It happens every summer. Teenagers from all over the world who are interested in studying medicine flock to prestigious medical camps hosted by universities like Penn and Georgetown, only to find themselves listening to lectures and observing procedures and surgeries that are interesting, of course, but don’t exactly facilitate active involvement. So, while these camps are very informative and exciting in some ways, they are a disappointment in others.
Dive into a Public Health Project
We’re not recommending that hospitals begin allowing high school students to hold the scalpel. For teens who are interested in pursuing a medical career, however, finding a summer program that fits both their interests and allows for active participation is very difficult.
One solution to teens and families who find themselves looking for a summer option that is more hands-on, but still related to the medical field, is to find a program that focuses on public health outreach.
These programs are usually concentrated on a specific goal for a community in need, and involve projects that teenagers can clearly contribute to. Students may be volunteering at an understaffed rural clinic, working on public education initiatives, or participating in building activities that will benefit the health of a community. And, although these programs don’t feature state-of-the-art operating rooms or award-winning surgeons, they do offer the opportunity to make a real contribution to those in need.
Global Leadership Adventures offers public-health themed programs in Ghana, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, where students complete projects like building clean-burning stoves, helping to promote healthy eating habits, teaching communities composting techniques, and working in rural community clinics. These summer opportunities are a perfect fit for teens that are interested in the medical field but want to make a broader impact and travel to experience a completely different culture. To learn more about these programs, click here.
Crowdfunding, or raising money for a project or cause online, has become an incredibly popular strategy for fundraising.
Once in awhile, you write something for school, a personal blog, or just for yourself that you’re actually proud of.
I’m not talking about the last-minute synopsis of The Great Gatsby that you churned out at 4 AM once you’d finally finished the book- I mean a piece of writing that means something to you on a personal level. These pieces, whether they feature an interest, experience, or opinion, shouldn’t be kept in a journal under your mattress or a Tumblr blog with only a handful of followers. These are the stories that people want to read- and local newspapers know this better than anyone.
Most local papers, and even many larger ones, have columns and sections of the newspaper that feature the work of teenage contributors. The editors of these sections are actively seeking teenage voices- and they are grateful for submissions! These pieces give voice to a generation that is typically absent from news publications, and they are growing in popularity. Worldwide news outlets like the Huffington Post, US News, and CNNall have teen-curated branches.
So, the next time that you’re proud of something you’ve written, get it out there. Send a polite email with your submission and ask to work with an editor to get it ready for publishing. Editors information is nearly always available on the news outlet’s website. Not only will it feel great to get your work out there, but having your work published is an amazing addition to a resume or college application!
Check out a piece written by 18-year-old GLA Alum Mariange Hope Wurbain, who did exactly that. She reflected on her time spent in Ghana on the GLA Children of Africa Program, and made a connection with a local editor to have her work published! Her work was featured in the Cape Cod Times “Being There” column. Way to go, Mariange!
Technology is changing our world- and not just the way we spend our free time. Educational institutions are adapting quickly to keep up with technological advances. Some high schoolers take “twizzes” (quizzes on Twitter), complete online discussion boards, and read from iPads instead of textbooks. And now, the college application process is evolving as well!
Just five years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find an application that called for anything other than the standard essay question or personal statement. Now, however, potential applicants are asked to create slideshows, blogs, and videos in order to showcase their talents to admissions committees. James Werner, the Vice President of Higher Education at DecisionDesk.com, finds this a welcome trend. “We live in a technology-driven, interactive world,” says Werner. “If students want to demonstrate their value and if universities want to admit better “fits,” they are both well served by using this readily available technology.”
Take, for example, the project that Caroline Campell (a GLA Ghana alum) was asked to complete for a prestigious scholarship at Tulane University. The assignment was to highlight an issue “of huge personal importance” with a multimedia presentation. Fortunately, Caroline was able to reflect on her life-changing experiences in Ghana, and she created an incredible video highlighting the time she spent at Father’s House. Her video fused creative writing, powerful imagery, and reflection on an issue that she has held close to her heart since her experience in Ghana – – and the scholarship committee loved it.
See Caroline’s inspirational video here.