being the only person representing Ola High School for Communicative Arts makes my heart jump out of my chest. I have advanced past county interviews both years and that is where my journey previously ended. I do not know the destiny of my paperwork for the state interviews but I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program.