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Students of Different Ages Share Their Summer Experiences
Did you ever think of the adventures that the summer holds for you? Or did you ever face the summer thinking of the boring time ahead? These students were polled by Education Update and had varied, exciting experiences.
Perhaps they will inspire you or your parents for plans next summer.

Lydia Winkler, 17,
Summit HS, New Jersey

What are you doing this summer?
I played six tennis tournaments in Europe, Spain, Holland, and Germany. I also went to a college tennis exposure camp at Lehigh University.

How did you decide on this activity/job?
I knew that I wanted to play tennis and going to Europe sounded amazing. Going into my senior year, college is very important. Lehigh seemed like a great opportunity because I want to play college tennis.

What are you learning from your experiences?
I learned about different cultures and customs throughout the world. For example, in Holland the winner of the tennis match is expected to buy the opponent a drink and talk to them for at least a half hour. That would never happen in the United States. I also became very knowledgeable about college tennis and what it takes physically and mentally to compete on the college level.

Would you recommend it to other students? How would they go about arranging it for next summer?
I would definitely recommend the program to other students. I think going away from home for the summer is a great thing. Seeing the world is such a great opportunity and everyone should take advantage of it.

What college are you planning to attend? Any future major or career plans yet?
As of now I plan on applying early decision to Kenyon College in Ohio. #

Justine Rivera, 19,
Hunter College, New York

What are you doing this summer?
This summer so far, I have been working a part-time job at Education Update, and occasionally hanging out with friends. I am currently looking forward to a trip I am taking to Honduras with the Hunter College chapter of the Global Medical Brigades. We will be going for one week and we will be setting up a health clinic for those who are not able to afford health care.

How did you decide on this activity/job?
I always wanted to travel. I decided on this particular trip because at the time I was looking for something to volunteer in. At the same time I wanted to do something that was truly worth my time. I wanted to learn and experience new things while volunteering. So in a sense, with my time and effort, I am buying experience and knowledge. I would not say that I'm entirely "volunteering."

What are you learning from your experiences?
Well, I learned a whole list of things from Education Update. I think that while being here I have matured and learned so much from the staff. I got so many tips on how to manage in college and how to manage even in regular every-day life situations. When it comes to the trip, I haven't gone yet, but I'm hoping to learn a lot (including some Spanish!).

Would you recommend it to other students? How would they go about arranging it for next summer?
I would recommend both the part-time job and taking a trip to a foreign country. If you're interested in getting a part-time job, and are a High School student, there is a summer job program that you can apply to, to earn some cash and some work experience for the summer. I hear you should apply early if you want to get the good jobs.

If you want to check out the Global Medical Brigades you can go to MedicalBrigades.com. There you can find out, more about what we do, as well as how to start your own chapter (in case the college you're in does not have one). Also you can find out how to join the one that may currently be in the college you’re attending or will attend.

Where would you like to attend college? If you're in college, what is your major? What graduate school are you in? Job?
I am currently Pre-Med, although I have not chosen a major yet. I am still exploring different courses. So far I enjoyed the English courses I took, as well as Cultural Anthropology. #

Zachary Kukoff,
Grade 7, New Jersey

This year, I partook in what I will most likely remember as one of the best experiences of my life. I attended the Center for Talented Youth, or CTY, a summer camp run by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. CTY is an advanced academic camp in which each camper/student takes a class that is the equivalent of a one-year high school course (or a six month college course). The class lasts for three weeks, covers a subject of the student’s choosing, and is interspersed with social breaks and opportunities to make new friends and form lasting relationships.

I started going to CTY the summer before I entered middle school, which is the earliest time one is eligible for the sleep away option. Unlike other sleep away camps, however, CTY is not an open program. In order to attend, you must do well on your state’s standardized tests. CTY then may or may not invite you to take a qualifying test (the test—as well as the scores required, varies by age). For the first age group (entering sixth and seventh graders) the qualifying test is called the PLUS test. For the older age group in CTY (entering eighth through twelfth), the SAT is required.

There are a number of course options, as one can see on the CTY website (cty.jhu.edu). CTY offers courses in Humanities, Science, and Math, and has a wide variety of options within those categories. Classes ranging from Biology to Computer Programming to Ethics are offered at college campuses throughout the US as well as abroad. I attended the Johns Hopkins University site where students from the same class were divided into halls. Each hall had a counselor whose job it was to supervise the students and provide extracurricular activities. Students were paired up as roommates, and roommate assignments were based on age, subject, and score. Roommate requests were not accepted.

The average weekday at CTY went something like this:
6:30-7:00 Wake up; 7:40-8:40 Breakfast; 9:00-12:30 Class; 12:30-1:30 Lunch; 1:40-3:00 Class; 3:30-5:30 Activities; 6:00-6:40 Dinner; 7:00-9:00 Study Hall; 9:00-10:00 Social Hour; 10:00-10:30 Call Time; 10:30 Lights Out Friday nights we always had a party instead of study hall, and on the weekends, we went into town instead of class.

CTY is a very tight-knit community, and I still keep in touch with the majority of the friends I made there. In addition to texting and instant messaging, Johns Hopkins own communication-based website and online discussion group to help students keep in touch and make new like-minded friends. In the older division of CTY, a score of at least 650 on the Math section of the SAT earns students an invitation to an elite CTY website, and there are even more offerings for scores over 700.

I have had a tremendous learning and social experience each of the three summers I have attended CTY and I would highly encourage others to try it as well.#



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