Although your high school might have a wide range of clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities to get involved with, sometimes, you just want to branch out even more. Luckily, there are many opportunities to get involved with in your local community or even nationally.
Pre-college programs outside of high school are great opportunities to add to your resume. They allow you to delve deeper into a subject area or industry of interest to you, and meet new people. Check out this list we compiled and let us know of any opportunities you think all pre-collegiettes should know about.
1. Her Campus High School Ambassador Program
Get involved right here at Her Campus and learn the ins and outs of the communications industry. Part internship, part mentorship, you’ll learn important skills to help you succeed in the media and marketing fields. Join this great community of empowering young women and gain amazing experience for college and your career.
2. Youth Court
Calling all future Olivia Popes and Annalise Keatings: if you’re interested in the legal system or becoming a lawyer, Youth Court gives you the chance to get real life courtroom experience. It’s not paid, but you get incredible mentoring and experience.
“I learned a lot about professionalism and etiquette in the workplace, “ says Claire, a freshman at Clemson University. “Even though I no longer want to pursue a law degree, I think being involved in a pre-professional program in high school taught me real world skills I wouldn't have learned in the classroom or through sports. Our mentors were practicing attorneys that… taught us a whole lot about what they do in a regular day and the types of cases they are involved with. I also had a lot of fun with it.”
You can serve as a lawyer, juror, or judge for actual juvenile delinquents and their court cases. Founded in 2005, the goal of Youth Court is for teenagers to determine a fair and restorative sentence or disposition for their peers. That’s right- real cases, real sentencing in a real court.
3. Become a social media brand ambassador
Are you social media savvy? Companies like PrepReps and Reppr are looking for high school (and college!) students to promote brands on their social media accounts. If you’re interested in marketing and media, this is a great way to observe and participate firsthand in this drastically evolving industry. Plus, brand ambassadors get free stuff, and some are paid positions.
4. Girls Who Code
Whether you’re an expert hacker or have absolutely no experience with coding, Girls Who Code has computer science courses for you. They have clubs all over the country, plus summer immersion camps. Technology jobs are skyrocketing, but there is a considerable gender gap that Girls Who Code seeks to close with outreach to girls in sixth through twelfth grade. Plus, the clubs focus on solving local issues with computer science. Sisterhood, career building skills and community service? Doesn’t get much better than that.
5. Teen outreach programs at your local museum
From New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, many museums throughout the country have teen advisory groups or councils you can get involved in. If you love art and want to spread your passion, check out your local museums for information.
6. Start a local chapter of a non-profit
If you’re feeling adventurous, create your own program of sorts. Recruit members from your local community to make a difference with some great organizations. UNICEF, She’s the First, the American Red Cross and more organizations have programs where you can start your own club and join a national network of young philanthropists.
7. Nordstrom Fashion Ambassador
If you’re interested in fashion or just love cute clothes and giving your opinions, you should check out this program by Nordstrom for juniors and seniors in high school. The program gives you the opportunity to get behind-the-scenes access to the fashion industry. Ambassadors meet once a month at select Nordstrom stores to meet with buyers and event planners.
There are so many ways to branch out past your school’s sponsored activities. Hopefully this list gave you an idea of how to get involved and engaged with the real working world. Whatever you’re interested in- career or service wise- it’s worth doing research to find companies and organizations looking for intelligent, hard working young women like you.