Sophia is in 10th grade and this is her first year in Journalism. She works in catering and plays soccer. She hopes to visit Germany, where she was born.
Everything You Need to Know About BRVGS
September 22, 2022
When students think of Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School, or BRVGS, many of them may think being a part of this program just means doing some extra work. While being in BRVGS can add more to your workload, it’s not much different than taking a regular set of advanced classes.
BRVGS is a program offered to students from the counties of Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange. FCHS sophomore Cara Landsberg describes BRVGS as “a world of opportunities.”
Students in BRVGS take advanced classes and work at a faster pace than regular high school students. For example, 9th graders in BRVGS take World History I in their first semester and World History II in their second semester, as opposed to taking the classes in different grades. Some classes are taken in person, and some are taken online.
Getting into BRVGS involves taking a test and a pretty involved application process, along with more challenging classes and a final project. So why should you do it? BRVGS teaches a wide range of skills such as time management. “A lot of Blue Ridge is mainly about putting one thing on another and how you deal with that. It’s also about creating connections with other people you’ll see when we meet with other counties. We’re communicating and working together just like in a real life job or internship,” said freshman Reese Yowell.
When asked if being BRVGS makes a positive difference in her academic life, sophomore Emma Pittman said, “Absolutely. My writing skills and my writing stamina have completely improved. I think my comprehension has [also] improved. It’s preparing me for things that colleges want and what college needs.”
Another thing BRVGS students do that is different are projects. While projects can be boring, BRVGS finds a way to make them more interesting. “Blue Ridge is really focused on group work, and preparing you for college with that, so you’ll design a website with a group. You could figure out a solution to a global problem, like in 10th Grade we figured out how to bring STEM cell therapy to Fluvanna. [In] 11th Grade in Biochemistry, which is an online class, we got all these resources and we mailed them to a Ukrainian Aid Organization, so cool things like that apply to your project, [and] you know how to problem solve with other people in the world,” said senior Jackson Kinsella.
Another project that BRVGS students get to work on is for AP Biology. “This semester we have Mr. [Craig] Connor’s project on arabidopsis. We’re going to be studying a plant and its genome, which is the list of DNA it has, and we get to talk to professors at Virginia Tech about it,” said Landsberg. Basically, they’re removing STEM cells from said plant, and watching the effects.
So how do you get into BRVGS? In 8th grade, there are applications that consist of tests and writing an essay which you can take in the spring. You won’t officially start taking BRVGS classes until your 9th grade year.
Many students have had wonderful experiences with BRVGS. “I really love Blue Ridge. I’m super grateful for it, and it’s opened up a ton of doors. The classes that you take, you don’t get to take if you’re not in Blue Ridge, so you can get ahead really fast and it’ll help pay for certain college classes you want to take,” said Kinsella.
So if you think that you could be interested in taking BRVGS, then take the leap of faith, and see if it works out for you. For more information, see your school counselor to let them know of your interest and find out the application dates.