Tag Archives: extracurricular activity

Top 6 Summer Activities for High School Students

Planning for the summer can be overwhelming for high school students and their families. From figuring out what’s meaningful to you to what can help you in college admissions, you may have trouble picking the “perfect” summer activities. In this article, Insight Senior College Admissions Counselor Zach Pava explains the top 6 summer activities for high school students and why you should consider them!

 

(Prefer to watch a video instead? We got you! CLICK HERE for Zach’s video.)

 

Summer Plan Looks Different from One Student to the Next

You may be tempted to join a summer program or apply for an internship because your friends are doing it, but keep in mind that this is YOUR summer. Whatever you decide to do, whether it is preparing for standardized testing or working in retail, it’s important that you build on those opportunities, so you can have a very well-rounded college application. Ultimately, you should have a terrific experience over the summer during those precious few months when you are away from school.

 

Let’s dig a little more deeply into some of these summer activities!

 

1. Taking a Course

It’s pretty self-explanatory; you are taking a class or two over the summer. Within this category, however, there may be many different reasons for joining summer classes. Some students are repeating a class to make up for a grade because they didn’t pass the class or they had withdrawn. Summer can be a great opportunity for them to focus on the class.

Read more: Help! I Got A D – Can I Still Go To A UC?

Take an enrichment course over summerSome students may choose to take a course to prepare for a very challenging course in the next school year. Having a preview of the course materials can help them stay ahead of the curve and feel prepared. For a similar reason, students may also choose to prepare for standardized tests, such as the ACT or the SAT, over the summer to help their minds stay sharp and to add positive data to their college applications.

Not sure which test to take? Read our full insight on ACT v. SAT

There are also students who are taking classes for a GPA boost. Even if their GPA is in good standing, they may have their sights set for a higher GPA. We’ve also seen students take college-level courses to explore an academic subject that they are interested in. No matter your reason, taking summer courses can be a good way to demonstrate to colleges that you care about your grades and have the academic rigor to be successful.

 

2. Volunteering

Another major area beyond coursework is volunteering over the summer. If there is a cause that you care about, go for it! Don’t volunteer for the sake of volunteering. (The same goes for any summer activities!) College admissions officers are very good at discerning if the student is doing something because they love it or just to pad their resume. One of our main functions as Insight Counselors is to help students figure out the summer opportunities that are worth their time, so they can have fun in the process and share their growth in their college essays.

Need to find your motivation to volunteering? Check out The Gift of Service: Why and How Students Should Volunteer

At Insight, we tend to give students a big list of volunteering options because finding your volunteering program can be like a contact sport. In other words, the more places you reach out to, the more likely you are going to receive a response. The process may be difficult. You may reach out to 15 or more programs and only hear back from two or three. You need to be proactive in these cold calls. You may need to follow up and call when the programs don’t respond to your emails. Colleges like these qualities in their potential candidates.

You may also be interested in 8 Unique Silicon Valley Teen Volunteering Opportunities

 

3. Student Internship

The word “internship” gets tossed around a lot, and it means different things to different people. Typically, with an internship, you are looking to apply the knowledge that you’ve learned in a classroom setting to a real-world problem. Internships exist in many areas of interest, so it’s important to first figure out what you want to do. The main point of a student internship is to gain relevant professional experience. In order to get an internship, you will often have to go through an application process involving essays, recommendation letters, and maybe even an interview.

 

Most summer internship application deadlines are between the end of December to mid-February, so as soon as Insight counselors are wrapped up with their seniors, they are usually working with juniors and sophomores on their summer internship applications (which have some similarities to college applications).

Read more: Don’t Seek Summer Internships Just To Impress Admissions Officers

 

4. Student Research

Internships are slightly different from academic research. There are summer research programs designed to pair you with a college professor or a graduate student. You can also directly reach out to professors if you find their research projects appealing (and our counselors can help you figure out how to draft those emails!) It may start with simple tasks such as data entry, but as you learn more on the subject and develop a rapport, you may find yourself with more responsibilities.

Read more: Beyond College Admissions: Why Extracurricular and Summer Activities Matter?

 

5. Getting a Job

Of all the options, getting a job is sometimes the last thing students want to consider. However, this can be a wonderful experience. Whether you get a full-time or a part-time job, you can learn about life skills, such as responsibility, punctuality, and accountability. Working with other people and dealing with situations that are out of your comfort zone can be valuable life lessons. The fact that you are also earning money at the same time is a great bonus!

 

6. Creating Your Own

While there are age restrictions and other requirements for some summer activities, this shouldn’t limit your options. You can always create your own business or conduct your own research project. Starting a new thing can be daunting. That’s why Insight Counselors guide their students through this process and help them realize their potential in creating and bringing their visions to life.

 

 

Concluding thoughts

Summer is a great time for you to explore and build. Understanding what you need and what you may want to pursue is a great starting point for you to plan your successful (and enjoyable) summer activities!

 

 


Written by Zach Pava

This article was created from an interview with Insight Senior Counselor Zach Pava.

Zach has guided hundreds of students throughout the college admissions process. His extensive writing background includes essay contributions online and in print, a sports blog, screenplays, and film reviews. Contact Insight Education today to schedule an initial consultation with Zach. Read his full bio here.

Community Service Ideas for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for love and joy. For students (and adults), it’s also a great time to give back. While it’s important to volunteer and help out in your community year-round, the holiday season can be a wonderful start for you. There are many activities you can explore during the short break, and you may just find the volunteer work that you truly enjoy!

Read more: Beyond College Admissions: Why Extracurricular and Summer Activities Matter?

 

Creative ways to give back during the holiday season

Insight Tip #1: Volunteer & Community Service

Check out your local hospital, community center, homeless shelter, or any other charitable organization to ask how you can help out.  Some hospitals, like El Camino Health, have youth programs designed for high school students, but those may require a longer period of time commitment. VolunteerMatch.org is a great resource to check out volunteering opportunities nearby.

Read more: The Gift of Service: Why and How Students Should Volunteer

 

tutoring to help others is one way for high school students to give back Insight Tip #2: Tutoring

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many students, especially those with fewer resources. Many are struggling to keep up with their schoolwork. Programs such as Reading Partners or Schoolhouse offer online tutoring for younger students. 

 

Insight Tip #3: Declutter

With the temperatures dropping, many charitable organizations have warm clothing or blanket drives. Take a weekend to go through your closet. Ask your family to join you. Check if your neighbors or friends have anything they can donate, too. You are helping out someone who needs the warmth AND someone who needs to take that step to declutter their home.

 

Insight Tip #4: Help your neighbors

baking cookies or cooking a hot meal for the homelessYou can also bake cookies (or cook a simple hot meal) and distribute them to the homeless. Ask your elder neighbors if they need help setting up lights and decorating the tree (if applicable) or help them with wrapping gifts or getting groceries. 

 

Insight Tip #5: Share your talents

Put on a show at your local hospice, senior centers, or hospitals. First, contact them to see if they can accommodate your band or carol-singing group. Perhaps even record yourselves during the performance and inspire others to donate or help out! Or start your own fundraiser and purchase gifts for children. For more ideas, check out DoSomething.org.

 

Giving back can be a wonderful feeling, and we hope these ideas can get you started! May your holidays be filled with love and laughter. 

 

Cheers,

Team Insight

Summer Opportunities Fair with Insight Education: Internships, Research Programs, Volunteering & more!

Calling all Students!

Are you deciding what to do with your Summer 2022? 

Do you have questions on how to apply to some of the top internships and programs? 

Looking to get hands-on experience in a field of interest? 

Want to explore program options outside of just summertime? 

 

Join Insight Education on Saturday, November 6th, 2021 for the Summer Opportunities Fair! 

Time – 12:00pm – 4:00pm (note – it is open house style. You can arrive at anytime between 12-4pm!)

Date – Saturday, November 6, 2021

Location – Outdoor in the Garden behind Insight Education HQ

1601 South De Anza Blvd, Suite 108 (First floor) Cupertino, CA 95014

 

Meet program admissions teams and learn what you need to know about their programs and how to apply.

Featuring:

ACME Entrepreneur

The ACME Entrepreneur program was founded by Stanford Entrepreneur Aditya Mittal, and hopes to make the world a more entrepreneurial place. ACME believes that a general understanding of entrepreneurship is the path to greater prosperity, high quality living, mankind’s future, solutions and exploration, new products in every sector from energy to healthcare, wealth generation, and greater economic stability.

Global Glimpse

Global Glimpse brings groups of students from a wide variety of high schools together through travel with highly-skilled teachers the summer after their junior year. While abroad, this group of learners explores history, culture, politics, poverty, education, development, and business in a developing country. We challenge students to think critically, collaborate with each other and bring their newfound perspective back to their high schools and communities.

Inspirit AI

Inspirit AI inspires curious high school students globally by exposing them to the defining technology of our times: Artificial Intelligence. AI is already present everywhere: in our voice-activated devices, smartphone face recognition systems, and autonomous vehicles. The potential to apply this technology for good is limitless. This program, developed and taught exclusively by a team of alumni and graduate students from Stanford and MIT, provides guidance on initiating AI projects, pursuing AI ventures, and preparing for college.

Lumiere Research Scholar Program

The Lumiere Research Scholar Program is a selective research program for top high school students. As a Lumiere scholar, students work 1-1 with top researchers from universities like Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford. Founded by a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard College classmates, the program guides students in the creation of an independent, 20-page research paper over the course of 10 weeks. 

Our City Forest

Our City Forest (OCF) is an urban forestry non-profit located in the heart of San Jose. OCF’s mission is to create a green and healthy Silicon Valley by engaging community members in the appreciation, protection, growth, and maintenance of our urban forest. Volunteer opportunities range from helping out at the Community Nursery and Training Center with various tree and shrub-care activities, to joining at the new Education Center at Martial Cottle Park to help expand the arboretum. OCF also hosts community tree planting events in which volunteers can help plant trees at various locations throughout Santa Clara County! These events are typically held on Saturdays. 

PilotCity

PilotCity runs programs where students “build projects to win internships” with our employers – serving as an engine for innovation in cities with the people from there. Students enrolled in the program explore employer projects, choose a project, and then are guided through a series of unlockable activities & deliverables to complete to then auto-apply, interview & win offers for internships. Upon hire, interns further advance their project, assigned tasks, and the objective of the employers.

Pioneer Academics 

The Pioneer Research Program is a virtual research institute for outstanding high school students worldwide. It offers STEM, social sciences, and humanities disciplines. Widely respected for its high standards in admissions selectivity and academic rigor, it is the only US online college credit-bearing research program for high school students. In Pioneer’s rigorous academic system, students work one-on-one with university professors in advanced study and research of a topic of their interest, culminating in a full-length research paper.

Polygence

Polygence is an online research academy connecting high achieving students with expert mentors to pursue personalized research projects and publish research papers. Polygence offers project-based research mentorship in academic disciplines across STEM, the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Polygence students submit their projects to high school science fairs, research journals, and conferences with guidance from expert mentors. Mentors hold PhDs, MDs, JDs, MAs, and MFAs in a variety of disciplines from neuroscience and computer science to fashion design and architecture.

Rosetta Institute of Biomedical Research

Rosetta Institute provides advanced classes for high achieving high school and middle school students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related fields, such as biomedical research, drug development, pharmacy, or nursing. They offer a variety of workshops related to molecular medicine – Molecular Biology, Medicinal Chemistry, Medical Bioinformatics, Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Covid-19: Biology/Immunity/Medicine, Cancer Research, Immunology Research, and Biomedical Research – that are taught by PhD-level instructors with years of research and teaching experience. 

Summer Springboard

Summer Springboard offers pre-college programs at Yale, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Georgetown, Boston, and UC San Diego. Students explore academic courses in Medicine, Engineering, Computer Science, Business, and Law while experiencing life on a college campus. They also offer online programs in the following fields: Emergency Medicine, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology & Neuroscience, and Trial Law.

 

Make sure you RSVP below for your free tickets for the whole family! Everyone is welcome to attend. The event will be capped once we hit capacity. 

 

Please note, Insight Education has no financial relationship with any of the organizations who are vendors at the Summer opportunities fair, nor were the vendors asked to compensate Insight for the space provided. Insight Education and all vendors are committed to equal opportunities for students applying to their programs.

 

See you at the Fair!

Team Insight