High School Students: Use Your Summers Wisely

High School Students: Use Your Summers Wisely

Rising Seniors

Time flies, right? Hopefully, you’ve planned something interesting to explore your academic interests this summer. If not, there is still time! It might be too late for a formal summer program (a good thing, OK to skip these!) or linking up with a local faculty member to engage in research or work in their lab. Still, it is not too late to get a job and design an independent mini-project or community engagement activity. 

You will also want to spend time on your college application materials, so don’t feel like you need to fill your entire summer with a laundry list of activities. Instead, it is best to do one or two things that are well-thought-out and meaningful and leave time for app work and some relaxation before senior fall because it will be an insanely busy time for you! 

If you’ve finished or are nearly finished with the ACT/SAT, you might also want to consider starting your Common Application essay and completing the base data of your Common App this spring/early summer. If you are in need of essay guidance—shameless plug—grab a copy of The Complete College Essay Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing the Personal Statement and the Supplemental Essays. 

Rising Juniors

A big ticket item is preparing for and completing standardized testing. Take an ACT and SAT diagnostic and meet with a tutor to determine which test might be best for you, and then put a formal plan and timeline in place to prepare for that test. Junior year is no joke academically, and you’ll likely take the ACT or SAT more than once, so starting prep this summer is a good idea. 

Like rising seniors, hopefully, you’ve got something interesting planned to help you explore your academic interests. The same guidance above applies. Here’s why this is important: colleges aim to create diverse, well-balanced classes made up of students with a range of identities and academic interests. For this reason, most colleges will consider your major of interest when making admissions decisions—and you need to have coursework and extracurriculars that demonstrate your interest. For the most competitive majors (CompSci, business, engineering, pretty much anything STEM, to name a few), demonstrating a high level of understanding paired with experience gained outside of school is critical if you want to stand out as an application. This is, of course, on top of stellar grades and test scores.

If you don’t know what your academic narrative is, now’s the time to decide and work on developing it; if you’re lost on how, reach out

Rising Sophomores and Freshmen

Summers are for exploring! You could attend a pre-college program on a college campus, get a job, read, take free classes online, and volunteer. The key is to do something, or preferably, a few things! Get out there and get some experience and exposure—it’s how you figure things out. Make sure to write down everything you get involved. You’ll need a resume or activity sheet for college, and you can start it now. If you are fairly certain what you might want to study in college, pursue an opportunity this summer that helps tell that story. 

The school year can be a grind, and your “job” is getting the best grades you can while balancing the limited time you have to spend on extracurriculars with homework…and hopefully some sleep. No matter what year you are in high school, think of summer as a time to explore, recharge, and dip into (or dig deeper into!) what you might not have time for from September through May. 

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Happy Women’s History Month 2023!

Happy Women’s History Month 2023!

GenHERation is hosting programming throughout March to energize and inspire their community. Over 50 leaders from 20+ companies will join them for a variety of fireside chats, panels, and skill-building workshops. 

These are great events for exploring careers in business, leadership learning, and so much more! 

The link to join virtual sessions will be sent via email on the morning of the scheduled event. Registration for virtual opportunities closes one hour before the session start time.

All participants in the WHM series will be entered into a lottery to win a Fossil watch and a virtual mentoring session with a Fossil team member! Participants will receive an additional entry in the lottery for each session they attend. 5 additional participants will also be selected via lottery to join a virtual mentoring session with the Fossil team. The winners will be announced on Friday, March 31, 2023.

Head to GenHERation for more info!

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Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Leadership

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Leadership

As part of your college application, extracurricular activities—including those over the summer— help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (ideally, the one you might pursue in college). Some programs, however, are not purely academic, like those geared toward leadership development.

Please keep in mind that “programs” are not the only way to explore academic interests. In fact, many colleges like to see students go beyond canned programming. You can join clubs at your school or locally, take free online classes via edX and Coursera, shadow, or intern (aka volunteer for most students)—there are tons of options ranging from super formal (and pricey) to those as simple as what you do in your free time.

The following programs are some of our favorites for students interested in developing their leadership skills (and so much more!).

Bank of America Student Leaders Program

Student Leaders participate in an eight-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization where you learn first-hand about the needs of the community and the critical role nonprofits play. In addition, you will learn valuable civic, social and business leadership skills. Each Student Leader will attend the Student Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. where you will learn how government, business and the nonprofit sector work together to address critical community needs. Note: in-person events will be in line with local and national guidelines around gatherings and travel and may be subject to change.

The LEAP Young Adult Leadership Program

LEAP Week is a highly-immersive week-long leadership program for high school and college students held annually at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, California. Each year, 400 students from around the globe travel to attend LEAP Week, a full week dedicated to helping young adults uncover the “real-life” skills needed to achieve great success. Another major focus of LEAPweek is developing young adults’ networking skills. Especially in this modern age of social media, most teens already have strong networking capabilities, they just need some guidance to maximize these abilities. Networking will be tremendously important when you begin your career, and it also helps develop lasting friendships in every phase of life.

Notre Dame Leadership Seminars

Leadership Seminars are for current high school juniors who are academically gifted leaders in their school, church, local community, or other social organizations. Students participate in one of three seminars (sample topic: Global Issues: Violence and Peace in the Modern Age). Around 90 students are admitted each year—usually ranking in the top 10 percent of their class—and are eligible to receive one college credit.

Annual Camp Pride Summer Leadership Academy

Camp Pride is the premiere national training program for social justice and grassroots activism for LGBTQ and ally young adults on college campuses.

Coursera:

Leadership

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Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Social Justice & Activism

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Social Justice & Activism

As part of your college application, extracurricular activities—including those over the summer—help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (ideally, the one you might pursue in college).

But “programs” are not the only way to explore academic interests. You can join clubs at your school or locally, take free online classes via edX and Coursera, shadow, or intern (aka volunteer for most students)—there are tons of options ranging from super formal (and pricey) to those as simple as reading in your free time. Ultimately, students need to choose what works best for them.

Below are some of our favorites for students interested in exploring social justice and activism.

PEN America’s spring 2023 Free Expression Advocacy Institute

Spring and usually offered in the summer. PEN America’s spring 2023 Free Expression Advocacy Institute is an intensive, online, eight-week educational and training program where high school and college students can learn the theories, laws, histories, and methodologies behind free expression advocacy. Our program includes presentations led by expert legal and policy practitioners from PEN America, interactive workshops designed to teach tangible skills, and TA-facilitated discussion sessions and activities to dive deeper into the issues with their peers. Participants cap their experiences by simulating advocacy campaign projects over the course of the Institute to present in the final closing session of the program. Students who successfully complete the program and attend all sessions will be granted a certificate of professional achievement in free expression advocacy from PEN America. This program is FREE and available to all high school and college students. Full attendance is required to receive a certificate.

The ACLU National Advocacy Institute’s High School Program

Virtual gathering of high school students (ages 15-18) from across the United States to participate in a week-long learning experience for the next generation of social justice advocates. Students will engage directly with ACLU lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and other experts working to defend the civil rights and civil liberties that are critical to a free and open society. Through classroom sessions, lectures, site visits, and policy discussions, students will explore the complex nature of issue advocacy, legal strategy, and real-world political decision making in Washington, D.C. as well as return home with advocacy tools to make change in their community.

NYCLU – Multiple Projects

prioritized youth activism for more than 20 years. They work with youth organizers across New York State to ensure that young people know their rights, know how to access those rights and learn how to effectively organize around civil rights and civil liberties in their schools and communities. They are eager to organize alongside youth activists, educators and parents alike to effect change in New York. Check out these projects: Teen Activist Project & Student Ambassadors.

FFAC National High School Mentorship

Are you a high school student interested in working to create a more just and sustainable food system? Are you looking for a deeper understanding of social issues and your place as an advocate in the movement? Would you like to be part of a supportive community of like-minded changemakers? If so, consider applying to Factory Farming Awareness Coalition’s Student Advocates program.

Religious Action Center Teen Justice Fellowship

RAC teen fellowship programs are learning intensives in community organizing, designed to equip our youth leaders with the skills to create change in their home communities. Through fellowships, high schoolers connect with other social justice leaders from across the country and learn lifelong skills applicable to any issue they are passionate about. The fellowships value experiential learning, moving beyond theory and Zoom trainings into action. Each fellowship culminates in teens designing and implementing a project in their home communities. As a fellow, you’ll learn community organizing skills, explore your own identity and what your sources of privilege and oppression are, the roots of voter suppression in America, skills to register voters, and complete a civic engagement project in your home community. You get to learn, decide how you want to make an impact, and be the leader that makes it happen.

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Sophomores and Juniors: College Planning Starts Now!

Sophomores and Juniors: College Planning Starts Now!

College counseling is not a program that you simply sign up for and “work”—it’s a relationship and a process that takes place over an extended period of time.

The majority of our work with students—which includes academic planning, narrative and extracurricular development (your academic and EC “story” for college), a strategic college list, and completing essays, app data, and an extended resume—starts in 10th or early in 11th grade.

Juniors (and some soph’s) can:

  • Start to prep for standardized exams. Don’t wait until spring of your junior year or later to begin prep. We have a small list of tutors who we can highly recommend; don’t leave who you work with up to chance.
  • Meet with your school guidance counselor. They will write one of your letters of recommendation for college, and the letter will be much more personal if you know each other.
  • Build your story! Have you been heavily involved with any of your extracurricular activities (other than sports, which can’t major in!!!)? Look for impact and leadership opportunities. More importantly, does your resume point toward a major or intellectual interest? What is your story, and how is it told on your resume?
  • Plan your summer wisely. You’ll want to use this summer to build your resume and make sure it’s pointed toward your intended major.
  • Visit the websites of schools you are interested in. Explore the admission and academic pages, start to attend virtual offerings and track your contact with schools. It should be exciting to kick your college research into higher gear. Don’t forget to connect with your reps, too.

Fill out the contact form to schedule a consult and find out how we can support you in your college planning and application process.

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Volunteer Opportunity – Support Ukrainian Youth

Volunteer Opportunity – Support Ukrainian Youth

Volunteer Opportunity!

ENGin is a nonprofit organization that pairs Ukrainian youth with English speakers for free online conversation practice and cross-cultural connection. They work with students aged 13-35 and volunteers aged 14+.

ENGin pairs English learners with volunteers from around the world to conduct weekly online speaking sessions. Every learner and volunteer is screened to ensure their fit for the program. Participants are then matched based on preferences, interests, and availability to ensure an effective and mutually enjoyable communication experience. After a match is made, ENGin supports learners and volunteers throughout their participation in the program with tips, resources, and problem resolution.

Read more here. 

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Teach 24/7 Internships

Teach 24/7 Internships

Education Development:

  • Instructional Design and Delivery
  • Curriculum Research and Evaluation
  • School Design and Research:
  • Student Teacher
  • Educator and Instructional Design Internship

Operations:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Business Development
  • Finance and Funding
  • Operations and Systems Design

Design and Development:

  • Writing and Communications
  • Audio Recording and Design
  • Graphic Design and UX/UI
  • Web Design and Development
  • Media Production and Design
  • Game Design and Development

Read more here!

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Social Justice & Activism

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Social Justice & Activism

As part of your college application, extracurricular activities—including those over the summer— help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (typically, the one you might pursue in college).

But “programs” are not the only way to explore academic interests. You can join clubs at your school or locally, take free online classes via edX and Coursera, shadow, or intern (aka volunteer for most students)—there are tons of options ranging from super formal (and pricey) to those as simple as reading in your free time.

The following programs are some of our favorites for students interested in exploring social justice and activism.

Pen American Free Speech Advocacy Institute (Spring too!!!). PEN America’s Free Speech Advocacy Institute is a 15-week online education and training program that will provide students with a foundational understanding of free expression as a civil right and an ongoing contemporary topic of social and political conversation. Students will be introduced to a broad range of issues related to free expression at both the domestic and international levels, covering the First Amendment and free expression limitations established by the Supreme Court, as well as the history of free expression as a human right, and other modern issues related to the Internet, protest, political dissent, hate, and freedom of the press.

The ACLU National Advocacy Institute’s High School Program will convene a virtual gathering of high school students (ages 15-18) from across the United States to participate in a week-long learning experience for the next generation of social justice advocates.

The NYCLU has prioritized youth activism for more than 20 years. They work with youth organizers across New York State to ensure that young people know their rights, know how to access those rights and learn how to effectively organize around civil rights and civil liberties in their schools and communities. They are eager to organize alongside youth activists, educators and parents alike to effect change in New York. Check out these projects: Teen Activist Project & Student Ambassadors.

FFAC National High School Mentorship. Are you a high school student interested in working to create a more just and sustainable food system? Are you looking for a deeper understanding of social issues and your place as an advocate in the movement? Would you like to be part of a supportive community of like-minded changemakers? If so, consider applying to Factory Farming Awareness Coalition’s Student Advocates program. 

Religious Action Center Teen Justice Fellowship. RAC teen fellowship programs are learning intensives in community organizing, designed to equip our youth leaders with the skills to create change in their home communities. Through fellowships, high schoolers connect with other social justice leaders from across the country and learn lifelong skills applicable to any issue they are passionate about. The fellowships value experiential learning, moving beyond theory and Zoom trainings into action. Each fellowship culminates in teens designing and implementing a project in their home communities. As a fellow, you’ll learn community organizing skills, explore your own identity and what your sources of privilege and oppression are, the roots of voter suppression in America, skills to register voters, and complete a civic engagement project in your home community. You get to learn, decide how you want to make an impact, and be the leader that makes it happen.

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Summer 2022 & Pre-College Programs

Summer 2022 & Pre-College Programs

Summer program apps are opening up for summer 2022! 

Did you know that Columbia’s largest high school program raked in $20 million during the pandemic? 

If you are targeting highly selective/highly rejective schools, we’ve noticed they’d rather see a rising senior undertake something a bit more self-directed. For underclassmen, sometimes paid programs are a good idea; it depends on the student and their goals. 

It can be hard to find summer programs, and CU’s programs—like Harvard, Georgetown, Penn, and Brown—always rank high in Google searches and have a vast array of curricular offerings, formats, and timelines. They simply just work for many families who can afford them because they are easy! But, easy is not always best…

Posting this article with the hope that folks will think beyond these programs, especially if they are rising seniors, or plan to target highly selective (top 30 or so) schools. There is more you can do, for less! 

But BMC, you’ve posted some of these programs in the past—what gives? Yes, we do post about paid summer programs but provide information on those that are free, low-cost, or those that offer substantial scholarships. For example (we will be updating these in the coming months, too!):

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Computer Science

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Leadership

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Sports/Sport Management

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Engineering

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Business

Summer Programs for Female Identifying High School Students

Annual Camp Pride Summer Leadership Academy

Always an option, always free: Pursue a passion or purpose project. Create an independent study with your favorite teachers. Cold call/mail profs until you find your way into a lab. Max out edX and Coursera

There’s also no need to wait until summer to engage in and explore your interests. Start now!

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Bank of America Student Leaders – 2022

Bank of America Student Leaders – 2022

Summer program alert!

As a BOA Student Leader, you will participate in an eight-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization where you will learn first-hand about the needs of your community and the critical role nonprofits play. In addition, you will learn valuable civic, social and business leadership skills. Each Student Leader will attend the Student Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. where you will learn how government, business and the nonprofit sector work together to address critical community needs. Note: in-person events will be in line with local and national guidelines around gatherings and travel and may be subject to change.

To become a Student Leader, you must:

  • Currently be a junior or senior in high school
  • Live in one of the eligible markets listed
  • Be able to participate in an 8‐week paid internship at a local nonprofit/charitable organization and work 35 hours a week*
  • Be legally authorized to work in the US without sponsorship through the end of September 2022
  • Be able to participate in a week‐long Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC (July 25-30, 2022) (All expenses paid as part of Student Leaders. This week will be part of your 8‐ week experience.) *
  • Be a student in good standing at your school
  • Please note: Bank of America employees or members of their immediate family (e.g., children, siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.) are NOT eligible to apply.

*In-person events will be in line with local and national guidelines around gatherings and travel and may be subject to change.

Click here for FAQs on our Student Leaders program.

Applications for the 2022 program will be accepted from Monday, November 1 through Friday, January 28. Apply Now for the 2022 Student Leaders program.

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