TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Jan. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Stephen Gray Wallace | View Comments
What Every Parent Needs to Know About Addiction

Our children are at risk. And as rates of addiction soar for old and young, it’s essential that parents educate themselves about youth substance abuse. One 24-year-old college graduate told me, “I grew up in the suburban town of New Canaan, Conn., boasting some of the ‘best’ public schools in the country, high standardized-test scores and a near-perfect graduation rate. “I personally know five people who have passed away from heroin addictions. To make it through high school with friends, we basically had to take on a drug addiction of some sort, whether it was eating pills, getting wasted drunk, ...

Posted Jan. 19, 2018, 11 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How To Help High School Sophomores Find A Volunteer Project

Sophomore year is half done. Has your high school student chosen a community service project yet? The clock is ticking. Before you know it, senior year will be here, and colleges are looking for students who show a long-term commitment to one volunteer project. There’s no time like the present to lock down a choice. Remember that community service projects are more than just a category on your student’s high school resume. These projects teach high school students to be involved in the community and to care about others. They also can be a way to learn new skills or ...

Posted Jan. 18, 2018, 8 p.m. by Stephen Gray Wallace | View Comments
Why Summer Camp Is Still Relevant for High School Students

Behind the magic of summer camp lie the fundamental building blocks of experiential learning, social development, character, civic engagement and other 21st-century “soft” skills that might very well translate into job opportunities one day. Who knew? “From the time courageous and forward-thinking educators created what has grown to become a world-wide camp movement here …, they knew that something was lacking in children’s overall education,” Lucy Norvell, director of development and communications for the American Camp Association, New England, wrote in a 2016 article about the history of camps. “Those lucky campers who hiked and adventured along Connecticut’s Long Island ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2018, 9 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
EF International Language Campuses: Pascale Gulick

Pascale Gulick participated in a gap year program with EF International Language Centers in Paris. Why did you choose to participate in a gap-year program? I choose to take a gap year to gain some new international perspectives before remaining pretty stagnant for a couple years. I had heard great things about EF International Language Centers and their programs from many of my friends, and it seemed like an opportunity that couldn’t be missed! And I was right. My time in Paris was unmatched, and unique to all my other travel experiences. Previously, I’d lived in Germany, New Zealand and ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2018, 8 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
William & Mary NIAHD: Jonas Kristensson

Jonas Kristensson spent part of summer at the College of William & Mary's National Institute of American History and Democracy. Why did you choose to participate in a summer program or go to overnight camp? I’ve always tried to do fun and interesting things during the summer, so I was looking at quite a few programs. An overnight pre-college program was something I hadn’t tried yet, and the prospect of meeting new people and getting a taste of college life appealed to me. It helped that I was a rising senior in high school, which meant that I was at ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2018, 7 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
UnCollege Gap Year Program: Michael Krakower

Michael Krakower attended two years of college before signing up for the UnCollege Gap Year. When I joined the UnCollege Gap Year program after a couple of years in college, I had every intention of returning to school when the program was over. I always liked school – and still do – but I had growing entrepreneurial ambitions, and eventually I hit a point where I felt my academic studies weren’t going to be any help to me in bringing any potential venture to fruition. I wanted experience. I wanted perspective. I wanted the opportunity to succeed or fail in ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2018, 7 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
The Academy at Watkinson School: Matt Conners

Matt Conners spent a post-graduate gap year at The Academy at Watkinson School in Hartford, Ct. Why did you decide to participate in a post-graduate (PG) year program? I felt lost throughout my high school academic experience. Procrastination was a daily issue that led to late or missing work. I needed to learn how to manage my assignments and become a self-advocate. I had to learn how to organize myself in and out of school so I always know where everything is and when it needs to be done. Not only did I need tips and guidance for academic success, ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2018, 6 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
API ABroad: Eliana Jacobs

Eliana Jacobs spent spent her gap year in Grenoble, France, through API Abroad. I lived with a lovely French host family while studying French language and culture at the Université Stendhal III. Through my courses and my interactions with my host family, my French improved significantly. I made incredible friends from around the world, many of whom I am still good friends today. I travelled extensively, exploring different regions of Europe and North Africa, learning about different cultures, and seeking new experiences. My year in Grenoble provided me with an abundance of memorable experiences and life lessons. Why I took ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2018, 5 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
CESA Languages Abroad: Trevor Biggs

Trevor Biggs spent part of his gap year in Berlin, Germany, and Kitzbühel, Austria, with CESA Languages Abroad. When researching gap year programs, I learned that there are a lot of options out there. I searched the web for hours last summer, trying to find a program right for me, both with regards to finances and growth. I knew where I wanted to go – Berlin, Germany; and how long – about nine weeks, but given the choices, it was hard to settle on one. I found CESA Language Abroad through one of my many searches, and within minutes of ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2018, noon by TeenLife | View Comments
african-conservation-experience-sophie-gates

Sophie Gates spent part of a gap year working in South Africa with the African Conservation Experience. I knew when I applied to study veterinary medicine at university that getting in was going to be difficult, so it came as no surprise that I narrowly missed the grades. I decided to take a gap year and reapply, but wanted to make the most of my year out and do something I may never get the chance to do again. I started looking online for gap year trips where I could work alongside vets in other countries. Deciding on Africa was ...

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