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2012 High School Historians Forum: Teens through Time


Boring. Dull. Irrelevant. I’m loath to admit it, but those were probably the words the seventeen-year-old me would offer up if you asked me how I felt about history. After all, I had never seen any young faces looking out at me from the pages of my history textbooks—wasn’t history all about dusty dead folks?


2011 Forum participants on a tour of Richmond

You can imagine my amazement when I began working at the Virginia Historical Society as a young work-study student and found myself surrounded by paintings, artifacts, and manuscripts that all illustrated the vital roles played by young people in Virginia’s past. Much to my surprise, I found myself excited to learn more about these young men and women whose stories were so compelling.

We hope to encourage that feeling of excitement with this summer’s High School Historians Forum: Teens through Time. The 2012 Forum will bring students together to investigate how young Virginians like them helped shape the commonwealth’s history. Students will attend lectures about young Virginians who witnessed remarkable events and participate in oral history workshops with individuals who had an impact on twentieth-century history. Forum participants will then work with their peers to create audio tours so that future visitors will hear their perspectives on the 16,000 years of history in the VHS’s Story of Virginia exhibition.

Students will also be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the society, learning firsthand how the various offices in the organization work together to collect, preserve, and interpret Virginia’s history. They will have the opportunity to see how individuals with a passion for exploring the past translated those interests into careers in a variety of historical fields.

The forum will consist of day-long programs at the VHS and surrounding area from July 18 to 20 and is open to all rising high school juniors and seniors. Participants will need to arrange their own transportation to the society, but breakfasts and lunches will be provided daily. Interested students can visit for additional information and to access the program’s application page. The deadline for applicants is June 8.

We hope to see all of you young history enthusiasts this summer at the 2012 High School Historians Forum!

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