Sophomores to Attend Missouri Scholars Academy


Media by Steven Keller

Rachel Yue, junior, works together with students at Missouri Scholars Academy (MSA) during the evening programs. Yue is an alumni of MSA and participated over the summer of 2018.

For three weeks, students among the top half-percent of Missouri academics will come together to collaborate and grow on the campus of the University of Missouri.

MSA is an academic residential program that will take place from June 9 to June 29 for 330 of Missouri’s gifted rising juniors. Among four students accepted to MSA from MHS, sophomores Magaly Camacho, Sriharsha Gonuguntla and Rincon Jagarlamudi will be participating this summer.

Camacho said she is looking forward to making new friendships at MSA and developing new skills that will be important in her pursuits after high school.

“I’m not very social and I like to keep my space sometimes,” Camacho said. “So I want this program to help me get a little more out there and just be more open with people.”

Camacho said she was excited to hear she had been selected for the program and was looking forward to hearing back from MSA.

“I thought it was really cool,” Camacho said. “Just getting nominated felt like an honor on its own, but once I actually got in it kind of felt surreal.”

In the future, Camacho said she hopes to become an engineer and is planning to select engineer-focused courses at MSA in order to make sure it’s truly what she wants to do.

“I’m a little nervous because I’ve never been away from my family for as long as three weeks,” Camacho said. “It’s two hours away so it will help me get ready for college.”

Jagarlamudi said he heard from previous scholars that the students at MSA are really great people and he is interested in meeting new people there .

“I’m hoping to learn a lot of new stuff,” Jagarlamudi said. “From what I’ve heard, the classes offered at the academy are really interesting, so I’m hoping to learn as much as possible.”

Jagarlamudi said the application process was relatively simple. He said he just had to turn in a of couple scores from standardized testing and write a few short essays.

Jagarlamudi said he learned about MSA from the gifted counselors and he decided to get involved and apply after discussing the program with previous scholars.

Dr. Robin Lady, gifted resource counselor, said MSA gives bright students an immersion opportunity on a university campus to study areas they are passionate about and form relationships with other teens that are their intellectual peers.

Dr. Lady said the gifted resource office at MHS works closely with guidance and the testing coordinator to gather information on all sophomores in regards to standardized test scores and GPA. Students who have the highest scores and weighted GPA are recommended to apply. While the criteria is set by MSA, the gifted office helps to facilitate the application process for students.

Dr. Lady said she hopes students will embrace the academy as an opportunity to be open minded and try new classes and subject areas that they’ve never learned about before.

“What’s really cool about MSA is that it is an academic setting but classes are not graded,” Dr. Lady said. “Students feel free to take risks and participate in discussions they wouldn’t otherwise participate in.”