Summer break brought an unexpected honor and generous blessing to two Clarksville siblings, Hannah Motes, 13, and Sebastian Motes, 11, both of whom are meritorious students at Immaculate Conception School. On July 19, both students were awarded distinctive placements in the Cambridge Scholars’ Programme in England. This exclusive program is normally reserved for academically talented high school students, but exceptions were made for Hannah and Sebastian based on their remarkable grades and standardized test scores in middle school.
Hannah and Sebastian arrived in England on July 24 to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, and will return home on August 19. While abroad, they will live and study at Gonville and Caius College (one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of Cambridge and academic home to thirteen Nobel Laureates), learn from distinguished Oxford and Cambridge academics, explore the cultural heritage of England and France, make new friends from around the world, and prepare for the independence of college life.
Subjects that Hannah plans to study in Cambridge include English Literary Villains, Mind Games, and Scriptwriting, whereas Sebastian plans to study Criminal & Forensic Psychology, Mind Games, and Essay Writing. The rigorous nature of these courses will undoubtedly stimulate the desire for further academic inquiry, and will provide a solid foundation for continued study at advanced levels.
Heritage sites that Hannah and Sebastian will tour in England include Ely Cathedral, Sandringham House, Windsor Castle, British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Stonehenge, Roman Baths, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, Westminister Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and Tate Modern. In France, they will tour Musée du Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, Musée Rodin, Les Invalides, Eiffel Tower, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Palace of Versailles, the Trocadero, and Monet’s house and gardens. They will also participate in a collection of other exciting adventures such as taking walking tours of various cities; cruising down the Thames and Seine rivers; riding the London Eye; climbing the Eiffel Tower; going to Disneyland Paris; attending a West End production of The Phantom of the Opera; and shopping at famous venues such as Harrods, Covent Garden, Galeries Lafayette, and Champs-Élysées. In addition, they will have access to an assortment of British sports, socials, and other extracurricular activities to round out their cultural experience.
Earlier this year, Hannah and Sebastian participated in other academic programs for exceptional students which clearly increased their motivation and confidence to excel in intellectually challenging environments. Hannah participated in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) 7th Grade Talent Search, during which she took a college placement exam and achieved scores competitive with those of college applicants. She subsequently attended the prestigious Duke TIP Academy for Summer Studies at the University of Kansas, where she completed an advanced three-week course in Mathematical Problem Solving. Sebastian participated in the renowned Summer Camp for Academically Talented Students (SCATS) at Western Kentucky University, where he completed three advanced two-week courses in Robotics, Forensics, and Science. He subsequently attended two iDTech computer camps at Vanderbilt University, where he completed two one-week courses in Programming with Scratch & Java and Game Design for iPhone & iPad.
Hannah and Sebastian are the children of David and Kelly Motes, both of whom are Board Certified Behavior Analysts specializing in treatment of children with autism. Like their parents, Hannah and Sebastian often donate their time to help improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, in addition to participating in other community service activities.
Mr. and Mrs. Motes are grateful to the many outstanding organizations that have contributed to the academic and spiritual education of their children, including (but not limited to) Immaculate Conception School, the Cambridge Scholars’ Programme, Duke TIP, SCATS, iDTech, Niko Records Studio, Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and Hilldale Baptist Church.