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I know what we’re going to do this summer

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This past summer I have had one of the best summers of my life (to put it lightly). My summer consisted of leadership activities, amusement parks, college visits, and new friends! So, if you want to have a great summer keep reading to find out how.

  • JOIN FBLA (for nationals)

This first suggestion is to join FBLA. If you didn’t already know, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is a club that focuses on business related topics for various members to compete in. These events range from tests, presentations, and even speeches. Although this may sound boring, if you do well enough you could qualify for State competition then to Nationals. State is always held in Topeka, KS and GBHS FBLA has always sent members to compete, but it isn’t just about competing. We also go to the mall in Topeka and we go out to eat. Overall it’s a fun experience but Nationals is one level above that. Last year I got to attend Nationals with six other students from GBHS and it was a blast. Not only did each one of us get to travel to Anaheim, California to compete in our events. While there we got to go to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Huntington Beach, and California Adventure. Even though qualifying for nationals is a little hard, the trip is worth it.

  • QuestBridge (Juniors + Seniors only)

I found ot about QuestBridge during the beginning of my junior year when then senior, Emma Cape, informed me about the various opportunities QuestBridge had offered her. Their junior program, QuestBridge National College Prep Scholars, helps high school juniors prepare them for college by offering various college summer program and financial assistance for laptops, college visits, and essay review help. This junior program also invites all college prep scholars to attend a QuestBridge National College Admissions Conference held in various locations. When I was invited, I was also offered a travel grant to pay for my transportation, so my mom and I packed our bags and traveled (by train) to Pomona College in Pomona, California to attend the conference. I learned how to be a competitive applicant while applying to top colleges in the fall. They also told us about their senior program, The National College Match, which offers full-ride scholarships to partner colleges all around the nation.

  • Wheatland Electric (Juniors only)

If you’re looking for some leadership experience to gain during your summer, you should consider applying for the Wheatland Electric Youth Tour Program. In this program, if you win it, you have the option of either choosing to attend the Youth Tour in Washington D.C. or the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Both of these youth tour programs offer week-long, all-expense paid trips. Along with a great week of summer fun, you also get to learn new things about cooperatives and the importance of them in the U.S.A. If not being qualified for this program concerns you because you don’t have Wheatland service, don’t worry! Other companies such as Midwest Energy and Nex Tech, offer programs similar to this.

  • Girls/boys state ( Juniors only)

Consider spending the week at Girls/Boys states this summer. At both of these programs, girls and boys go to either the University of Kansas for Girls State or Kansas State University for Boys state. These leadership programs are sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary/American Legion respectively. During this week-long program, juniors learn about how the government system works. During Girls or Boys state, students have the opportunity to run for government officials including governor, lieutenant governor, and Secretary of State. During these programs, students also have the opportunity to be selected for Girls/Boys nation. This program allows two representatives from every state to travel to Washington D.C to experience first hand how the federal government works. Aside from learning more about your state and federal government, this program is also a great way to meet new friends from all over the state! For any questions about Girls/Boys state, talk to Mrs. Davis in the Guidance Counselor office.  

  • Apply for summer programs

Not many students know about the wonderful opportunities that colleges offer during the summer, but if you look close enough, they are there. These summer programs range from one week to eight weeks in length and can be a great way to get a head start for college. There is more than likely a program that is oriented with your interests. For example, if you are interested in majoring in science or engineering then consider applying for the Research Science Institute (RSI) hosted at MIT. Students get to work in science and technology research while they meet students from around the country. This program is just one of many out there and although they are pricey, a lot of them try to reward financial aid if the price impedes a student from attending.

  • Get a job

Although this may not seem as fun as the other options, getting a job could be a great way to spend your summer. Not only will you have some money to spend during the year, but you will also be able to gain leadership experience from your summer job. A lot of students don’t realize that some colleges aren’t just interested in hearing about the many clubs a student participates in, they want to hear about what takes up your time. What do you do in your free time and why do you do it? Although not as obvious, summer jobs can be a great way to gain experience for future jobs and they can help you become a better leader for the future. So, if you’re not doing anything productive this summer, consider applying to job. It’s not going to be easy most of the time but it will help you in the long run.

All of these options are a great way to spend your summer, but these aren’t the only thing you can do. Yeah, you could spend your summer here in Great Bend and still have fun with all of your friends, but wouldn’t you rather spend your time traveling? Meeting new people and making new friends? We’re young and have the freedom to travel, so why not take this chance to explore? 

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I know what we’re going to do this summer