Students learn new skills at 'pop-up college'

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PLAINFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) The Governor's Institutes of Vermont held the 37th annual "pop-up college" this weekend.

More than 70 high school students spent their free time problem solving, performing on stage and team building. Each student chose a workshop they found most interesting.

"It focuses on what you are most passionate about," said Ethan Schmitt of Rutland.

The high school junior came back for a second year. This time, Schmitt decided to learn about journalism, editing video and telling stories.

The instructors recognize these young minds have potential.

"They are so refreshing and just so intuitive in going after issues," instructor Ken Williams said.

These classes teach kids not only about future careers but how to tackle life's challenges.

"They're thirsty for the chance to really grapple with the things that interest them," Executive Director Karen Taylor Mitchell said.

Leaders at the Governor's Institutes said the programs give small-town kids the same chance to explore their interests as those from bigger cities.

"Being here this weekend, I much rather spend it here than I would at home, doing something productive," Schmitt said.