Opportunities for Students

    Rotary Youth Leadership Award

    Sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of District 7710, RYLA is a truly unique leadership conference specifically designed for high school juniors. Delegates who are chosen to attend this conference are students who have demonstrated leadership potential in scholastic, athletic and civic activities. Those who attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Conference will be tomorrowʼs leaders.

    Delegates are selected in conjunction with school officials. Rotary clubs encourage school officials to nominate several candidates based on demonstrated leadership potential. Local Rotary clubs interview and select possible delegates.

    The Conference runs from 10:00 a.m. on Friday, typically the first week in April, through 1:00 p.m. the following Sunday. Students need to understand that they will miss school on Friday.  It is held at Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, North Carolina. It is situated on 150 rolling, wooded acres just east of Raleigh. Students are housed at the facility.

    Delegates to the Conference are members of a chosen few. They are selected because of their scholastic, athletic and civic achievements as well as their personality and desire to improve themselves. The hope of Rotary is to send them home better equipped to face the world by utilizing those leadership tools they were exposed to during these three days.

    If you have any interest in being a candidate, please notify Mrs. Carpino (lcarpino@wcpss.net) by October 25, 2017.

    The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. Created in 1995 by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level.

    To be eligible, you must:

    • be in grades 5-12 as of November 7
    • be a legal resident of any U.S. state or Washington, D.C.
    • have engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred during the 12 months prior to the date of the application
    • submit a completed application to a school or the head of an official designated local organization by November 7

    For more info, please visit: https://spirit.prudential.com/

    Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics

    Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics is a no-cost, state-funded program for academically talented North Carolina students who aspire to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
    As a rising high school junior or senior, you live on a college campus for four weeks in the summer and conduct research around topics of your interest — while enjoying the company of like-minded peers.  


    Who can apply?

    • Rising high school juniors or seniors who have not already participated in Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics.
    • Students whose custodial parent or guardian lives in North Carolina as of December 1, 2016.
    • Students with proven academic ability, motivation in STEM fields of study, and emotional maturity. 
    • Students may apply to both Summer Ventures and Governor’s School, but they must choose one if accepted to both programs. 
    • Students may apply to both Summer Ventures and North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM). Students must choose between Summer Ventures or the NCSSM residential program if accepted to both. NCSSM Online students can attend Summer Ventures.
    • A student on the NCSSM residential waiting list who is later accepted may attend Summer Ventures.

    What do I need to apply?

    Applicants must provide:

    • Student application 
    • Confidential STEM teacher evaluation
    • Confidential counselor evaluation
    • Evidence of academic performance

    For more info, please visit: https://www.ncssm.edu/summerventures


    North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

    The mission of North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is to: educate academically talented students to become state, national, and global leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; advance public education in North Carolina; and inspire innovation for the betterment of humankind, through challenging residential, online, summer, and virtual learning driven by instructional excellence and the excitement of discovery. 

    NCSSM will host 3 open house dates in the fall of 2018: 10/21, 11/11, 12/9

    For more info or to register for the open house, please visit: https://www.ncssm.edu/residential-admissions

    HOBY State Leadership Seminar 2018 for High School Sophomores

    The Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Seminar will be at NC State University June 15-17, 2018. Since 1958, HOBY has empowered students with transformational leadership training that provides a life-changing experience. The 3-4 day seminar weekend is filled with interactive activities and workshops that allow students to discover their personal leadership strengths. After understanding leadership from three different perspectives, students then learn to cultivate their skills to lead others and make a positive impact in their community. 

    Students should visit their counselors if they are interested in participating in HOBY. Only School Administrators/Counselors can select and register students to represent their high school. There is a fee associated with this enrichment opportunity of $195. 

    For more info, please visit: www.hoby.org

    Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest 

    Sponsored by Hollins University, the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest is in its fifty-fourth year. The contest awards prizes for the best poems submitted by young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school.


    First place (one winner)
    • Free tuition and housing for the university’s Hollinsummer creative writing program
    • $200 cash prize
    • Publication in Cargoes, Hollins’ award-winning student literary magazine
    • Ten copies of Cargoes
    Second place (six winners)
    • $25 cash prize
    • Publication in Cargoes
    • Two copies of Cargoes


      • Students must submit their poem(s) in Microsoft Word, 12pt Times New Roman – online
      • No more than two poems by any one student may be submitted
      • Please label additional pages with the author’s name, title of poem, and page number
      • Each entry must include the following information:
        • Author’s name
        • Author’s mailing address
        • Author’s phone number and/or email address
        • Year of author’s high school graduation
        • High school teacher or guidance counselor’s name and email address
        • Author’s school
        • Address of author’s school
        • Phone number of author’s school

    Submit Your Entry


    October 31, 2017 


    Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.


    Late February


    Nancy Thorp, Hollins class of 1960, was a young poet who showed great promise when she was a student. Following her death in 1962, her family established the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest to encourage the work of young poets.


    NSCDA Congressional Essay Contest 

    This essay contest is a major project of The NSCDA held under the auspices of the Washington Workshops Foundation, a private nonprofit educational program in American government for high school students. Winners receive full tuition, including seminar materials, university campus housing, and two meals daily, for a week of citizenship education about the national government, plus fun, new friends, and tours of sites in our nation’s capital.

    ∗2018 Essay Topic and Title∗

    “Why did the authors of the United States Constitution give Presidents the power to issue Executive Orders? How did Congress and the Judicial Branch limit these orders?”


    Rules, Information and Judging Criteria for Essay Contest

    Essay Poster

    History of the Congressional Essay Contest

    How to Apply:

    Review Essay Rules and Information to make sure your submission complies with all rules.

    Email or mail by USPS your essay with the Completed Application to the local/state NSCDA Congressional Essay representative or Patriotic Service Chair as directed. Unsure about who this person is? Please email  Dames@DumbartonHouse.org for the correct name and contact information. Please include your name, State and county/parish of your school and contact information.

    Deadline is December 1, 2017

    Email Dames@DumbartonHouse.org if you have any questions.

    Study Abroad Opportunities for Students



    • Focus: linguistic immersion in critical languages: Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Mandarin, Korean, Persian, Indonesian, or Hindi

    • Duration: 6 weeks over the summer OR one academic year (gap year between high school and college, or one year of high school if home school is willing to offer credit)

    • Locations: Jordan, Morocco, China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, Turkey

      • Applicants rank language preferences

    • Who can apply: US citizens who will be between 15 and 18 years old when the program begins; no language experience required

    • Applications due: November 2

    • Contact: Cara Price (cara97@live.unc.edu)


    CONGRESS BUNDESTAG YOUTH EXCHANGE: http://www.usagermanyscholarship.org/


    • Focus: cultural diplomacy with Germany

    • Duration: one academic year (gap year between high school and college, or one year of high school if home school is willing to offer credit)

    • Location: Germany

    • Who can apply: US citizens who will be between 15 and 18.5 years old when the program begins; no language experience required

    • Applications due: December 12

    • Contact: TJ Turner (turnjor1197@gmail.com)


    KENNEDY LUGAR YOUTH EXCHANGE & STUDY: http://www.yes-abroad.org/


    • Focus: cultural immersion in countries with significant Muslim populations

    • Duration: one academic year (gap year between high school and college, or one year of high school if home school is willing to offer credit)

    • Locations: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey

      • Applicants rank country preferences

    • Who can apply: US citizens who will be between 15 and 18.5 years old when the program begins; no language experience required

    • Applications due: December 5