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 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) is a scholarship program jointly funded and administered by the governments of the United States and Germany.  CBYX provides year-long academic, homestay, and community service opportunities for American and German high school students, vocational school graduates, and young professionals.  The program for high school students is for students who are between the ages of 15 and 18, have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and are U.S. citizens.  The program is designed to strengthen ties between youth, improve their career skills through formal study and work experience, and expand their perspectives and awareness of each other's culture, society, history and politics.  Participants in the CBYX attend a German high school and live with a host family for a year.  For additional information about the program, visit https://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/congress-bundestag-youth-exchange.  For additional eligibility requirements and the application, visit http://www.usagermanyscholarship.org/app/The application deadline is 11 December.



Girls in Technology (GIT) sponsors a FREE, five-month, in-person Mentor-Protégé program for high school girls interested in STEM careers.  Participants explore STEM careers and develop confidence through hands on STEM demos, Q&A with distinguished guest panels, and mentoring sessions with professional women in STEM. Girls will have the chance to ask mentors questions and get direct answers on learning about new opportunities, as well as how to navigate challenges they face in school and society. GIT enables girls so that they can take their STEM skills from the classroom to the boardroom.  The GIT Mentor-Protégé program also provides scholarship opportunities and experience-based awards to GIT Protégés. Groups meet monthly in Reston, Virginia (10/23/18, 1/27/18, 1/8/19, 2/19/19, 3/19/19, makeup day 4/9/19) and in Washington, DC (11/6/18, 11/27/18, 1/8/19, 2/19/19, 3/19/19, Make-up Day 4/9/19).  For more information about the program, visit https://www.womenintechnology.org/mentor-prot-g-program.  If interested in becoming a protégé, apply at http://bit.ly/ProtegeApplication2018.  APPLY ASAP.  MEETINGS ARE BEGINNING SOON!!



24 July – 4 August 2019, Princeton University – High School Diplomats U.S. is a ten-day program on the campus of Princeton University providing 40 American students the opportunity to engage in academic and social pursuits with 40 Japanese students of the same age.  Current high school Sophomores and Juniors are eligible to apply. The program exposes students to both cultures through daily themes and seminar style learning opportunities.  Students also attend daily language classes ranging from beginner to advanced and taught by native speakers.  For more information and to apply, visit http://www.highschooldiplomats.com/americaThe application deadline is 9 January 2019.


Important Informational meeting, 24 September, 6:30 pm (Optional Meet and Greet), 7:00 pm Formal Presentation, Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy at 14601 Lee Road, Chantilly, VA - The Fairfax County Police Department Explorer Posts 1742, 2252, and 505 are youth-run programs open to young people ages 14 (and completed the 8th grade) to 20 with an interest in learning more about careers in law enforcement. The programs provide opportunities to learn about law enforcement, serve the community through public service, and teach important life skills such as leadership, public speaking, and self-confidence.  Explorers receive extensive training in various techniques used by law enforcement professionals. This training includes traffic stops, building searches, bomb threat response, hostage negotiation, accident reconstruction, and arrest & search techniques. Explorers become familiar with police radio procedures, patrol areas, vehicles, equipment, and methods of patrol. In addition, Explorers are eligible to participate in the department's ride along program in which they ride with a patrol officer and experience life through the eyes of an officer.  Explorers are given an overview of the Fairfax County Police Department and its daily operations.  The Posts meet bimonthly in Chantilly, Alexandria, and Annandale.For more information and an application, visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/getinvolved/explorers and click on the link for each Post.  Applications are due very soon!! 


The U.S. State Department awards pays for High School students to study language abroad in an immersion experience during summer and academic-year language programs at locations where the 8 NSLI-Y languages are spoken: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, or Turkish.  If conditions allow, China, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Korea, Latvia, Moldova, Morocco, Russia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, and Turkey are expected to host NSLI-Y programs in 2019.  To be eligible, applicants must have a 2.5 or better GPA, U.S. citizenship, and 15 – 18 years of age with a birthdate between 10 July 2000 and 10 June 2004 for the 6- to 8-week summer programs or between 30 August 2000 and 30 June 2004 for the 8- to 10-month academic year programs.  Previous language study is not required.  Awards are based on the applicant’s enthusiasm for learning, strong sense of character, and will to succeed, as well as motivation for language learning, demonstrated cultural awareness, and ability to adapt to a new environment; maturity and readiness for a challenging academic and international experience are very important factors.  A completed application includes an official transcript (special requirements for 9th graders), teacher recommendation, parent statement, letter to prospective host family, essays, eligibility certification, list of international and language experience, activities, hobbies, work, internships, and awards, plus information relevant to placement (not considered prior to award), including allergies, religion, diet, disabilities, and health conditions.  Photographs are optional.  Semifinalists will be asked to interview, including questions related to interests in and goals related to language study in an immersion environment, to apply for a passport, and to submit a medical evaluation.  More details can be found at Naviance Student or http://nsliforyouth.org. Completed applications must be submitted by 4 pm 30 October, with recommendations and parent statements due by 4 pm 6 November.


13 October, 10 am – Noon, Studio 27 Architecture, 1600 K Street NW, Washington DC 20006 – Through interactive design exercises and a tour of Studio 27 Architecture, students will learn about all scales of the built environment including its history, planning, and design from University of Virginia School of Architecture Alumni.  Students will also learn about the basics of the application process and portfolio preparation for an undergraduate architecture program application as well as career trajectories following graduation from an undergraduate program.  For more information and to register, visit https://www.arch.virginia.edu/events/so-you-want-to-be-an-architect-dc.


17 November, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA -  The Society of Women Engineers at UVA provides young women with a comprehensive look at engineering fields and at UVA’s engineering curriculum through speakers, lab tours, and hands-on design activities.  This fall session targets high school Seniors, but Sophomores and Juniors are welcome to apply.  Interested students may be selected to spend Saturday night in UVA dorms with SWE members.  There is a nonrefundable confirmation fee of $25 if selected for the program.  For more information and to apply, visit http://www.virginiaswe.org/hsvThe application deadline is 22 October.  Acceptances will be sent out no later than 29 October.

STEM OPPOTUNITIES OFFERED BY THE VIRGINIA SPACE GRANT CONSORTIUM (VSGC) IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NASA – The VSGC is providing the following STEM opportunities for high school students.  All programs are free to all Virginia students.

1) Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) – is a free competitive online program for 10th grade students with a 2.7 or better GPA who are interested in science, engineering, and technology related to current NASA missions by NASA Wallops Flight Facility.  The program features online science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning experience featuring five modules.  Top performing students may be invited to attend a 7-day residential Summer Academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VAFor more information, visit http://vscs.spacegrant.org/.  For the application, visit http://vscs.spacegrant.org/apply-here.  The application window closes 11 November

2) Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) – is a free competitive program with an online NASA-developed course for Juniors and Seniors who are Virginia residents, U.S. citizens, have a 2.7 or better GPA, and have access to the internet.  Students learn about a broad range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.  Based on course performance, scholars may be selected to participate in an all-expense paid, 7-day residential Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center.  Scholars can receive two college credits for successful completion of online coursework and two additional credits for the Summer Academy.  The course is offered free online from December to May and consists of 7 lessons and a final projectFor more information and to apply, visit http://vsgc.odu.edu/VASTS/.  The application window closes 11 November. 

3) Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) - is a free competitive program that allows 11th and 12th grade students to engage in a NASA-developed course using an Environmental/Earth Science theme.  The online course is a transferable, three-credit, dual enrollment course, offered through Thomas Nelson Community College.  It teaches a broad range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics aligned with the Virginia SOLs. Based on course performance, students may be selected to participate in an all-expense paid 7-day residential Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research CenterFor more information and to apply, visit www.vsgc.odu.edu/VESSS or contact joyce.h.corriere@nasa.govThe application closes 11 November. 


January – May 2019, Washington, DC – YLGW is a five-month interactive youth leadership program for high school Sophomores and Juniors from Northern Virginia, Suburban Maryland, and Washington, DC.  Youth leaders will have the opportunity to learn from each other as well as important area decision-makers on the topics of diversity, health, social action, and leadership.  The program meets on one Friday per month from January to May at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery.  The application requires a $35 application fee as well as consent from a parent/guardian and your school administrator that you will be absent from school on YLGW Fridays.  Visit http://lgwdc.org/programs/youth-leadership-greater-washington for more information and to apply.  Applications are due by 19 October.


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.


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.


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.


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.