By: Colton Jacobs
My name is Colton Jacobs. I am from Knott County, Kentucky, and I am a rising senior at the June Buchanan School. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to attend Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) where I was able to further my skills as a writer and improve my network in the writing community. I would first like to thank my school and my teachers for pushing me to apply for this program and for being the inspiration that they continue to be every day.
Governor’s School for the Arts was a wonderful experience, but it still has had only a minor impact on my writing compared to what my school and the Alice Lloyd community as a whole have done for me. For three weeks, I stayed on the campus of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. During this time period, I was able to meet several young, aspiring authors like myself. I was amazed to see so many people that were as devoted to writing as I was. We were able to read each other’s work and hear the stories that encouraged us to pursue careers in writing. The stories were truly inspirational, but still not the most beneficial part of the program. The one part of the program that influenced me the most was, in fact, not a part of our curriculum at all. During the third week of the program everyone in my class wrote a play which was completely out of my comfort zone, as I had never considered writing for the theatre before taking on this endeavor. Later, some of my friends in the drama and musical theatre departments asked if they could perform my play. I accepted, of course, and was amazed at how well my play was received. All of my friends enjoyed it tremendously, and one of the staff in musical theatre even asked for a copy. The experience was amazing and it all happened in a single day.
During my weeks at GSA, I also learned about the publishing industry which was my original purpose for attending the program. I was astounded to see how the industry has evolved throughout the years and changed with society. In truth, the author is the perfect balance between artist and entrepreneur. With the instruction I received during this program, I am confident in my ability to pursue a career in writing.
Some claim that a summer program like GSA will prepare you for college life. I have found this to be completely false. Aside from dorm life, there is really no comparison to be made. We were constantly monitored and, in a way, forced to succeed, where as in college, success is a choice. I experienced this reality through The June Buchanan School where I had the opportunity to take classes through ALC which allowed me to see what will be expected of me in the future while attending college, and has shown me the value of a good work ethic.
GSA was a great opportunity for me to mature as a writer, but I was already firmly set on that path thanks to The June Buchanan School and Alice Lloyd College. My school community has had an amazing impact on my writing, and I value it over any summer program or scholarship. The support I receive from my school has had a tremendous impact on my writing and personal life in general, and it is because of them that I have been able to commit myself to my craft. My father, Byron Jacobs, and Dr. Steve Wilson at Alice Lloyd College have also helped me substantially with getting my work published. Thank you all for supporting me. I would have never made it this far without the Alice Lloyd community.