Make Summers Count! Volunteering in SW Florida

Video Games are fun, but do not build a college resume!

Video Games are fun, but do not build a college resume!

Summer is right around the corner, and a a lot of students and parents are wondering what to do to make it count! While sleeping in and playing video games sounds like an ideal summer vacation (I have even heard parents say "They've worked hard during the school year, they should relax!"), there are other ways to build up your college resume to gain admissions and scholarships!

Summer is an excellent opportunity for students to use their time wisely to become a “T” student (see what a "T" student is here), whether that is volunteering, utilizing summer university program, or taking online courses. Often times, I find parents don't know where to start with the process so I have searched for some opportunities I know of throughout the state of Florida and in our own backyard of SW Florida. This by no means is an exhaustive list, but will definitely get parents thinking about areas a student can utilize during the summer. There are many more out there, and I highly suggest you do some Google searches to find them! Sometimes all it takes is a good search and a few phone calls to find an amazing experience. I am continually impressed with what our students find in the local community, and I strongly encourage these opportunities for personal and academic growth.

You do not have to pay high prices for these summer programs- as stated in the previous article, volunteering locally and taking free online courses definitely helps boost their admission and scholarship potential. Many universities within Florida and out-of-state offer great on-campus opportunities for students as well with unique major and career specific programs.

Online Programs (called Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs)

MOOCs allows students to take courses from all over the world. Most are free, but some are for a small fee. They range from coursework from experts from universities like MIT, Berkeley, and Harvard from a range of topics like coding, medical neuroscience, business, and psychology.


Carnegie Mellon








Open Yale Courses

Volunteer Opportunities

Lee Health (Links to an external site.)

Lee County Parks & Recreation

United Way of Lee County-

Naples Volunteering (Zoo, Botanical Gardens, etc).

Lee County Visitor Board- Tourism Ambassador

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conversation Commission

Shy Wolf Sanctuary-

If your organization would like to be on this list, please email me! I would love to compile a first list of volunteer/ internship opportunities!

Florida Universities and Programs

Florida provides a wealth of opportunities for our high school students, whether it be at Disney World, Sea World, or one of our great universities!

Disney Educational Programs (physics, technology, photo storytelling, personal branding, and more).

Eckerd College (Marine science, leadership, sustainability, writers workshop)

Embry-Riddle (aviation, mechanical engineering, NASA)

Florida Atlantic University (architecture)

Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University- CEO Academy

Florida Institute of Technology (flight, engineering, advanced aviation, marine science & engineering, Girls in STEM)

Florida State University (FSU College of Medicine- closed for this summer)

NASA Internships (closed for this summer)

Ringling Art & Design (animation, sculpting, cartoons, graphic novels, etc)

University of Central Florida (programming, biology, engineering)

University of Miami- Summer Scholars Program- multiple tracks

University of South Florida (STEM, writers workshop, biomedical engineering, advertising)

Stetson University (variety of classes, designed for gifted students of all ages)

University of Florida (multiple programs)

Out-of-State Universities (there are so many! More than I can put on here- often these are a bit pricey, but give you some great time on unique campuses through the US and world!)

Actuarial Science Camp-

Cornell University Summer College (veterinary science, Shakespeare, art, biological research)

Duke Summer Academy: Global Leader, Global Entrepreneur, Global Incubator, Global Giver, Global Researcher

Stanford Summer Session (artificial intelligence, humanities, sports business, and more)

Stevens Pre-College Program (cybersecurity, Engineering, Pre-med, game design, entrepreneurship, STEM Law & Policy, and more)

University of North Georgia- National Cyber Warrior Academy (computer science & Operating in cyberspace- scholarships available!)