Summer Planning for the College Bound

Summer time, summer time sum-sum-summer time

No, it is not really summer time yet, but it is time to start making plans for summer. The reason why is because how you (and here are I am targeting high schoolers but in particular rising seniors) spend your time over the summer provides meaningful information to colleges about your skills, interests and level of commitment. And, deadlines for applying to certain summer programs are approaching or unfortunately have passed. Also, don’t forget that you soon-to-be seniors will most likely be writing an essay with some variation on the theme of what you learned from your summer experience. So, summer plans time it is! summer school

Does this mean you need to solve world hunger or pad your resume with some buzzworthy (and probably exorbitant) prestigious summer program? Not necessarily. However, it is wise to be strategic. The goal is to find something you genuinely like to do, do it well and learn something from it that will be of interest to colleges. In this article I will provide some broad ideas as well as some particular recommendations for what might be of interest to you for the summer. If you are fortunate enough to have more resources at your disposal, here are the usual options.

  1. Enrichment Programs: What is an enrichment program? It is a fancier way to say education opportunities i.e. schooling. Options range from a chance to live in dorms and go to classes on campus, to commuting to classes on campus to online opportunities. I often recommend to students that they find a program that enables them to “try on” their major. I also suggest that students look for opportunities to develop leadership skills—something college admission staff value. A program that many of my students have enjoyed and found worthwhile is the Economics for Leaders (www.fte.org/students) program sponsored by the Foundation for Teaching Economics since it combines both of these attributes and is located on may desirable college campuses across the country. Most colleges, such as the UCs, the Ivy League and art/music schools, have their own summer programs for high school students. Keep in mind, though, that participation in these programs does not mean automatic acceptance to the college come fall.
  1. Travel: Expand your frame of reference and learn more about different cultures and their perspectives, perfect fodder for a college essay not to mention a valuable personal growth opportunity. Either make the most of an already-planned family trip or try striking out on your own. There are plenty of ways to accomplish this – become an exchange student and live with a host family through AFS American Field Service (www.afs.org/usa) or YFU Youth for Understanding (www.yfu-usa.org). Participate in a language immersion program such as EF International Language Centers (www.ef.com) or Global Routes www.globalroutes.org). Plan a road trip and visit National Parks and historical landmarks.
  1. Work: College admissions officers like to see that students are responsible, take initiative and work well with others. Having a steady job and getting promoted is a way to show you have these skills. It is not bad for the wallet either. While it is sometimes challenging for high school students to find employment, keep in mind that this type of work experience does not have to be highly professional to be worthwhile. Jobs such as bagging groceries, babysitting and coaching are viewed favorably. If at all possible it is best to show commitment over time – depth rather than breadth. Consider applying for jobs through the city, look on websites (www.summerjobs.com, http://www.snagajob.com) and network.
  1. Volunteer: There are many kinds of volunteering opportunities to consider when thinking about summer. Community service, un-paid internships, tutoring, getting involved in a cause are all examples of ways to demonstrate dependability and learn valuable skills. There are other “psychic rewards” as well such as personal satisfaction, being a part of something that is bigger than yourself, connecting to your community. Check out the YMCA, local religious organizations, Families First, or a charity of your choice.

Tend to business

Along with your summer activities, be sure to keep the ball rolling with college admissions. Summer is the time to work on drafts of application essays, put together an academic resume and visit colleges in preparation for the busy application season come fall. In the midst of all of this, many students are also busy with their sports camps and tournaments.

Jennifer Borenstein is an independent college advisor and the owner of The Right College For You in Davis, CA. J Borenstein

You can reach Jennifer at http://www.therightcollegeforyou.org

(portions of this article have appeared in the Davis Enterprise in the College Corner column)

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Recent Alumni Profile – Jillian Huels

This time last year Jillian Huels was reluctant to apply for FTE’s Economics for Leaders program. By the following October she was a guest speaker at the TFAS/FTE Leadership Conference looking back with fondness on her time at Duke University saying of her experience, “It was an incredible one which I never expected”. huels, jillian

Since her time at Economics for Leaders Jillian says she has become more perceptive to the political world around her developing a deeper understanding of public policy issues and even joining her high school debate team.

When asked her favorite part of the experience, Jillian remembers the people with which she spent her time.

“Immersed in an environment with some of the most intellectual people I have ever met”, people who “truly cared about their future and supported those around them”.

As a senior in high school Jillian is also looking towards the future. She hopes to advance her studies by following a pre-medical track in the future but also continue to stay exposed to a variety of subject fields such as macroeconomics, psychology, and comparative government throughout the remainder of her school year.

If you’d like to learn more about Economics for Leaders and the spaces we have available then click here!

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Where We are Wednesday – College of William and Mary

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It’s a William an Mary Wednesday! We still have spaces available for both students AND teachers on this beautiful historic campus.

Just how historic you ask? The College of William and Mary was chartered on February 8th, 1693 by King William III and Queen Mary II, making it the second oldest college in the United States! While on campus you can even pay a visit to the Wren building which is the oldest academic building still in use today.

Former alumni such as Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler would be sure to agree that it’s a great place to learn a little leadership and economics.

You can learn more about how to sign up on our website http://www.fte.org!

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Alumni Spotlight – Ruby Au – Nashville 2011

Ruby Au, has traveled near and far. Since participating in the Economics for Leaders program at Vanderbilt in Nashville, she moved to Los Angeles to attend college at Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and Dornsife College. Throughout her time in college, she worked abroad in Panama, Hondurans and Cape Town.

These days however, Ruby can be found in rural Kenya running Lumen, a social enterprise organization that works with students to create a financially sustainable model for computer education.

Having the opportunity to work with international micro-businesses through college is what led Ruby on her path towards Lumen. While always interested in studying business, it wasn’t until she went to Vanderbilt University to attend Economics for Leaders (EFL), that Ruby began to think about economics as a cultural, behavioral, and human-interest issue as well.img_2809-1

About her EFL experience she says, “It wasn’t just about acquiring a skill set- it was also about impacting lives through the ability to apply a theoretical system of thinking to situational contexts. This largely influenced my decision to study business in university later on”.

Since then, the process of creating Lumen has been exactly that: trying to understand a different context, and innovating existing business models to fit that unique need.

Although 70% of Kenya’s population lives in rural communities, these areas are by and large cut off from the digital revolution sweeping the urban centers of the country.

Lumen helps to establish computer labs where its students work, providing market research services for development organizations. Students are then able to master project-based computer skills while also learning to analyze and think critically about issues in their community.

Lumen is currently participating it its very own crowdfunding campaign and would love your support to raise awareness about this issue! Please feel free to read more about the organization on their website at http://lumenlabs.cc/.

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Alumni Spotlight – Madeleine Overturf – Chicago ’09

Madeleine Overturf is quite literally in the spotlight these days as a reporter at WBOC-TV in Sussex County. Before her time at WBOC, Madeleine received her B.F.A in Acting and a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from New York University.

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Madeleine has also spent time working in Washington, DC at NBC’s WRC-TV as a Production Assistant and Assignment Editor. She also occasionally field produced for the NBC All Owned Stations DC Bureau, covering federal events for NBC affiliates across the country.

Attending Economics for Leaders nearly eight years ago, she has remained passionate about the EFL program, working through college as a Program Coordinator and volunteering with the FTE in her free time.

“EFL taught me how to analyze decisions and simultaneously tap into my core values (opportunity cost, hello). Those two tools have let me know that when I make a choice — and I’ve made many in my career — that I’m making the one that is right for me. It also taught me how to be an effective leader and team member, which is crucial to success and making connections along the way. ” maddie-1

When Madeleine isn’t working, she enjoys reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with friends and family. She still keeps in touch with many friends made through EFL.

“We’ve taken vacations, helped each other with resumes, and ultimately helped each other grow — that’s true friendship that only helps you thrive.”

We look forward to seeing Madeleine continue to thrive in the future!

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Where We are Wednesday – UC Berkeley

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Where We are Wednesday…

The University of California, Berkeley! Home of the blue and gold Oski bears (blue for the California sky) gold (for the golden state). Founded in 1868 as the university that would “contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations”, this vibrant college town is a great place to spend a week and learn Economics.

Berkeley rankings:

According to US News and World Report , UC Berkeley ranks as

#1 Public School in the country

#20 for all National Universities

#2 for its Business program

Due to popular demand, we will be hosting two Economics for Leaders programs at Berkeley this summer – get your application in early to secure your spot!

 DATES: June 26th-July 2nd  &  July 3rd-July 9th  (APPLY HERE)

 

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Recent Alumni Profile – Angela Wei

Angela Wei attended Economics for Leaders last year at Rice University in Houston, TX. About her experience she says,

“If you have any hesitation about applying to a FTE camp, you won’t regret it when you do. If you want to learn more about yourself in one week than you have your whole life, FTE is the place for you. Plus, you also get to earn real money.”

Angela still keeps in touch with some of her friends from the program and says her favorite part was meeting other kids from around the world and building friendships that would last forever.

Angela enjoys writing and her favorite subject in school is English!

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Group Picture – Students and Teachers – Rice 2016

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