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MS 74 student takes spot at elite Hopkins program

A Bayside middle-school student will join the ranks of an elite group of the nation's brightest kids and teens this summer.

MS 74 eighth-grader Kevin Lin, 13, was selected from a pool of roughly 72,000 children nationwide to attend Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth, a three-week summer program devoted to nurturing the country's most talented child and teenage minds.

"It's for the brightest of the bright," said Matt Bowden, the center's communications coordinator. Since 2000, 35 of the center's graduates have gone on to become Rhodes Scholars. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is a center alumnus.

Kevin, of Oakland Gardens, was chosen for the program after scoring exceptionally well on the SATs in February. Kevin said he took the standardized test, normally reserved for high school seniors applying to college, because he just wanted to see well he could perform. He had no idea his scores might qualify him for the program.

The center begins a nationwide "talent search" each year for the country's brightest, Bowden said, adding that the children's scores need to be in the 95th percentile to be considered and of the roughly 72,000 students who participate each year only 10,000 are chosen. Students from second- to eighth-grade are eligible to apply.

Once a student is selected for the program, he or she is are able to attend every summer until 12th-grade. The children will attend classes seven hours a day for five days a week and will learn a year's worth of lessons in three weeks, Bowden said. The camps are held at 30 sites around the world, including John Hopkins University in Baltimore, the University of California in Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif., and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China. Kevin will attend camp at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.

While at the program, students choose courses from various concentrations, such as archaeology or robotics. Kevin will study biomedicine because he hopes to become a surgeon one day. He said he is looking forward to the new experience and the lessons he will learn at the center, where he plans to spend his summers for years to come.

The center is a way for smart kids to be with other exceptionally smart kids, Bowden said.

In his spare time, Kevin enjoys swimming and competing on MS 74's math team, Mathcounts. This fall Kevin will attend Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan.

One reason Kevin is so excited about the program is because he hopes it will put him in the position to follow in the footsteps of his older sister, who was just accepted to Harvard University.

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