Summers at West Virginia University feel a little younger as teenagers from around the state and nation descend on Morgantown to prepare for successful futures in college and beyond.

Some are here for analytical training at the Governor’s School for Math and Science, others strengthen skills needed for a profession in medicine at the Health Sciences & Technology Academy, while others build their craft at the African American Arts and Heritage Academy.

WVU is the host site for all of these summer experiences, providing the expertise of faculty, the necessary space and an educational atmosphere to help government and non-profit groups give students a leg up in their education.

At the African American Arts and Heritage Academy, volunteers bring about 50 teens to WVU to practice their arts. Whether they’re choreographing dance, writing song lyrics or taming a melody on the violin, the students are encouraged to practice, practice, practice and apply what they learn to later in life.

Kurrae Hale, 18, a student at the academy, tells the impact that the experience and dance have had on her life.