Summer programs - weary of pricey programs

<p>My daughter did 3 summers of CTY and is now a junior in high school. I have been checking out summer programs and internships and am now weary with how much they cost. The cost of the CTY programs was such that I am now looking for a low-cost way for DD to spend her summer and that will not look like wasted time on a college application. I know summer jobs are hard to get, but I would be happy with a summer spent doing something worthwhile that doesn't cost us anything. She wants to major in biology (molecular if the school has it), so I checked out the science-related summer internships. Most of them are in places far away from where we live. The closest university with a summer science program is still almost an hour away, and the program requires continuation during the school year. I would be happy to have her work at a summer camp or volunteer at a nature center just to have her do something that doesn't cost us an arm and a leg.</p>

<p>A job. Any job that pays a wage. Minimum wage at McDonalds would be a wonderful way for her to spend the summer. It would NOT cost you an arm and a leg, and she would learn valuable life lessons.</p>

<p>A job would be my first choice. It's possible that if she is very persuasive she might be able to volunteer for a research scientist. My dh hates having even his college summer students and considers having them in his lab more trouble than it's worth, but does it as a service. He had a high school student one spring and summer who managed to convince a post-doc to supervise him. My dh didn't interact with the student much, but by all accounts he did end up making himself useful.</p>

<p>How would she like to spend the summer? One thing I think kids need to learn early is how to network - perhaps she could send an email to family friends, neighbors asking for some help in finding a volunteer position or paid work - perhaps someone has an 'in' with a professor in the field of study she is interested in pursuing. </p>

<p>I have already had inquiries from friends asking for assistance in finding their kids summer employement where I work and I have also received an email from a woman who I don't know very well but she has several internship opportunities at her company and she was trying to get the word out. You never know who can help with ideas, opportunities, etc.</p>

<p>A job. It's good for her in so many ways. If she starts looking now and works a few hours a week, she'll be ahead of the pack. She'll learn very useful skills and make a little money.</p>

<p>My D got a job this year and she told me it has been a very eye opening experience that she really needed. She is a fast food worker, so I was surprised that she found such personal growth in the job. I thought it was all about having a little independent cash in her pocket. She is brilliant and college bound with large scholarships, yet she is very grateful for the lessons she learned at work!</p>

<p>BTW, she went to the Notre Dame Global Issues Seminar last year for a week. That was a free program but it is very competitive. There are a few "free" type programs for kids that you could still try for even with a job.</p>

<p>Just wanted to add that any job at this age can provide a lot of personal growth. The daughter of a friend of mine wrote her essay on what she learned from scooping ice cream.</p>

<p>Your D can also call places and ask if they need a summer volunteer. Free is still a net gain over having to pay for a summer program.</p>

<p>Agree with so many others. A summer job. Any job. So much to be learned from minimum wage type work, in terms of people skills, co-worker and boss relationships, money management, how net pay relates to gross pay. Or a volunteer job.</p>

<p>Never understood the obsession with believing that every summer had to be some type of "vetted" program.</p>

<p>I remember one of the scholarship interviews that D had (as an entering freshman). The interviewer commented positively on D's summer job at Target. "We like to see that the students asking for money are at least trying to make some of their own."</p>

<p>What kinds of jobs/volunteer opportunities are there for kids whose summers are broken up into a-few-weeks-at-a-time chunks? My kid has an orchestra commitment the last week of June, and National Latin Convention the last week of July, and we'd like to take a family vacation sometime in August (driven by parents' work schedule). So her availability for work will be 3 weeks in July, then away for a week, then maybe a couple more weeks. </p>

<p>In the past she has volunteered at local summer day-camps, which is a one-or-two-weeks-at-a-time commitment. But I think she's read to move onto something else. Any suggestions?</p>

<p>mihcal1 -- Your kids situation looks much like my son's. It was impossible for him at age 15 last year to find paid work. He'll have a few more opportunities this summer being 16, but for the most part, no one in our area wants to touch a kid who is not always available. Sesame Place is one of our biggest summer employers. They won't even review the application if you can't be available all summer months.</p>

<p>My son has find some work with a catering company who uses him "as needed" as a back-up. Not steady work, can't rely on the pay, but at least something.</p>

<p>I agree with the any job idea. My son has worked at Marshall's since the summer of his jr. year and I'm convinced it helped him get into college. I think colleges like to see that a kid is willing to work at a minimum wage job. He still works there when he comes home on breaks and being able to go back to school with several hundred $'s in his pocket is a very nice thing. </p>

<p>He has an internship lined up for this summer but will still work 20ish hours/wk at Marshall's.</p>

<p>Echo--a job, a job, a job....
If you hate your job--lesson learned.
If you love it--lesson learned.
Hate your co-workers, working conditions? Lots of lessons learned.
OTOH--hate your co-workers, working conditions--so what are the solutions? Quit? Find some leadership skills?<br>
No matter what the outcome having a job early on brings some skills and values that will help later in life.</p>

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What kinds of jobs/volunteer opportunities are there for kids whose summers are broken up into a-few-weeks-at-a-time chunks?

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<p>Babysitting. Pet care. Lawn care. Camp counselor at short-term day camp. Tutor.</p>

<p>--candystriper at a local hospital
--create a program at a senior center--games, teaching computer skills
--form a music group, acapella or instrumental, and entertain for free at events
--do anything that spreads love and joy and caring</p>

<p>if she loves science, create and run a science program for girls in an underpriveleged area, in the summer </p>

<p>offer to do something for your township summer programs</p>

<p>Again, a job would be the best choice. Earn some money, learn valuable lessons, and get work experience and references that will allow her to apply and obtain better jobs (above minimum wage) in the future. If it interests her, there are some summer camps that hire at her age. If not, have her apply to minimum wage jobs.</p>

<p>We've never been in a position to send our kids to expensive summer programs so they kept themselves busy with summer jobs and volunteer work. Didn't seem to hinder them come admissions time or, in the case of the older daughter, in the classroom once she got to college. (Doubt it will hinder the younger one either, but she doesn't start college until August!)</p>

<p>The one summer my D couldnt get a job, she volunteered at local nature center. Scut work. But, she could walk there and bring her lunch.</p>

<p>Colleges in this area offer lots of kids on campus summer programs and they always need program aides. That might be a way for her to get a job and do some work with science.</p>