Summer Opportunities Fair Returns to Campus, Will Include Local Cuisine

The Andover Summer Opportunities Office will host a fair on summer programs this Sunday, February 7. Some of the summer programs represented at the fair include Experiments in International Living, Career Explorations, and many science based programs. Other programs focus on adventure and wilderness experiences. Roxanne Barry, Director of Summer and Interim Year Opportunities, said, “While a student is on any opportunity, the opportunity gives the student some free time when they aren’t busy to pursue something else they may be interested in.” “We have a three month summer, a lot of kids want to do things such as practice a language, learn something new, or do community service,” said Barry. Emelyn Chew ’10 took part in a Career Explorations program over the summer and worked as an intern in advertising for a chocolate company called Sweetriot. Chew said, “Career Explorations was such a fun part of my summer. I spent four weeks in New York City and it was amazing to have real life work experience; they actually let me do work and contribute to the growth of the company.” “I wasn’t just doing busy work like making coffee, but they actually used one of my designs for the header of their monthly newsletter, and I made a video too,” added Chew. According to Barry, “About 30-40 years ago anyone who had interest in summer opportunities would walk into GW and look through a tiny folder to see what their options were. But, the program grew over the years, and a Summer Opportunities Office was started.” The Summer Opportunities Office is now in its twentieth year. Barry said, “This year is exciting because it is the first year the Summer programs fair will not be held in Commons, instead in the Cage, and there are a large number of exhibitors coming.” In addition to the approximately 100 programs represented at the Summer Opportunities Fair, many local restaurants such as Tuk Tuk, Moo Tone and La Rosa will serve food. Sweet Mimi’s, a candy store, will also sell treats. The fair serves a dual purpose as an opportunity for students to learn about summer programs and a fundraiser for the Parents of Students of Phillips Academy. The fair is the biggest fundra. Most of the money that the PSPA uses to help student clubs is made from the fee that the exhibitors who come to the Summer Opportunities Fair pay. Barry said, “A number of these programs are not cheap, but many of them have their own scholarship opportunities. Also, some offer jobs and employment, but that is geared towards older students.” There in an informational packet with about 90 opportunity listings which offer employment or scholarships. John Anderson, Co-Director of the College Counseling Office, said, “The effect a program has on the college application process depends on the nature of the project.” “If someone secured an internship in a biology laboratory studying fuel cells, that would be of interest.” Anderson added, “Language programs also catch the eyes of admissions,” Anderson continued. Barry said, “Most of these programs lend themselves to be written about in college essays because most kids who do these programs have a great life experience.” Barry continued, “I had a student learn Sanskrit over and he said that it changed his life.” Anderson also observed similar reactions to summer opportunities from students. According to Anderson, many students report that summer opportunities changed their lives.