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High School Summer programs in NJ?

Hi! I applied to a few but not many popular summer programs for high schoolers and didn't match with most of them. Now I'm freaking out over not having much to do over the summer especially since its before my junior year. Ive been looking for summer programs or internships for juniors in high schools for so many hours lately but all the deadlines have passed! Im really upset and stressed over this situation and if knows of any programs with deadlines still open such as research ones at Rutgers or at other neighboring areas such as Newark or internships please let me know. I greatly need your guys help. Thank you so much

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kelly’s Answer

Back in my high school days, the school district offered an amazing opportunity for students from 9th to 12th grade. They could enroll in courses at state-sponsored community colleges, and the district would foot the bill. The only snag was that these programs weren't widely publicized, and students had to secure permission from the guidance department to join. But the reward was worth it - students could earn both college and high school credits for these courses.

Given your current situation, I'd suggest considering an online course that starts midway through the summer. Many programs kick off in early May, but since I'm from New England and didn't graduate high school until mid-June, a later start might work better for you.

I've known some folks who chose to take advanced math or science courses to avoid having to take them during the regular school year. Others opted for English 101 to polish their writing skills ahead of time. It's a great way to get a jump start on your future!
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Patrick’s Answer

Saman, it's totally normal to feel stressed when you're unsure about your summer plans, especially at this crucial stage of your high school journey. Don't be disheartened if you've missed the deadlines for some popular summer programs. There are still many opportunities for high school students in New Jersey, like research programs, internships, and other enriching activities.

You could look into local community groups, universities, and research institutions that might have summer programs or internships for high school students. For instance, Rutgers University often has various summer programs and research opportunities for high school students in fields like science, engineering, and humanities. Nearby universities and colleges in Newark, like New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) or Seton Hall University, might also have summer programs or research opportunities.

Another idea is to contact local businesses, non-profit organizations, or government agencies to see if they have any summer internships or volunteer positions. Even if their formal internship programs have closed, they might still be willing to take high school students for short-term projects or volunteer work over the summer. Talking to family friends, teachers, or people in your community might also help you find opportunities or connections you didn't know about.

Also, Saman, think about other ways to develop your skills and interests over the summer, even if there aren't any formal programs or internships available. You could do things like self-led projects, online courses, volunteer work, or follow your personal hobbies and interests. For example, you could do your own research projects, start a blog or YouTube channel about something you're passionate about, or take online courses to learn new skills or explore academic topics you're interested in.

Remember, Saman, it's natural to face obstacles and challenges. It's important to tackle them with a positive attitude and determination. Even if you're disappointed that you haven't secured a summer program or internship, there are still many chances for you to grow personally and academically. Stay active, resourceful, and open-minded in your search, and don't be afraid to ask for advice and help from trusted mentors, teachers, or advisors.
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Jerome’s Answer

If you can't find an internship, you could look at non-profits for volunteer opportunities. While you may not get paid for these, most will be happy to train you to learn a new skill. These can also look great on your resume and on college applications.
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Martha’s Answer

Hi, Saman, I understand your concern, but assure you that you can work out something. Kelly has given some good suggestions. I am unclear whether you need a paid opportunity or if it has to be research-oriented, but here are other ideas:

- Volunteer in an area of interest near where you live (see links to Volunteer Match and Scotch Plains government site below)
- Volunteer at your local library (see link below); if it is like my library, it has lots of programs for younger kids during the summer
- Let family, friends, and neighbors know that you are available for full or part-time volunteering or work for the summer; my younger daughter got a great opportunity that way (it wasn't paid, but it was an excellent experience)
- Get even a part-time job (any job will show responsibility and help you determine what you like and don't like in a workplace)
- If there is something you would really like to learn about, see if you could design an independent study with one of your teachers. Even if you don't get formal school credit, it would show intellectual curiosity and initiative on your part

Good luck!

Martha recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer Match - https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/orgs.jsp?aff=&r=20.0&l=Scotch+Plains%2C+NJ%2C+USA
Scotch Plains Volunteer Opportunities - https://www.scotchplainsnj.gov/index.php/volunteer-opportunities
Scotch Plains Library - https://www.scotlib.org/policies_procedures/volunteer/
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Saman !

Even though you haven't found an opportunity as yet, there are still options for you. I first would like to mention that for next year, you can apply for the New Jersey Summer Youth Employment Program, but it's too late to apply now. I left a link for you to start checking on when applications are being given next year (usually in March or April). It is well worth doing this for next summer.

As for volunteer work try the following organizations which you can look up on line: Try Can, New Jersey Animeals, Scotch Plains Public Library (908) 322-5007, The Y's Togetherhood Program (908) 889-8880, Jersey Cares (see link below). I also left a link for you to Hire Teens so you can look for jobs. You can also consider volunteering at one of your local live theatres as they always need extra help. If you would like a medical setting, go to the Human Resources department at the local hospitals and inquire about volunteering. Also, faith based organizations may welcome the offer of volunteer work. There is still time left and always time for volunteering.

Something else that would keep you busy and to perhaps get a head start on Junior Year, would be to go to summer school for a class you'd normally take in your junior year. You would meet some new kids and the activity would be something to add to your summer routine.

Since you are about 25 miles from New York City, you can also take some day trips to museums, see a play or concert and experience things of your interest. I hope that these suggestions are helpful and I wish you all the best with finding opportunities for this summer. There is still time.

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

NEW JERSEY SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM https://www.nj.gov/labor/lwdhome/press/2019/20190409_syepp.shtml
JERSEY CARES https://www.jerseycares.org/
JOBS FOR TEENS IN SCOTCH PLAINS https://www.hireteen.com/location/new-jersey/scotch-plains/
JERSEY FAMILY FUN VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES https://www.hireteen.com/location/new-jersey/scotch-plains/
LIST OF NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES https://nj.gov/state/volunteer-centers.shtml
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