The CTY program has its roots in the 1970s, with psychologist Julian Stanley’s groundbreaking work at JHU focused on academically advanced middle school students. Operating as a nonprofit, the center holds an annual Talent Search and brings together creative young minds from diverse backgrounds in shared learning endeavors. At the same time, students’ performance is evaluated and measured within an academic research setting.
The executive director of CTY, Elaine Hansen, recently wrote for the Baltimore Sun about education’s shifting priorities as grit, or the ability to persevere in the long term, becomes increasingly recognized as an attribute of success. According to this metric, sustained effort is a major contributor to overall success. While grit is often inversely correlated with innate talent, Ms. Hansen notes that engaging the grit part of students’ psyche requires asking them to actively think about why they are engaging in activities and what they have achieved thus far.