Summer of 2016: The Summer of Opportunity


Hannah Newman and Sophia Ghadoushi

Staff Writers

With summer approaching, Milken students often find themselves scrambling to find something to do to fill the seemingly countless hours that will be missed come next school year. The Roar is here to inform you of some fun options if you still have a clean slate for your summer plans. Our list includes local, national, and international opportunities, that provide meaningful and fun experiences for high school students. Some may nonchalantly say, “It’s only February,” but most programs require early sign ups in order to assure a spot or save on early bird specials.

For Milken students who want to travel the world while engaging in community service, going on a trip with Rustic Pathways is the way to go. Rustic Pathways is an organization that takes teens on national and international trips, offering over 100 programs in 19 countries. Each program differs in amount of community service, housing situation, age of participants, price, and length. Participants in Rustic Pathways programs have the opportunity to meet students and staff members from around the world, and learn the culture and traditions of the country they are visiting. Whether you’re looking to spend a week in Costa Rica ora month in Thailand, Rustic Pathways definitely offers a program that will match your criteria. Rustic Pathways programs fill up pretty quickly, so make sure you sign up soon to secure a spot on your preferred program! To learn more, visit:


Photo courtesy of Hannah Newman
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Photo courtesy of Hannah Newman


Do you want to be a camp counselor and earn community service hours at the same time? If so, Freedom School would be a great option for you to check out. Freedom School is a program funded by the Children’s Defense Fund that works to improve literacy for kids coming from low-income families in the Los Angeles area. Although Freedom School has a primary focus on improving literacy, the program also provides these children with a summer camp experience, which they may have not been able to afford, given their current financial situations. As a high school student, you would be a Junior Service Leader Intern, which entails being assigned to a classroom and helping the Service Leader Intern — usually a college student — with the kids in that class. Throughout the day, you will read books, teach small history lessons, play sports, do arts and crafts, make friendship bracelets, and sing songs with the children at Freedom School. Freedom School has programs at multiple local sites, including Milken, The Wise School, and American Jewish University. This program works to motivate children to read, generate positive attitudes toward learning, and connect the needs of families to their community’s resources. The kids at Freedom School range from ages 7 to 12, and you will have many opportunities to create relationships with those children. If you are interested in this program, there is an informational meeting on March 2nd. To learn more, visit: or contact Rebecca Grossberg at [email protected]

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If Milken students are staying local this summer, Camp Wise is a great option to make some extra money while spending time with kids. Just minutes away from the Milken Campus, students have the opportunity to become counselors in training or co-counselors for the camp (depending on their age and grade level). Co-counselors entering junior and senior year are assigned groups anywhere from the grades K – 6. As a co-counselor, students get to help facilitate over one hundred activities and field trips, which serve as great leadership experiences. As a counselor in training, tenth graders enter a four week program that strengthens leadership skills and teaches valuable teamwork skills. CIT’s do not get paid, but they receive 150 hours of community service. The application deadline for Camp Wise is March 1, 2016.  To learn more, visit:

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Travel for Teens, an international experience, includes endless opportunities to explore the world with teens from around the country. The goal is to evolve teens from tourists into travelers. Travel for Teens includes many different types of programs based on service, language, activity, photography, and culture. Travel for Teens’ main priority for all their participants is to balance education, fun, and safety. Students have flexibility in their schedules, while still being in a safe environment. The program leaves students with growth, trust, and amazing experiences. A few of the many once in a lifetime trips include: Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris, Australia, New Zealand, and Barcelona. To learn more, visit:

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If students are looking to have an educational college experience over the summer, Summer Discovery provides programs at some of the best colleges in the world for high school students. Summer Discovery provides pre-college enrichment programs in areas that range from business to marine biology. The program offers over 300 courses across 13 campuses, some even outside of the United States. When on one of their trips, Summer Discovery also offers SAT prep and college counseling sessions. The goal of this program is to immerse high school students in a college environment and educate them about the college experience, while providing them with opportunities to take classes in their areas of interest. To learn more, visit:

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