Through this module you learn to identify and research summer opportunities aligned with your gifts, talents, and areas of interest. After a student enters high school, he or she will have 3 summer opportunities to engage in summer experiences which can define him or her as a great college applicant when applying to colleges as a high school senior. For example, one of our students who received a full track and field scholarship to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill used each summer throughout middle school and high school to compete in AAU Track and Field competitions. Not only did she improve as a 100m, 200m, and 400m sprinter each summer, she was able to showcase her talents to college coaches from throughout the country. Another student attended a flight camp during each summer of high school and received her pilot’s license during the summer prior to entering into her senior year of high school. Another student spent each summer attending Marching Band Camps and was able to receive a Marching Band Scholarship to North Carolina A&T.

One student, who identified her strongest gift and talent as logical/mathematical intelligence, spent each summer throughout middle school and high school volunteering first as tutor, then as an assistant instructor, and eventually became an instructor in a summer math enrichment program. When she applied to college as a math major, her strong summer activities helped her to land full scholarships to Vanderbilt, Duke, Washington & Lee, Princeton, Amherst, and Williams College (where she is now a second-year student).

While it would be nice to have the opportunity to experience camps and competitions during your summers, you can also focus your summers on working or internships. One student, who was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship, spent each of her summers from elementary school through high school working with her parents as a migrant farm laborer picking squash, cucumbers, and tobacco. She was able to prominently refer to her enriching (and exhausting) summer experiences of working with her family, avoiding snakes, and treating bee stings in her Gates Scholarship essays.

While there is a cost associated with many summer programs, there are many programs that award scholarships (a reason why it is important to always have an up-to-date résumé). In fact, we have had students receive full scholarships to Space Camp and to the Yale Young Global Scholars Program.


Identify summer opportunities that are aligned with your gifts, talents, and interests.

Estimated time to complete: Undetermined.

Guiding Questions

  • How will I maximize my summer opportunities for developing my gifts and talents or pursue my interests?
  • What are the available summer, pre-college, and volunteer opportunities relating to my gifts and talents or interests?