• Summer Programs

  • Making the Most Out of Summer Vacation

    Dan shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He was dressed up in a button-down shirt and slacks – it was clear to me that he had not chosen his attire. Generally, high school boys are not that adept at using an iron. We were sitting in a couple of wooden chairs in my office and we had a great view of the Kenyon College campus. It was early in September, so still warm enough that the windows could be left open.

    “So, Dan, how was your summer?” I asked.

    “It was pretty busy.” he replied.

    As an experienced interviewer, I know that the first few minutes are sometimes a bit tough, and it can take a bit of small talk before the student opens up.

    “A busy summer is always a good thing; what did you do?”

    “I, uh, just worked all summer,” he said and looked down a little bit.

    This was fascinating to me, as a summer job is a very impressive thing to do. It shows that you are responsible, can conduct yourself in a professional environment, and can work effectively with people of different ages, backgrounds, and experiences. However, Dan was making it seem like a summer job would be received as negative or suboptimal in the college admissions process.

    Many students think that their summer needs to be full of glamour and prestige – perhaps doing a summer program at a prestigious university or “voluntourism” in an exotic location. This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, the best summer experiences don’t have to cost a dime. Admissions officers are not wowed by the glitz and glamor of flashy activities. Instead, they want to see that you have engaged in activities that are meaningful and that allowed you to learn, grow, or perhaps take on a necessary responsibility.

    Here are three free ideas for students who want to have a successful summer:

    Do you want to make a difference?

    As we discussed, you don’t have to travel to a new continent or country in order to make a difference and serve. Instead, you can think local and identify nonprofits and other social impact organizations in your community. The chances are good that local organizations have a variety of volunteering opportunities to both learn and serve. Try to think about the issues that you care about and use that as a starting point for identifying organizations to reach out to.

    Do you want to learn something new?

    High school curriculums can be a bit restrictive, and summer can be an opportunity to try something new. Whether you are interested in furthering an existing passion or trying something totally new, taking classes can be very fulfilling. Your local college or community college will provide an array of options available to high school students. edX, a nonprofit collaboration between MIT and Harvard, also offers a library of free online classes from leading colleges and universities around the world.

    Do you want to make extra money?

    For many students, summer represents an opportunity to earn money for themselves or to help support their family. Whether you are working as a barista, a restaurant server, a camp counselor, or anything else, a job is a very enriching experience. I spent my summers washing dishes and doing kitchen prep at a local deli. Not only was I able to earn money, but I learned a valuable skill – cooking – that I still use today!

    Lastly, don’t forget to recharge

    Summer is also about spending some time on yourself. Spend time with friends and family, read that novel you have had on your bookshelf, and watch that new Netflix series that your friend recommended. This will allow you to start your new academic year refreshed and ready to succeed!


    Will Geiger has extensive experience in college admissions that includes work at an elite independent school and a selective liberal arts college. He graduated from Wake Forest University with honors in history and received his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.



    Harvard Diversity Project


    The applications for the 2019-2020 cohort of the Harvard Diversity Project are now open! Gifted and talented students from all schools around Metro Atlanta are invited to apply for admission into our nationally acclaimed pipeline program, where they will train another group of minority youth for matriculation into Harvard's annual summer residency. Eligibility requirements are listed in the graphic below. The application will remain open from April --30, 2019. Click here for more details.



    Georgia Tech Youth Program

    CEO of My Life




    Duke Summer Sessions

    Duke Summer Session

    Duke Univeristy has extended the admissions deadline for Summer Academy and STEM Academy to April 29! 
    Act now before the admissions deadline for the Summer College for High School Students program closes on April 15!
    Apply now to enjoy a summer of a lifetime at Duke University!



    Math Circle

    Math Circle


    Math Circle



    Clemson University Summer Scholars




    TAG-Ed High School Summer Internship Program


    Work on a STEM project at one of over 150 participating Georgia companies! The internships are paid, and the experience is priceless.

    The TAG-Ed Summer Internship Program was created to give competitive students real world STEM experience with companies in metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. The internship Program is a 5 week experience where students work to develop their professional aptitude while building their technical abilities. By working on relevant projects, students leave the program with tangible work experience, invaluable connections, and a passion to pursue a career in the STEM field. TAG-Ed remains committed to recruiting top talent as this program continues to be one of the most selective and highly competitive summer opportunities. Interested students are advised to take time to preview the application before submitting to ensure they are putting time and effort into their application. We also offer a Career Readiness Series to teach students soft skills and enhance their professional image. Because we believe in the value of this information, attending one of these workshops represents a BADGE for participating in TAG-Ed’s 2019 High School Internship Program.





    Forsyth County Librabry Summer VolunTEEN Program

    Summer Volunteen



    Cisco High School STEM Externship


    Applications for the Cisco High School STEM Externship are now open for Summer 2019!

    Cisco High School STEM Externship Program is a comprehensive, unpaid summer program designed to give current high school juniors and seniors an introduction to STEM careers at Cisco. 

    Students will be immersed in Cisco's history, culture, and world of work as full-fledged externs at the Cisco campus in Lawrenceville, Georgia. 


    Eligibility Requirements:

    - Current high school juniors and seniors (Graduating 2019 or 2020)

    - Minimum 3.5 GPA

    - Ability to commute Monday - Friday to and from the externship campus location


    NOTE: Eligible students must be a current high school junior or senior (Class of 2019 or Class or 2020) ) and the deadline for applications is March 1st, 2019. Students can apply using this link:




    Bulldog Pharmacy Camp

    Pharmacy Camp

    Application deadline is February 1st.

    Rising Juniors and Seniors interested in a career in pharmacy.



    Camp MAGIK

    Camp MAGIK

    What? Camp MAGIK, a healing camp for bereaved children and adolescents

    When? The Calvin Center in Hampton April 12-14, 2019 and at The Cherokee Retreat Center in Cartersville May 3-5, 2019



    Camp MAGIK is well suited to all youth ages 7 through 18 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or other close loved one, especially youth who have experienced traumatic death. Professional bereavement counselors, trained in grief and trauma, lead all counseling sessions. 

    There is also a retreat available for adults who want to process their own grief with other adults who are grieving – please see attachment.

    Camp sessions are FREE OF CHARGE to all participating children and adolescents. 

    Applications need to be postmarked, emailed, or faxed to no later than April 3 and April 24 respectively. Free transportation to camp and back can be provided if needed.





    GivingPoint Social Innovators Academy


  • Forsyth County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or gender in employment decisions or educational programs and activities.