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 College and 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.

*NEW!!

HISPANIC SCHOLARSHIP FUND YOUTH LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE (YLI)

The Youth Leadership Institute is a FREE, four-day, overnight, college empowerment conference for 150 Latino high school Juniors.  It is designed to give these young leaders the practical tools they need to successfully apply to top universities, have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success.  Attendees will enhance their leadership abilities and expand their professional networks by participating in college and career workshops, living on a college campus, and interacting with college students and professionals who serve as their mentors.  The conferences are hosted each summer at various college campuses across the country.  Visit https://www.hsf.net/youth-leadership-institute   Applications are due 25 January 2020.

*NEW!!

LOUIS AUGUST JONAS FOUNDATION CAMP RISING SUN

International group promoting commitment to service and leadership FREE camp for students held in Rhinebeck, NY.  The. camp offers service projects, outdoor experience, and artistic activities.  First year campers must be between 15 and 16 years old, demonstrate proficiency in spoken English, leadership potential, character, individuality, a capacity for academic achievement, willingness to learn from mistakes, and be able to represent their local or regional culture.  The girls session is 24 June – 21 July, and the boys is session 29 July – 25 August.  A completed application must include a transcript and two references.  A photo is optional.  Visit http://www.lajf.org for all the details and to apply.  Start your application early using a word-processing program to save your short answers.  The application must be completed in a single sitting.  Completed applications from our region are due 13 January 2020.

*NEW!!

YEAR UP PROGRAM

Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. This mission is achieved through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships, and college credits.  The one-year program includes:  six months professional training in IT, Financial Operations, Sales & Customer Support, Business Operations, or Software Development; six months corporate internship with a respected company, coursework eligible for college credit, weekly educational stipend throughout the program, and guidance/support from a staff advisor and professional mentor.  Ninety percent of Year Up graduates are employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education within four months of completing the program.  To be eligible, applicants must be: 18-24 years old; high school graduates or GED recipients; of low to moderate income; a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or have an employment authorization card; available 5 days a week (Mon-Fri) for the full year of the program; be highly motivated to learn new technical and professional skills; and have not obtained a bachelor’s degree. To learn more about the application process, visit https://www.yearup.org/future-students/admission-process/. The steps to apply include:  attending an information session, completing an application, undergoing an academic review, attending an interview, and enrolling in college.  Applications are considered on a rolling basis until the class is filled.  Classes begin in September for the fall, and in February for the spring. If you are interested in applying, fill out an interest form online at https://www.yearup.org/seize-opportunity/

THE AMERICAN YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

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.

THE BRONFMAN FELLOWSHIP

28 June – 5 August 2020, Israel – The Bronfman Fellowship is a network of 1,200+ pluralistic young Jews from Israel and North America. This program begins with a five-week, all-expenses-paid trip to Israel.  Fellows explore deep existential questions and Jewish ideas while building friendships with peers who challenge and inspire them.  The Fellowship begins the summer after 11th grade. It covers round-trip transportation between New York and Israel, educational programming, and room, board and travel while in Israel. Room and board at orientation and the Spring Seminar are also included. Limited additional subsidies (based on need) are available to defray costs of travel to interviews, to New York for the summer program, and for follow-up alumni activities.  Applicants must be in the 11th grade and self-identify as Jewish.  For more information and to apply, visit www.bronfman.org. The application deadline is 1 December.

BUILDING LEADERS FOR ADVANCING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (BLAST), VIRGINIA SPACE GRANT CONSORTIUM

28 June – 1 July 2020 at Old Dominion University, 5-8 July at Virginia Tech, and 12-15 July at University of Virginia  – This is a FREE statewide STEM program for current 8th and 9th grade students.  It targets students with a C+ or better average and a desire to explore STEM opportunities.  Students will have an opportunity to engage in innovative, hands-on activities while residing on a university campus.  The BLAST program is a partnership between the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and the universities housing the program.  Students may apply to one of three sessions.  For program information and application, visit https://blast.spacegrant.org/.  The application opens 15 November and closes 10 February 2020. 

COLLEGE BOARD OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP

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.

CONGRESS-BUNDESTAG YOUTH EXCHANGE (CBYX)

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, CBYX is a full scholarship exchange program that offers 250 young Americans the opportunity to live with a host family and attend high school in Germany for an academic year.  In addition, the program includes pre-departure training in the U.S. and orientation programs in Germany, meetings with government officials, cultural excursions to the German Bundestag and select German cities, and supplementary language lessons upon arrival in Germany.  All associated costs are covered by the scholarship with the exception of travel to and from your home community to Washington, DC for pre-departure and re-entry orientation, passport costs, and spending money while in Germany. Academic merit, motivation, curiosity, and flexibility are key components of a competitive application.  Eligible candidates must be:  U.S. citizens; between the ages of 15 and 18 ½ at the start of the program; and a high school student at the time of application with a 3.0 or better GPA.  For more information and to apply online, visit http://www.usagermanyscholarship.org/apply-cieeCompleted applications must be submitted by 3 December. 

EMBOLDEN STUDENT LEADERSHIP PROGRAM (SLP) IN BUSINESS

2-4 January 2020, Tysons Corner – Embolden’s SLP is a tuition-free career immersion and leadership program that helps high school students explore and discover their passions and become the next generation of leaders.  Through instructional sessions and interactive simulation challenges led by experienced professionals from the local community, students will gain valuable mentorship, skills, and guidance.  During the SLP, students will also go on site visits to top-tier companies and businesses and will work on complex business problems with other students to develop their leadership and teamwork skills.  High school students from Northern Virginia, Maryland, or Washington DC are encouraged to apply for the Winter 2020 SLP.  Eligible students must apply online and are required to submit one form of documentation verifying high school enrollment such as a school transcript.  There are no application fees nor are there any minimum GPA or test score requirements for selection to the program.  Applications will remain open until Sunday, 3 November and are available at www.emboldenme.org. Decisions will be released to all applicants by Sunday 10 November.  The most important component of the application is the free-response essay section.  While students are encouraged to submit materials such as test scores, resumes or letters of recommendation, Embolden’s application readers are most interested in hearing personal stories.  For more information, visit www.emboldenme.org or contact  @email.

FAIRFAX COUNTY EXPLORER  PROGRAM FOR FIRE AND RESCUE

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

FIRE AND RESCUE EXPLORER TRAINING

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.

FLY-IN PROGRAMS

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.

GIRLS IN TECHNOLOGY MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ PROGRAM

22 October, 26 November, 28 January, 25 February, 24 March, 6 – 8:3 pm, Microsoft, 12012 Sunset Hills Rd, Reston, VA (additional locations in DC and Maryland) – The Girls in Technology Mentor-Protégé Program is designed to help high school girls learn about the vast array of career opportunities available to young women interested in pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.  Protégés and Mentors meet once a month for five months and participate in leadership development, networking, and discuss a range of topics related to success traits for growth and pursuing a career. Each program session starts with featured speakers or a discussion panel followed by small discussion group mentoring sessions with professional women. Applications will be processed in the order complete applications are received, and a waitlist formed once capacity is reached.  The on-line application form can be found at https://womenintechnology.wufoo.com/forms/zlrjtzv09hyitt/.  Due to limited capacity and volunteers to manage this FREE event, GIT can accommodate up to 45 students in each program location (may vary depending on location).  There is a three-step process to being accepted into the Girls in Technology Mentor Protégé Program: 1) complete an online protégé application which includes guardian release; 2) complete a required pre-program survey (links are provided within the application and will also be emailed to the protégé after Step 1); and 3) protégés and parents that have submitted all of the steps above will be emailed further information about their acceptance status.  For more information, visit https://www.womenintechnology.org/git-mentor-protege-program.

GM ASEP AUTOMOTIVE PROGRAM AT NOVA 

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.

HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMATS UNITED STATES

(HSD U.S,), 22 July – 2 August 2020, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ – High School Diplomats is a scholarship program that brings together high school students from the United States and Japan engaging together in academic and social pursuits in a ten-day summer program at Princeton University.  Examples of activities include a Japanese summer festival, a sports tournament, and a karaoke night.  Students also attend daily language classes ranging from beginner to advanced.  Current Sophomores and Juniors are eligible to apply.  For more information and to apply, visit http://www.highschooldiplomats.com/americaCompleted applications are due 8 January 2020.

HISPANIC SCHOLARSHIP FUND YOUTH LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE (YLI)

The Youth Leadership Institute is a FREE, four-day, overnight, college empowerment conference for 150 Latino high school Juniors.  It is designed to give these young leaders the practical tools they need to successfully apply to top universities, have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success.  Attendees will enhance their leadership abilities and expand their professional networks by participating in college and career workshops, living on a college campus, and interacting with college students and professionals who serve as their mentors.  The conferences are hosted each summer at various college campuses across the country.  Visit https://www.hsf.net/youth-leadership-institute   Applications are due 25 January 2020.

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.

LOUIS AUGUST JONAS FOUNDATION CAMP RISING SUN

International group promoting commitment to service and leadership FREE camp for students held in Rhinebeck, NY.  The. camp offers service projects, outdoor experience, and artistic activities.  First year campers must be between 15 and 16 years old, demonstrate proficiency in spoken English, leadership potential, character, individuality, a capacity for academic achievement, willingness to learn from mistakes, and be able to represent their local or regional culture.  The girls session is 24 June – 21 July, and the boys is session 29 July – 25 August.  A completed application must include a transcript and two references.  A photo is optional.  Visit http://www.lajf.org for all the details and to apply.  Start your application early using a word-processing program to save your short answers.  The application must be completed in a single sitting.  Completed applications from our region are due 13 January 2020.

KHAN ACADEMY

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.

LEADERSHIP ENTERPRISE FOR A DIVERSE AMERICA (LEDA)

LEDA strives to help 100 exceptional Juniors from low income backgrounds navigate the admissions process into competitive schools.  LEDA Scholars receive leadership training, writing instruction, standardized test preparation, and a year of highly personalized guidance as they navigate the college application and admissions process.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or have DACA status.  Applicants must demonstrate leadership ability, intellectual curiosity, a hunger to learn and achieve academically, and have strong ethics, integrity, and character.  Applicants must also have an unweighted 3.6 or better GPA, rank in the top 10% of their class, enroll in a rigorous course load, score above the national average on the PSAT, SAT, PLAN and/or ACT, and demonstrate exceptional analytical reading and writing skills.  First-generation students will be given special consideration.  Learn more about the program at https://ledascholars.org/about-us/Completed applications are due by 11 December.

MILITARY FAMILIES & FREE TUTORING

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.

NSO SUMMER MUSIC INSTITUTE

29 June - 27 July 2020, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC – The National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute (SMI) at the Kennedy Center is designed to expose and prepare students for a 21st Century orchestral career.  This 4-week tuition-free program includes private lessons taught by a member of the NSO, chamber music coaching by NSO musicians, master classes and seminars, side-by-side orchestra rehearsals with the NSO, attendance at selected rehearsals and performances of the NSO, participation in the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra conducted by Abel Pereira, performance opportunities in DC metropolitan area, including on the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall stage, and exposure to internationally-renowned conductors, soloists, and musicians.  Each student accepted into the program attends tuition-free, which includes housing, lessons, and local transportation.  Round-trip transportation to and from Washington, DC is not included, nor is there a stipend for the cost of food during the institute.  If you need assistance for travel costs and/or food costs during the 4 weeks, you are encouraged to apply for financial aid by the application deadline.  Applicants must submit a video recording of orchestral excerpts (excerpt sheet music is provided), a video recording of a solo piece, a recommendation from a music teacher/conductor, and a musical resume.  There is a $30 non-refundable application fee.  For questions, contact NSO Education at 202.416.8820 or @email.  For more information and to apply, visit https://education.kennedy-center.org/education/nsoed/smi/Completed applications are due 20 January 2020.

OPERATION UNDERSTANDING DC (OUDC)SOCIAL JUSTICE FELLOWSHIP

January 2020 – Summer 2020, Washington, DC – Operation Understanding DC’s mission is to build a generation of African-American and Jewish community leaders who promote respect, understanding, and cooperation while working to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of discrimination.  Social Justice Fellows participate in Sunday programs, weekend retreats, and a summer journey in July.  High school Juniors in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia are eligible to apply.  For more information and to apply, visit http://oudc.org/apply-for-the-2020-2021-class/.  For questions, contact Nikki Perkins at @email or 202.234.6832.  The application deadline is 22 November.

OPEN PEACEBUILDING LEADERSHIP (OPL) CONFERENCE

14 December, 9 am – 4 pm, James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Rd, #101, Falls Church – The Open Peacebuilding Leadership Conference is designed to empower local youth to become community leaders and peacebuilders by equipping them with the necessary skills to set up their own initiatives.  It is open to all high schoolers.  The conference includes 3 speakers, a leadership exercise, and a peacebuilding simulation.  There will be free food and T-shirts.  Sign up at https://forms.gle/BsZyRRYw5BK3cGm16.

PATHWAYS FLIGHT ACADEMIES

Summer 2020, dates and locations in Virginia to be determined – In response to a shortage of airline pilots and aviation workers, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Liberty University, Averett University and the Virginia Department of Aviation, is providing high school students the opportunity to experience a FREE two-week, intensive, residential flight academy.  Students will undertake ground and flight training that can culminate in a solo flight.  Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA, be U.S. citizens, Virginia residents, and 16 years old by the start of the Academy.  Students must also pass an FAA flight physical exam.  The review will take place 14 January through 28 February, and students will be notified of acceptance by email on 28 February. The completed application packet must include:  1) Online Application 2) Copy of high school transcript (unofficial); 3) Essay 4) Completed Recommendation Forms.  The application period opens 1 November for Summer 2020 Academies.  For more information and to apply, visit http://vsgc.odu.edu/pathwaysflightacademies/.  For questions, contact the Virginia Space Grant Consortium Program Coordinator at @email or 757.766.5210.  Completed applications are due 12 January 2020.

POLICE EXPLORER OPPORTUNITY

Local Police Explorer Posts offer program application only in the fall.  Interest meetings have been scheduled.  If you want to gain some real police experience and learn about careers in law enforcement, this may be for you.  Applicants must be between 14 (and completed 8th grade) and 20 years old, have a “C” grade average and no convictions of a felony or serious misdemeanor.  (Past criminal activity will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.)  Participants are expected to attend mandatory meetings, training, and community outreach events, participate in fund raising events, and be able to purchase necessary equipment and uniforms (effort is made to keep costs low).  Regular meetings are held twice a month.  Post 1742 meets at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy, Post 2252 meets at West Potomac High School, and Post 505 meets at Annandale High School.  Visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/getinvolved/explorers for more information and links to each post.

R2L NEXTGEN

19-24 July 2020, Washington, DC – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute sponsors this all-expenses paid leadership experience designed for Latino students.  Students will spend a week exploring Washington, DC, learning how the government works, and participating in interactive learning opportunities to understand the top issues facing the Latino community.  Applicants must reside in the District of Columbia; Montgomery or Prince George’s county in Maryland; or in Alexandria City, Arlington, Fairfax, or Prince William counties in Virginia.  Applicants must be a current 10th or 11th grade student and demonstrate an interest in learning more about civic engagement.  While grades and a transcript must be included in the application, there is no minimum GPA requirement to apply.  All individuals are welcome to apply; however, preference is given to individuals with financial need.  For more information and to apply, visit https://chci.org/programs/r2l-nextgen/The application deadline is 16 February 2020.

STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES

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.

TELLURIDE ASSOCIATION SOPHOMORE SEMINAR (TASS)

21 June – 1 August 2020, Cornell University, University of Maryland, and University of Michigan – TASS is a FREE academic opportunity for intellectually curious high school Sophomores (rising Juniors) to participate in a six-week summer seminar and shape a dynamic African-American learning community.  All programs are provided at no cost to participants.  TASSers live together and participate in a three-hour seminar that meets each weekday morning with two college professors.  Participants plan a variety of activities including group discussions, field games, community service projects, and cultural outings in addition to the seminar.  For more information, visit https://www.tellurideassociation.org/our-programs/high-school-students/sophomore-seminar-tass/The application deadline is 15 December.

TELLURIDE ASSOCIATION SUMMER PROGRAM (TASP)

21 June – 1 August 2020, Cornell University, University of Maryland, and University of Michigan – TASP is a FREE academic opportunity for motivated high school Juniors (rising Seniors) to participate in a six-week college-level seminar while living in a diverse, self-governing, intellectual community with similarly motivated peers.  TASPers live together and participate in a three-hour seminar each weekday morning with two college professors.  Classes emphasize group discussion rather than lectures.  Students are responsible for organizing most of their out-of-classroom time through smaller committees.  This element of self-governance is an essential part of the TASP experience.  For more information, visit https://www.tellurideassociation.org/our-programs/high-school-students/summer-program-juniors-tasp/The application deadline is 15 December.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS

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.

YEAR UP PROGRAM

Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. This mission is achieved through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships, and college credits.  The one-year program includes:  six months professional training in IT, Financial Operations, Sales & Customer Support, Business Operations, or Software Development; six months corporate internship with a respected company, coursework eligible for college credit, weekly educational stipend throughout the program, and guidance/support from a staff advisor and professional mentor.  Ninety percent of Year Up graduates are employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education within four months of completing the program.  To be eligible, applicants must be: 18-24 years old; high school graduates or GED recipients; of low to moderate income; a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or have an employment authorization card; available 5 days a week (Mon-Fri) for the full year of the program; be highly motivated to learn new technical and professional skills; and have not obtained a bachelor’s degree. To learn more about the application process, visit https://www.yearup.org/future-students/admission-process/. The steps to apply include:  attending an information session, completing an application, undergoing an academic review, attending an interview, and enrolling in college.  Applications are considered on a rolling basis until the class is filled.  Classes begin in September for the fall, and in February for the spring. If you are interested in applying, fill out an interest form online at https://www.yearup.org/seize-opportunity/