Every summer, tens of thousands of students just like you give up a week or two of their time to attend a summer program or community service program —and it changes their lives forever.
Did you know there are dozens of summer programs for high school students out there? Many of them are free or very inexpensive, and they cover just about every subject or area of interest.
Whether you are an athlete, musician, actor, artist, student leader or involved with just about anything else, there is an opportunity for you to learn by doing!
How do I get started?
A visit to your high school guidance counselor, student activities director, coach or athletic director is a great first step.
Most programs start to send information to high schools in late winter or early spring.
• Sport and spirit camps. Typically offered at colleges and universities or specialized facilities. There is usually a cost associated with these camps. They can be offered as day or stay-over camps. Check with your coach or athletic director for details.
• Fine and performing arts camps. Offered by fine and performing arts schools. There is typically a cost, but there are also opportunities for scholarships. Check with your band, choir or drama director.
• Leadership experiences. The American Legion has been offering Boys and Girls State since 1936 to teach students the value of being involved in state and local government. The YMCA runs a program called Youth in Government. Ask your guidance counselor or civics teacher for other opportunities. Join a community service program.
• Other types of camps Whether you are interested in computers or marine biology, chances are there will be a program for you. Check with local colleges, the American Legion, the YMCA, 4-H and Kiwanis.
Why should I do this?
Do it because you want to. You are going to be a lifelong learner; might as well get started now!
Summer programs are a great way to get a first taste of college life. You could be living on your own in a residence hall; be thrown into an unfamiliar situation with a bunch of people you don’t know; try to accomplish lofty goals in a finite amount of time; and establish and maintain new relationships with peers and mentors.
Summer community service programs also look great on your college applications and résumé. Some programs even offer the opportunity to earn college credit.
Thomas A. Kasper is an admissions adviser at Eastern Michigan University (emich.edu). Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.