Keep Minds and Pencils Sharp This Summer

Sophomore Cassandra Calderon paints during lunch to prepare for the art camp she will work at this summer at RHS. --Camila Torres
Sophomore Cassandra Calderon paints during lunch to prepare for the art camp she will work at this summer at RHS. –Camila Torres

While the average teenage brain shuts off June 14, only restarting to complete summer reading and math assignments, there are many educational opportunities offered during summer that provide great benefits.

Numerous summer programs have upcoming application deadlines, so students need to act quickly to take advantage of these enriching activities. Resource counselor William Ramsey advises students to “create structure, variety and set goals.” Ramsey also encourages students to take part in various activities to broaden their knowledge.

College and career center coordinator Janet Harris posts an updated lists of summer camps, special programs and internship opportunities monthly on the RHS website. In addition, some companies and stores are hiring students as young as 14 for a variety of jobs.

Summer university programs are equipped with experienced staff to prepare students for the rigor and atmosphere of college. The University of Maryland and other universities worldwide offer courses and pre-college programs to high school students, depending on their interests. “If any of the school give a college credit, that is a definite plus. That can go a long way when applying to college,” said Harris.

Many local and statewide universities offer summer activities open to all high school students. For example, Howard University is offering a free one-week paid program for rising sophomores and juniors to participate in an Information Technology Program. Other universities, like New York University, allow high school students to travel abroad and take courses in Paris. Fortunatelly, almost all summer programs offer scholarships for students who need financial aid.

Sophomore Cassandra Calderon will work at an RHS art camp and recommends it for students who love art. “I enjoy art and making scultupers. When you’re working with kids, you definitely learn a lot about responsibility,” said Calderon. Many RHS sports camps offer either SSL hours or pay.

Summer provides an ample amount of time to complete SSL hours that many students neglected during the school year. Montgomery County Recreation offers SSL camps for teens, so they can potentially earn up to 35 SSL hours per session. New volunteers are required to take the Summer Leadership Challenge in which they teach kids and become prepared for volunteering at an MCR camp next summer.

MCPS summer school is held every year; the schools where classes are offered alternate yearly. This year, RHS will hold two sessions of each subject including English, technology, health, career planning, math, history and science. Online classes are also offered for health but are already full for summer.

Harris encourages students to apply for internships because it provides a taste of college and career life. Jobs, internships and volunteer work help students become more responsible, both at home and in the classroom.