Enrichment Opportunities

Check back often ~ this page is updated whenever the Counseling Center receives information about enrichment programs and activities that may be of interest to our students.

Competitions and Contests

Fireside Catholic Publishing Essay Contest ~ Fireside Catholic Publishing is asking high school seniors who put their faith into action each day to enter their 2017 essay contest. Students should write a 750-word essay on the topic "How is your religious education influencing your life? The five winning essay authors will each receive $1,000 cash awards. Essays and application forms must be postmarked no later than December 12, 2016. For information visit scholarshipinfo@firesidecatholic.com.

The Hamilton Award and the Hamilton Leaders Academy ~ Winners of the Hamilton Award are automatically enrolled in the Hamilton Leaders Academy, where they join a distinguished cohort of peers from across the U.S. The Hamilton Leaders Academy is a no student cost program that helps students get into college, transition to college, succeed while in college and transition to the post college world. Visit their website at www.hamiltonfriends.org/awards.php for more information.

Nancy Thorpe Poetry Contest ~ Hollins University is calling for entries from young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school for their 53rd annual poetry contest. The winning entrant will receive free tuition and housing at Hollinsummer creative writing program, a $200 cash prize and publication in Cargoes, Hollins' award-winning literary magazine. Entries must be submitted online at www.hollins.edu/poetry-contest by October 31.

Pirates Pitch ~ Seton Hall University, one of the nation's leading Catholic universities, is offering high school students the opportunity to share innovative business ideas and win prizes with their Pirates Pitch competition. To enter submit an original business idea, in 350 words or less, describing an innovative product or service you would like to create or have already created. The first place winner will receive $2,500 plus a $10,000 scholarship to Seton Hall. The second place winner will receive $1,000 plus a $6,000 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $4,000 scholarship. Enter at www.shu.edu/go/HSPitch by Tuesday, October 18 at midnight.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program ~ The Prudential Spirit of Community awards were created in 1995 to recognize students who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer services. They are awarded annually on the local, state and national level. Interested students should visit their website at http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit. Applications are due online by November 8, and should be submitted to Dr. Van der Waag as well.

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards ~ Established in 1923 by Scholastic Inc. founder Maurice R. Robinson, the Scholastic Awards have grown to become the nation's highest honor and largest source of scholarships for creative students. Submitted artwork and writing are recognized at the regional level and move on to the national competition, where nearly 2,600 works in 29 categories of art and writing receive National Medals and scholarship prizes. For information on how to enter visit artandwriting.org.

SunTrust Off to College Sweepstakes ~ Students are invited to enter each month, beginning September 12, for the chance to win a $500 scholarship. No minimum GPA or financial need is required. Two scholarship winners will be randomly chosen from all entries for each drawing period. The first drawing will be held October 28 and the final drawing is May 12. Visit suntrusteducation.com/scholarshipsweepstakes for details and to enter.

QuestBridge College Prep Program ~ This program provides more than 1,500 awards that give outstanding low-income high school juniors the knowledge they need to compete for admission to leading colleges. The program provides a variety of opportunities for highly qualified students such as full scholarships to summer programs at leading colleges and universities, college admission counseling, invitations to QuestBridge College Admissions Conferences, all expense paid visits to college campuses, college application advice via telementoring, and an opportunity to win a Quest for Excellence Award. High school juniors with a strong academic record and an annual family income of less than $60,000 are encouraged to apply. For more information visit http://www.questbridge.org.

Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge ~ The Verizon Foundation is holding their 5th annual Innovative Learning app challenge, open to middle and high school aged students across the country. Students, working in teams of 5-7 with an adult advisor, are challenged to identify a problem in their community, develop a solution using an app, and submit the concept. The winning competitors will receive $20,000 for their nonprofit group/club program, mobile tablets for every team member and in-person coding training from MIT experts. The submission deadline is November 18th. For information visit www.appchallenge.tsaweb.org.

Wendy's High School Heisman ~ Student-athletes in the Class of 2017 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who are role models and leaders are encouraged to apply to the Wendy's High School Heisman program. One male and one female student-athlete from each participating high school will be chosen to compete at the state, regional and national level. Prizes are awarded at each level and range from Wendy's gift cards, to patches and medals, to $10,000 scholarships for the national winners. Eligible student-athletes may apply at WintheWendysHeisman.com.

Conferences and Symposiums

Columbia University Science and Engineering Master Class ~ The Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Columbia University invites students interested in engineering and science to take part in this science and engineering master class on Saturday, September 17 at 10:00 a.m. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from former astronaut Michael Massimino, a Columbia alumnus and current professor in mechanical engineering. The event will be held in the theater at the Maret School in Washington, DC. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. For information visit their website at www.columbia.edu.

Future Achievers in Science & Technology (FAST) ~ Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California is hosting their 9th annual FAST program from September 29 to October 1 and November 10-12. This program offers high school seniors from populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including women, minorities, first generation to college, and students from rural or disadvantaged backgrounds, an opportunity to experience Harvey Mudd College. To learn more about this free program, visit www.hmc.edu/fast.

Perry Outreach Program ~ This is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for women in grades 10 and up who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Several events are scheduled in our area including September 10 at the University of Delaware, October 8 at Johns Hopkins University and October 15 at Virginia Commonwealth University. For information or to apply visit www.perryinitiative.org.

Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC) ~ Current 10th and 11th grade students may apply for this week-long residential conference, sponsored by George Mason University. Two sessions, July 9-14 and July 16-21, will be offered. Students will be placed in real-world experiences with media professionals at the National Press Club, the Newseum, and the U.S. Capitol. Past speakers include Hoda Kotb of the Today Show, Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet the Press, Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Carol Guzy and Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic. For information visit www.wjmc.gmu.edu.

Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE) ~ Current 10th and 11th grade students may apply for this week-long residential conference, sponsored by George Mason University, which will be held on their campus from June 25-30. Students will participate in lively panel discussions and exclusive site visits to the National Geographic Society and the National Zoo. Past speakers have included the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy, EPA administrators, and the director of the U.S. Geological Survey. For information visit www.wyse.gmu.edu.


National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) ~ Visit NASA's website at www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents to learn more about job and internship opportunities at NASA.

Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) ~ Rising 10th-12th graders 16 years of age or older with an interest in science and engineering are encouraged to apply to the Office of Naval Research's SEAP program. Student apprentices participate in an 8-week long summer research project in laboratories across the country, including Virginia and Washington, D.C. In addition to the valuable work experience, participants also receive a $3,300 stipend. For information call 202-649-3833 or e-mail seap@asee.org. To apply visit http://seap.asee.org/apply.

Smithsonian Institute ~ The Smithsonian's Office of Fellowships & Internships offers students the opportunity to advance their education and career through the myriad internship opportunities offered at the world's preeminent museum system. For information visit www.smithsonianofi.com.

Smithsonian Latino Center's Youth Ambassadors Program ~ Graduating seniors with a commitment to the arts, sciences or humanities as they pertain to Latino communities are encouraged to apply for this week-long, all expenses paid training and leadership seminar and a 4-week internship with a $2,000 stipend. Participants will be able to explore various career paths, embrace their cultural heritage and gain practical and leadership skills and educational growth. The seminar takes place in Washington, DC with internships available in 17 cities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For information visit latino.si.edu/education/yap.

Washington National Opera's Young Associates Program ~ WNO Young Associates get an up close and personal look at how a world class opera company creates a professional production. The program is open to high school students who are interested in performing, designing sets, costumes, or lighting, or working behind the scenes through public relations, marketing, etc. The 2016-17 program focuses on rehearsal observations of The Daughter of the Regiment; applicants must agree to attend all invents, which take place on weekends and one evening. The application deadline is October 5. For information visit kennedy-center.org/wnoyoungassociates, telephone 202-416-8846 or email akday@kennedy-center.org

Leadership Training

ASCEND ~ The Upsilon Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is launching ASCEND, a youth enrichment program designed to motivate, engage and assist high school students in reaching their maximum potential. The program will focus on achievement, self-awareness, communication, engagement, networking, and developmental skills during mandatory monthly sessions, held one Saturday each month, from 9 a.m. to noon, from February through June. There is a $25 fee. For information e-mail Education_enrichment@akaupsilontauomega.org.

Youth Leadership Bowie ~ This unique program consists of one Saturday retreat and seven monthly day-long activities. It is designed to expose young people to the myriad of potential career opportunities available to them. Leadership opportunities, both experiential and observational, will be of paramount importance. Problem solving skills will be developed and refined as participants plan and produce a program that addresses a community need. Applicants must be rising sophomores or juniors and they must live in Bowie. For more information or an application e-mail david@bowiechamber.org or shein@cityofbowie.org.

University of Notre Dame Leadership Seminars ~ a 10-day all expenses paid program for advanced students who wish to hone their critical thinking and expressive skills in the company of dynamic peers. For rising high school seniors only. For information visit precollege.nd.edu.

University of Pittsburgh's The Bridge: College Prep and Leadership Academy ~ The Bridge helps rising high school juniors and seniors prepare for their future. Participants will spend a week on campus working with Pitt's Student Affairs staff and current student leaders, learning how to be a better leader, exploring the ins and outs of the college application process, and preparing for the SAT and ACT. To register visit www.thebridge.pitt.edu.

Pre-College Programs

Abbey Road Programs ~ Abbey Road offers students summer cultural immersion programs in Spain, France and Italy as well as academic tours of Europe that highlight the history of western civilization and the foundations of modern civilization. For information visit www.goabbeyroad.com or phone 888-462-2239.

American Collegiate Adventures ~ ACA offers a variety of programs, ranging from one to six weeks in length, both in the United States and abroad. Pre-college programs in the United States are hosted at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and George Washington University in the District of Columbia. The study abroad programs will travel to England, Spain, France and Italy. ACA also offers a College Advantage program designed to improve SAT and ACT test scores while giving students personalized college advising sessions. This program is offered at four different locations: Pac-12 @ Los Angeles, Big 10 @ Chicago, Ivy League @ New York and Ivy League @ Boston. For information visit www.acasummer.com.

American University's School of Communication Summer 2017 ~ This program offers students an opportunity to explore the field of communications, including scriptwriting, filmmaking. photography, broadcasting, journalism and creative writing. Sessions can be either two or four weeks and students may live on campus or commute. For information visit audiscover.org.

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) ~ This U.S. Department of State program offers merit-based scholarships for a year-long study abroad program in Germany. The program was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy. Students live with host families, attend local high schools, and participate in community life in Germany. The application deadline depends on the applicant's state of residence. For information visit www.usagermanyscholarship.org.

Experiment in International Living ~ provides high school students with summer abroad programs designed to increase their cultural skills, language skills and awareness of critical global issues. Programs are available in Europe, the Americas, Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. For information visit experiment.org.

High School Diplomats Program ~ This cultural enrichment experience brings together sophomore and junior high school students from Japan and the United States to learn about each other's country, culture and life. Approximately 40 students will be chosen to spend 10 days at Princeton University, where they will do a variety of academic and social activities as they live, learn and socialize together. Students who participate may apply for a full scholarship to travel to Japan for 21 days in the summer. For information visit www.highschooldiplomats.com.

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Program (YES) ~ This U.S. Department of State program offers merit-based scholarships for year-long study abroad programs for high school and gap-year students. Countries may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Phillippines, Senegal, Thailand, and Turkey. The program is designed to increase understanding between people in the United States and people in countries with significant Muslim populations. Students live with host families, attend local high schools, do community service, and complete a capstone project. Visit www.yes-abroad.org for more information.

Metro Warriors STEM Open House ~ Plan to attend Metro Warriors Open House on August 14 to learn about their year-round program, which offers science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning through project-based programs designed with mentoring, competition and coaching components. Their mission is to expose underrepresented youth, ages 6-17, to STEM through summer, after school and weekend activities including robotics, radio controlled vehicle competitions, Lego league competitions, math tutoring, etc. They are based at National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Maryland. For information visit their website at www.mwso.org or e-mail rmccainbrenda@gmail.com.

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) ~ This U.S. Department of State program offers merit-based scholarships for high school or gap-year students to study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian or Turkish. The NSLI-Y program immerses participants in the cultural life of the host country and provides formal and informal language practice. Visit www.nsliforyouth.org for more information.

Oxbridge Academic Programs ~ Oxbridge offers a variety of summer study abroad programs for students in grades 8-12, including Oxford, Cambridge and St. Andrews in England, Barcelona and Salamanca in Spain, Paris and Montpellier in France, and New York City, UCLA and Harvard here in the United States. For information visit www.oxbridgeprograms.com.

Washington University in St. Louis Summer Experiences ~ Washington University in St. Louis offers a variety of summer experiences for middle and high school students. For information visit their website at summerexperiences.wustl.edu.

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Bishop McNamara High School
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Phone: 301.735.8401
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