By Kendell Shaffer
There are so many ways for high school students to take advantage of summer programs. They can range from trips abroad to experiences in your nearby town. But many require applications and those deadlines are approaching. Here is a list of several interesting programs that have popped up on our radar lately.
This notable program begins in Maine and expands around the world. The idea is to foster leadership in young adults by bringing together students from all walks of life to discuss global issues. This is a tough program to get into and requires a writing based application. But from what I hear, students make life long friends from around the globe.
National Geographic offers destination programs that may or may not involve community service. Their website is inspiring and trips range from 11 to 21 days. Your student could do community service in Madagascar or focus on photography in New York City. And lots of other options in between.
This program is specifically service driven where students spend time in small communities around the world whether it be constructing schools and health clinics in rural areas or cleaning up streams in the rain forest. The program promotes cross-cultural learning and hands on experience.
I have heard wonderful things about Teton Valley Ranch Camp in beautiful Dubois, Wyoming. A chance to spend the summer in the wilderness working on a horse ranch (ages 11-16).
My son and daughter both attended this in-state program taught by professionals in the arts. Drama and dance in their cases. It was a great chance for my kids to experience college life while being an hour from home. They stayed all week in dorms at Cal Arts and opted to come home for weekends. As a California resident the tuition was subsidized and super affordable for this four week program.
This program is a free 7-week immersion program for girls in 10th and 11th grade. The program has locations in most of the major cities in the United States and requires an application. There are lots of hands-on computer science classes as well as field trips to local tech companies.
College Transitions has an extensive article with a multitude of interesting summer programs for teens from Bank of America Student Leaders Programs to U.S. Naval Academy summer programs. Be sure to spend some time looking at some of these other programs too.
But if your teen doesn’t want to leave home this summer there are are many opportunities in their own back yards. Check out the following places for local classes near you:
Public Library, Local Art museums, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s and Local language centers. Universities in a city near you offer teen summer programs in various majors as well.
And don’t forget about community college classes. Teens can sign up for those and take care of some high school credits, get a jump start on college credits and also enjoy enrichment classes.