Hi, I'm Matthew P. Bostrom.
CTY '88 (Claremont CA), '90 (Wheaton in Norton MA), '91 (Franklin and Marshall), '92 (CTY/SEA Woods Hole, MA).
I'm also a former (2001-2003) member of the CTY National Advisory Board (NAB), a group that meets twice a year to advise CTY's executive staff on a number of issues. I was the second CTY alum to serve on the NAB since its creation in the mid/late? 1990s. During my time on the NAB, the primary project I worked on was planning the creation of an Official CTY Alumni Association.
During this period I came to see the additional value of an *un*official CTY alumni website and organization. An unofficial alumni association will able to provide a sense of community and other vital services to CTY alumni in a way that CTY itself probably will never be able to.
The whole purpose of CTY is to serve extremely gifted youth in a unique and vital way. Many CTY students (myself included) find CTY to be an extremely positive life changing experience. We feel "activated" and empowered as never before. We are given a sense of what life can be - what our life can be - in terms of joy, friendship, intellectual discovery and societal contribution.
However, while CTY may point us in the direction of fulfilling our potential, there is no guarentee that we will continue to move towards that destination after we leave CTY. For example, there are probably a lot of CTY alumni who enter college early, and graduate from college early, only to discover that they went to the wrong college and are not prepared to continue on to the graduate school and career path of their choice. (And I don't mean to say that every CTY student should go to graduate school. I decided not to. But I did have the choice. I know of CTY students who did not have that choice.)
This is just one example of how the benefit of CTY can fail to be fully realized in the post CTY ("nevermore") world. There are others. And I don't mean that we all need to go on to make lots of money. I don't. CTY students are a niche group. Society does not cater to us, it is not designed for us. So guidance and mentorship after CTY could be extremely beneficial in helping us achieve the life we want, whatever that life may be.
I am interested in discussing the possibility of creating a structured unofficial CTY alumni association. Perhaps such a discussion will happen somewhere here in this wiki. There is at least one significant challenge that any such association will face: finding and coordinating volunteers with the time. energy and attention to turn such an association into a meaningful, productive, consistent and sustainable entity.
If you want to contact me, you can call me at 707 445 5751 (US, Pacific Daylight Time). Or you can write on my wiki page.