Alexis Fausett and Andrew Marion may only be halfway through their high school years, but this summer, the two will be attending classes at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.
The two Neosho High School students are among 330 students statewide to be chosen for the Missouri Scholars Academy, a three-week academic program created for the state's top sophomores.
The students will select a major and minor course of study, and will be on the campus from June 9 through the 29.
"It's a really great opportunity for the kids," said NHS sophomore counselor Wendy Linton. "We've had other students who have been able to attend and they come back with a new excitement and enthusiasm for learning."
She said the school nominates students, while the academy makes the final selection. Having two students from the same school selected for the program is also notable, she said.
Fausett, 16, is the daughter of Garry and Kathy Fausett. She says she expects the three-week program to be a mini college experience.
"I'm really proud to be selected, especially because there's two of us going," Fausett said. "I think that's really cool because usually it's hard to get one from a school so I'm proud to be one of two from our school going."
She says she plans to study Japanese studies and religious studies while in the program.
"You pick a major and you pick a minor and stay in the dorms, it's sort of a getting ready for college thing," Fausett said.
And while college is still a couple of years away, she has already given some thought to her post-high school plans.
"I really want to major in some form of history, ancient history I think is pretty cool," Fausett said.
She said she is also interested in attending school overseas, possibly in Europe.
Meanwhile, Marion says he is undecided on his college of choice, but will possibly study something in the mathematics field after high school.
For now, Marion, 15, the son of Brent and Cheryl Marion, is focusing on keeping his top-notch grades.
"Grades are a pretty big focus for me, I try to maintain all A's," Marion said.
He said while attending the scholars academy this summer he will be studying mathematics and statistics. He says both he and his parents are excited about the opportunity.
"I was pretty excited when I first got the letter," Marion said. "My mom was real happy."
While the Missouri Scholars Academy looks at a few different areas, scores from the PLAN test, a pre-ACT that sophomores take in the fall, played a role in the academy's selection process.
Linton said Fausett and Marion received the highest test scores in their class.
Page 2 of 2 - "They're both just excellent students," Linton said. "I think it's a great experience for them, it can be a life changing experience because they're around other kids that are that enthusiastic about learning."
She said while the program will introduce the students to learning on a big college campus, the focus is not so much on college as it is a love of learning.
"These kids will be prepared for college, but I think the whole thing is just the emphasis on enjoying learning, it's just that they love learning, they have a passion," she said.