The Governor’s School for Agriculture at Virginia Tech is a month long summer educational program for gifted high school students across Virginia. In order to make the program run smoothly, there are 10 Governor School Leaders (nicknamed GSL’s) who are in charge of all of the students. Featured in this blog are two beloved GSL’s, Ryan Amaral and Joyce Kuo, a power team known as “Royce”!
Ryan Amaral Joyce Kuo
Ryan Amaral didn’t come to Governor’s School for Agriculture as a student, but when Adam asked him to be a GSL he agreed because it matched up with his interests. If he were to be in Governor’s School, though, his interest would be in Plant Science or Economics. Unlike some of the other GSLs, he has a background in agriculture — he grew up on almond farm, or “amand” farm, as he calls it, and raised animals for 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA). His undergraduate degree is in Agricultural Business, and he is currently working on his Masters in Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education.
Despite his wide experience with agriculture, though, one of his favorite parts about Governor’s School is learning about new aspects of the subject that he’s not as familiar with, such as food safety. He also loves meeting the students here, who he says are friendly, energetic, and accepting.
Ryan’s favorite thing about being a GSL is being around the students. He says it makes up for the long work days, which can be tough because it’s hard to balance spending time with people and sleeping. At least he can catch up on his sleep on his days off, which he says is also when he eats at anywhere other than D2 to make up for having meals there every other day.
Ryan is on Level 14 for the Red Valor team in Pokemon Go, and he is an avid player, saying “gotta catch em all!”
Joyce is a very interesting GSL because she goes to the University of Virginia, but decided to spend her summer at Virginia Tech, UVA’s rival school. The reason Joyce applied to be a GSL was because she attended the program herself when she was in high school and really wanted to come back. Although Joyce has no agricultural background, one of her former counselors suggested for her to apply so she could experience the other side of the program.
Joyce’s favorite thing about being a GSL is getting to know and spend time with all of the kids. She really appreciates how nice everyone is and not “cliquey” because when she was here everyone formed groups and was exclusive. Joyce explained how it can be difficult as a GSL dealing with unexpected circumstances, but in the end it’s worth being with such a great group of students.
Due to the fact that Joyce just finished her first year at UVA and was forced to eat in their dining halls, she completely loves D2 food. UVA is not known for having great quality food so she is thankful for all the options D2 has to offer.
Just like Ryan, Joyce loves to play Pokemon Go, but she is not that devoted because she doesn’t have enough time to wander around campus. Even though Ryan is on level 14 and Joyce is on level 8, they can still be found playing together!
About the Authors:
Emme Seale is an intelligent, outgoing, and creative student in Virginia Tech’s Governor’s School for Agriculture. Emme is a very active leader in Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in her church, and is always looking for new leadership opportunities. Her interest and passion for leadership prompted her to interview the governor school leaders to find out about their lives.
Delaney Madden is an enthusiastic student who loves to help others. When she’s not giving her teammates tips at field hockey, basketball, or track practice, she leads her school’s Key Club to serve her community. She loves to learn new things, especially about other people.