College

Make Summer Count

Check out all the benefits teens can reap by participating in a variety of summer programs.

Want to replace your teens’ summer boredom with action-packed, enriching opportunities that can globalize their worldview, stimulate their mind and boost their marketability to colleges and scholarship committees? You should consider signing them up for a summer program, and here are a few reasons why. 

  • They open doors The more students challenge themselves, the more marketable they will appear on college applications and resumes. Participating in a variety of summer programs can open doors for students, whether it’s through networking or skills gained.  
  • They help teens get ahead (or stay on track) academically. Some programs allow teens to take a class and earn college credit. In doing so, they not only gain a competitive edge, but if they were falling behind, they will also enter the new school year with more confidence and a better understanding of the subject. 
  • They’re great ways to explore interests By really getting hands-on, teens can more easily pinpoint what they like and don’t like. This is a good way for teens who are unsure about which major they’d like to pursue to discover what really suits them. 
  • They sharpen skill sets Students can learn and/or hone a wide-range of skills by participating in summer programs, a primary one being leadership. By learning how to take responsibility and developing a strong work ethic, students are able to mature in their ability to keep their word. 
  • They offer new perspectives Summer programs attract students from various backgrounds and cultures. They can be a good way for students to understand their differences and ultimately discover what unites us all. 
  • They’re great for making new friends Students are more likely to form friendships with their peers in a summer program since participating students all have at least one interest in common (assuming their parents didn’t force them to participate). Making friends at summer programs is a great way to build a network. 

Only 25 percent of children in a survey of 30,000 households participated in summer learning programs according to a report by America After 3 p.m. 

Get Ahead 

According to Durden Dean, who has worked with the People to People Student Ambassador Program associated with Alabama Lions High School Leadership (ALHSL) for the past four years and often speaks with admissions counselors at prestigious colleges like Harvard, these institutions typically “choose students with more life experiences.” In addition to extracurricular activities, life experiences include learning leadership skills and traveling abroad to widen world perspectives, both of which can be obtained through many summer programs. 

Types of Summer Programs: 

CLASSES 

There are programs specifically designed to help students explore various academic interests like Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), medicine or public safety. These programs let students learn more about their interests and gain hands-on experience in these subject areas. 

LEADERSHIP COURSES 

Many summer programs provide students with the ability to develop leadership qualities. However, there are some programs that are specifically built around strengthening this skill-set and pushing their participants to challenge themselves. 

STUDY ABROAD

Studying abroad can help students appreciate what has been afforded to us as citizens of the United States as well as broaden their global perspective. 

Over 50% of Potential parents surveyed plan for their college student to study abroad. 

COMMUNITY SERVICE 

Volunteering with a local organization allows students to make an impact within their community by giving back. Participants can gain self-confidence (by seeing that they are needed), empathy and a deeper understanding of what really matters in life.   

UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS

Some universities allow students to live in the dorms while participating in the wide range of programs they offer. Some university programs even allow teens to earn high school and college course credit.   

THEME-BASED 

Many summer programs are built around themes such as sports, faith, outdoor adventures and the arts. Typically, these programs can be found through organizations that are focused on these specific interests like churches, museums, etc. 

INTERNSHIPS 

Students who are exploring a career interest or looking to gain work experience can apply for an internship at companies or organizations that fit the category they want to learn about. 

MISSION TRIPS 

Churches often offer opportunities for members to team up and evangelize inside or outside of the country. Participating in a summer program like this allows students to increase their knowledge of other’s beliefs and world views while also doing some good! 

As an editor, copywriter, and social media manager at exploreMedia, I work to develop content that is relevant and interesting to our readers and coordinate with contributing writers.

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