Special Opportunities

Free or Very Affordable

Special opportunities come and go throughout the year.  We are defining "special" as free or very affordable.  These opportunities will first appear in the Career Center Newsletter and will remain on this page until they expire.

Remember: This information is provided for your convenience and perusal. Postings do not indicate endorsement or sponsorship by W.T. Woodson, FCPS, nor any administrator or employee of either W.T. Woodson or FCPS.  Parents need to check and be satisfied with any program chosen for their children.  This web page contains links to one or more web pages that are outside the FCPS network.  Neither W.T. Woodson High School nor FCPS controls the content or relevancy of these pages.


The new College Board Opportunity Scholarship provides students the chance to earn money for college for each action they take in the college planning process. Starting this December, students in the class of 2020 can earn funding for college by completing key steps along the path to college. Drawings determine who receives awards.  The information page has a video to help explain the program.


15 – 19 July, 9 am – 5 pm, George Mason University.  George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution offers this week-long summer day program introducing rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students to a variety of aspects of conflict resolution.  Participants will be actively engaged in simulation labs, field trips, and workshops led by experts in the field.  There is a $400 fee for this program.  Need-based scholarships are available.  For more information and to apply, visit https://scar.gmu.edu/impact/programs-and-projects/conflict-resolution-youth-summit.


24 June – 27 July – Edu-Futura, a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower low-income Latino and other immigrant youth through education, leadership development, and family engagement, is sponsoring a FREE summer program for students in grades 9-12.  The program includes 12 workshops including College 101 that features several college representatives and a day trip to a college.  The program meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and some Saturdays at three locations:  1) Washington-Lee High School, 1301 N. Stafford St., Arlington; 2) Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax; 3) Justice High School, 3301 Peace Valley Lane, Falls Church.  The program also meets Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Saturdays at Lee High School, 6540 Franconia Rd., Springfield.  The application deadline is Sunday, 23 June (or until the program is full.)  To register, visit https://tinyurl.come/LeaderSummer19.  Ed-Futuro also sponsors a speech competition and 500 scholarship prizes.


Fairfax County Fire and Rescue offers members of the explorer program the opportunity to serve their community, build leadership skills, and gain exposure to the fire and rescue service.  Post 1949 meets three times a week to conduct training in various aspects of the fire service.  After a short training session, explorers are permitted to accompany fire and rescue personnel to emergency incidents.  Visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire-ems/explorer-training


July - August (Dates vary by program), Fairfax, VA – Fairfax Public Access offers one-week teen radio camps and two-week television camps for teens at a low cost.  At the radio camp, students will learn to use the WRLD radio student equipment and learn procedures on how to conduct a radio show at the station.  Students will work to create a 1-hour radio show with segments on news, traffic, and student selected themes.  The TV camps consist of either a television studio production camp or a field production documentary-style camp.  Students will learn about the equipment and crew positions to create a successful TV project with the goal of creating a 30-minute program.  The radio camp is $350, and the TV camps are $500.  A 10% early registration discount will be applied to enrollments completed by 31 March, and a 5% early registration discount will be applied to enrollments received by 31 May.  For more information including specific camp dates, visit https://www.fcac.org/summer-camp-registration-forms.


Explorer Post 1949 provides young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20 the opportunity to learn about a career in fire and rescue.  Participants also serve their community and build leadership skills.  The post meets three times each month to conduct training events on various aspects of the fire service.  Students are welcome to join at any time.  Visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire-ems/explorer-training to research the opportunity and learn how to join.


Thinking of visiting campuses far from home?  The Center for Student Opportunity provides a list of programs that often provide transportation to qualified students for special college visit programs.  Visit: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/293966/68d3cb4f04/1384000618/ fd68e62f52/ to see the complete list.


Saturday, 21 September - Monday, 23 September – Rising high school Seniors can spend a weekend hosted by a current GW student in a residence hall and experience first-hand what it is like to live and learn in Washington DC.  Participants will have the chance to build relationships with current students, staff, and faculty through conversations around social justice, equity, and inclusion.  Applicants must provide the following: a completed application (available 1 July) at https://undergraduate.admissions.gwu.edu/yourgw; and a high school transcript (an unofficial copy is acceptable).  Completed applications are due 16 August.


29-30 September, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA - The Grinnell Diversity Travel Opportunity offers the chance for students to apply for a FREE trip to campus.  Selected students travel to Grinnell College to participate in a fall Discover Grinnell Program.  Applicants must be high school Seniors, be students of color (African American, Latinx, Asian, Native American) OR the first in their family to attend college, be interested in liberal arts education (arts and humanities, mathematics and sciences, and social sciences), submit the Grinnell Diversity Travel Opportunity application, submit unofficial (or official) high school transcript showing final grades through the end of junior year, and submit unofficial (or official) SAT or ACT scores.  For more information and to apply, visit https://admission.grinnell.edu/portal/gdtop.  All application materials are due 4 September.


15-17 September or 27-29 October – The Hamilton College Diversity Overnight Program is an opportunity for diverse high school Seniors to visit campus and experience life on College Hill.  This visit program is offered to introduce Hamilton’s campus, students, faculty, classes, and residence halls to prospective students who represent many dimensions of diversity.  While all are welcome to apply, the applications of students from ethnically diverse backgrounds, first-generation college students, and those from families with limited financial resources will be prioritized.  If accepted, all transportation, lodging, and meal costs for the program are covered by Hamilton College.  For more details and to apply, please visit hamilton.edu/diversityovernight.  The application will be available on 1 July, and applications for both dates will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served, rolling basis.  Hamilton College encourages submission by 2 August.  Preference will be given to students who have not already visited. 


18-21 July, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA – Approximately 150 Hispanic students from across the Commonwealth will learn to overcome both real and perceived barriers to college access during this four-day, three-night program.  During this FREE program, students will participate in a STEM day, attend college and career workshops, network with Hispanic professionals, meet with college admissions officers, learn about conflict management and civic engagement, interact with near-peer mentors, listen to inspirational speakers, and compete for scholarships.  To apply and get more information, email @email.


University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA –  Hoos First Look will be an annual three-day, two-night fly-in/gas-reimbursement and academic enrichment program for high achieving, low-income/first-generation students in the fall running from Friday to Sunday.  Everything, including meals, transportation, housing, activity materials, and miscellaneous items will be provided to 20 rising Juniors in high school.  The all-expense paid program is designed to assist socioeconomically disadvantaged students in making them more competitive applicants in the admissions process through workshops and personalized admissions help including providing resources on the college application process and financial aid and scholarships.  For more information and to apply, visit https://hoosfirstlook.weebly.com/The priority application deadline is 9 June with notification in mid-July.  The regular deadline is 8 September with notification in mid-September.

ITALIAN - ONLINE COURSE IN AP ITALIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE – Wellesley College offers a FREE online course on the edX platform.  This could provide a study option for the May AP test.  Students can register for free and have instant access anytime to all online materials for self-study.  (Although the basic course is entirely free, there are classes with teachers to assist in the online culture course FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE.  To access the free online culture course, visit https://www.edx.org/course/ap-italian-language-and-culture-2018-2019?utm_source=School+Counselors&utm_campaign=eef11958e0-AP+Italian+counselors+EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_11_02_CO&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7d8bcaa4e2-eef11958e0-231525865.  For questions, contact @email.


Khan Academy offers great opportunities to learn from Pixar and computer programming.  Visit https://khanacademy.org; search for “Pixar” to discover how to write a short story as well as hints on animation.  Search for “computer programming” to learn more from the pros.  Not only does Khan Academy offer advice from these pros, it offers FREE tutoring in virtually every subject.


The American Youth Leadership Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, offers opportunities for American high school students and educators to travel abroad on a three to four week exchange program to gain first-hand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues.  Academic and experiential educational exchange programs focus on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. Recruitment areas, eligibility requirements, and application deadlines vary by program, so please check http://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/youth-leadership-programs for more information.


Students who are more geared towards a hands-on type of career may be interested in an associates degree through NOVA’s automotive program in Alexandria.  Attend school for half of the semester while working with a porspective sponsor, earning money and gaining experience.  Rolling enrollment is available.  See www.nvcc.edu/alexandria/automotive/asep.htm for more information and to submit an application.


24/7 online tutoring and homework help free for U.S. Military families.  Students connect with a professional tutor for a one-to-one learning session the moment they need help.  Get help with math, science, English, social studies and standardized tests from the secure online classroom, with real-time chat, and an interactive whiteboard.  Visit www.tutor.com/military   or call 800.411.1970 for more information.


8 - 12 July, University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, College Park, MD – This week-long journalism camp aims to provide learning tools and inspiration to high school students interested in sports media.  The program immerses students in sports journalism.  Students will be taught the tenets of basic journalism writing, as well as other sports journalism skills including writing a game story and covering a press conference.  Students will also learn about social media, sports broadcasting techniques, interviewing, and how to find an internship.  The registration fee is $100 and includes courses and workshops, program materials, continental breakfast and lunch daily, and a field trip to a Mystics game.  The camp is limited to the first 50 students to register.  The registration deadline is 24 June or when the 50-student capacity is reached.  For more information and to register, visit https://app.certain.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x2985148abcd.


Summer 2019, Dates vary by location, Northern Virginia Community College – One-week camps in Robotics, Rocketry, and Cyber Security are being offered at the campuses of NVCC this summer.  The cost for each camp is $315.  Discounts are available for siblings and/or signing up for multiple camps.  Registration is currently open.  For more information and to register, visit https://www.nvcc.edu/systemic/camps.html.


The US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs provides more than 1,000 merit-based scholarships each year for U.S. high school students to study abroad for a summer or an academic year in more than 25 countries.  Three are accepting applications now:  Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX); Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad; National Security Language Initiative for Youth.  For more information, visit https://exchanges.state.gov/highschool/?utm_source=Email_Outreach&utm_medium=Email_April_29&utm_campaign=Outbound%20Outreach.


The U.S. Department of State sponsors a number of exchange programs. Discover what options exist and what is required. Then, check frequently to discover when a program you want opens. Go to http://exchanges.state.gov/us to discover everything you need to know.


9-12 July, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA – This FREE camp is for prospective first-generation college students who are rising Juniors and Seniors.  Participants will have the opportunity to experience a college campus, learn how to navigate their way through the college admissions process, brainstorm creative ways to serve their community, manage their time, and excel in the classroom.  For more information and to apply, visit https://www.liberty.edu/ms/wethepioneers/The application deadline is 28 June.


Women Can Fly of Virginia hosts a series of six special Saturday events, five in June and one in September of 2019, to introduce aviation to girls and women of all ages in Virginia.  Participants in this FREE program can even enjoy a flight in a private airplane with volunteer pilots who would love to share their passion with you! If you are sitting up front, you may get the chance to move the controls yourself!  To get all the information and to register, please visit https://www.womencanfly.com/.


end of June – end of August. - The Summer Session of the Young Women’s Leadership Program, founded and led by former Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, is accepting applications from middle and high school girls.  There is no charge to participate in the program.  Nearly 2,000 young women from across the county have participated in the six-year old, non-partisan program that introduces them to women in leadership positions in government, technology, philanthropy, business, and other fields.  Although the program is hosted this year at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, the Summer Session kicks off in June at the Capitol Building in Washington DC with an overview of women in elected office.  Throughout the summer, participants will have opportunities to participate in six to eight seminars (about every two weeks) that will introduce them to women leaders in a variety of careers in the public and private sectors.  NOTE: Perfect attendance is not mandatory.  For more information about the program, visit https://comstockleadership.gmu.edu/.  To apply, visit https://comstockleadership.gmu.edu/apply-now/The application deadline is 18 June.


23-28 June, Virginia State Police Training Academy, North Chesterfield, VA - The Virginia American Legion and the Virginia State Police conduct this week-long hands-on event for rising high school Seniors at the VSP Training Academy. Students interested in a law enforcement career get a small glimpse of the varied training experienced by a trooper.  Sponsoring American Legion Posts are responsible for the costs of the program, which includes meals, housing, Youth Cadet Law Enforcement T-shirts to be worn during the training sessions, and a graduation certificate and pin. The Virginia State Police counselors, program instructors, academy facilities, and equipment are provided as a public service. Students who wish to apply for selection to the Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program should contact their nearest American Legion Post for sponsorship information.  For more information, visit https://valegion.org/programs/jr-law-cadet/.  Follow the links to the YCLE Brochure and YCLE Application.  For questions, contact Program Director Bill Feasenmyer at 804.520.9280 (work), 804.337.8753 (cell) or @email.