Summer Opportunities:

Check back as we'll continually expand these listings.  While not comprehensive, these lists offer students and parents ideas of summer learning and explorations opportunities available.


Free Search Sites:

  • CollegeXpress - more summer experiences, from academic to leisure activities.  
  • Summer Program Finder - search by topic, geography, duration, grade, and cost.
  • TeenLife - search by day or residential camps, pre-college, community service, location, and duration.


Summer Enrichment Programs:

ASA Summerfuel - Pre-college and leadership programs at 6 different college campuses, plus opportunities for summer abroad programs.

Summer Discovery - Enrichment programs at 8 campuses, each with a different academic and experiential feature such as marine biology and surfing at UCSB, law and government programs at Georgetown, Washington DC, and more.  Study abroad also offered.

Cosmos - 4-week residential summer school programs for math and science through the University of California.  These programs are looked upon favorably on UC undergraduate applications.

Questbridge - a 5-week program for students entering junior and senior years.  This is a mentorship and leadership-training program for exceptionally bright, low income students with interests in higher education, leadership, and professional careers.

California State Summer School for the Arts - for California residents enrolled in grades eight through twelve may apply for 4-week classes in film, creative writing, visual arts, music, dance, animation, and theatre.  Held at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in southern California. 

Santa Clara University Young Scholars Program - a 5-week program for high school students.  Check other colleges and universities for these types of summer "pre-college" programs for high school students.

Santa Clara University's Summer Engineering Seminar (SES) - one week programs for high school students interested in science, math, and engineering.  Apply early as these fill quickly.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - EPIC Program: Engineering Possibilities in College - one week summer day camp for high school students.  Students must find their own housing, but a message board for housing is available.  Also, parents or guardians are welcome to volunteer, but must pass a background check.  Register early as this fills quickly. 

Pre-Collegiate Program at UC Berkeley - Join approximately 250 other high school students on Berkeley's campus for either 6 or 8 week programs.  Enjoy courses, activities, and workshops, and earn college credits.

UCLA Arts Camp - UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television holds 1, 2, and 3 week workshops: Acting for Movies and TV, Digital Film-making, Advanced Play-writing, Animation, or Musical Theater.

Academy of Art Pre-College Summer Program - Six week intensive scholarship art program.

Summer Youth Academic Programs at Stanford University - An amazing aray of offerings: music, engineering, bio-medical, health careers, jazz, math, great books, programming, leadership, performing arts, journalism, law & justice, government, computers, gaming, digital media, and environmental policies.


Volunteer Opportunities:  (some are year-round)

Second Harvest Food Bank - Volunteer at one of the largest food banks in the nation that connects people to nutritious food.

Catholic Charities - Volunteer at an organization that offers a broad range of services to those in need including job training, older adult services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, housing assistance, assistance with food and clothing, and more.

Sacred Heart Community Center - Volunteer at a community organization committed to ensuring that every child and adult are free from poverty.

Angels on Stage - Volunteer to be a "Buddy Coach" where students ages 10+ are matched up to assist, role model, and provide friendship and support to a disabled student as they participate in a stage play.  Training and guidance provided.  Seasons typically run October through February or April.  Applications start in September. 

California Volunteers - the state office that manages programs aimed at increasing the number of Californians engaged in service and volunteering. 

Volunteer San Jose - with job descriptions

Los Gatos Volunteers - Positions for adults and students (12 to 17 years old) who can commit for a minimum of 3 months or for a specific special event or project duration.

Youth Science Institute - volunteer and employment opportunities

Walden West Science Camp - Summer camp counselor volunteers and other volunteer opportunities.

Amigos Program - a youth-led organization in which creativity, initiative, and multicultural understanding are highly valued

The Tech Museum - volunteer opportunities for students with interests and backgrounds in science and technology.

Children's Discovery Museum - volunteers must be 16 or an entering sophomore and able to commit to 50 hours per calendar year.