By Diana Grinberg‘15 and Emily Kaufman ‘15
No more pencils, no more books! Summer is almost here, and many hornets are ditching the beach and the pool to travel abroad, take language classes, and attend sports camps. While some have decided to relax after a difficult year, these students will be making unforgettable memories and gaining valuable experience.
Alikeju Adejo ’15 is one of the many students who is putting leisure time aside this summer. Instead, she is flying to Nigeria to help local people and visit family members.
“We’ll be bringing barrels of food and clothing to the people in the town,” said Adejo. “I’m excited to help people, and I’m also excited to see my family members. I haven’t seen many of them in 14 years. I was born in Nigeria, but I haven’t been there since.”
Another humanitarian Hornet is Helen Wong ’15, who is traveling to Myanmar, a sovereign state in Southeast Asia, to teach English to orphaned children.
“I want to expand my world view before going to college,” Wong said. “Teaching little kids will not only give me insight on the lives of people less fortunate than me, but also make me feel like I can do something to help them out.”
Summer is the time to help spice up those college applications, and looking into programs offered by colleges is a great way to start. S programs, such as the pre-veterinary course offered at Cornell University, will be helpful for some people’s careers. Gabriella Krumgalz ’15 is participating in this program.
“I joined because I was looking for different summer programs that had something to do with veterinary medicine, and Cornell is my target graduate school,” said Krumgalz. “The program is perfect because it allows me to take a small animal practice course in which I’ll work side-by-side with professors, doing labs and other hands-on work.”
Student athletes like Maya Miller ’16 will also be spending the summer doing something productive – improving their sports skills while staying in shape.
“I’m doing a program at Princeton College, which I also did last year,” said Miller, a lacrosse player. “It was really intense; we played lacrosse for over six hours a day. I was also intimidated, but I learned so much and improved a lot.”
Other students have decided to take academic courses to keep their intellectual skills up to par, or learn new ones in the usually lazy summer months. Holley Yi ’15 will be taking a German class, and Emily Henning ’15 will be taking a course in creative writing.
“I decided life is too short to stay at home for two months doing nothing,” said Yi. “I made it a priority to learn new things and be more productive with my time because there are so many different opportunities that I shouldn’t take for granted, and the German language and culture have always fascinated me.”
Henning said, “I love writing, and I need to keep an eye on college, so doing an academic program will be helpful for my application. I think I’ll have fun while gaining friends, skills, and great memories.”
Remember that it’s important to stay informed about opportunities, whether they involve volunteering at the local homeless shelter or studying abroad. Students can find out about jobs and courses through teachers, guidance counselors, and even the Department of Education website.
Although summer passes by in the blink of an eye, these students will have interesting stories to tell their friends when the sweltering heat retires to the cool wind of autumn, and textbooks and pens take the place of sunblock and beach towels.