Unusual Summer Programs for High School Students

Digital Volunpeering or Amnesty Decoding Anyone?

Have your summer plans been canceled or postponed? You are certainly not alone. But knowing that isn’t going to make it any less painful. How will you spend your summer and still show college admissions counselors that you didn’t just waste away playing PlayStation – at least for a chunk of your summer vacation?

How about becoming a part-time Digital VolunPeer or an Amnesty Decoder? No commitment necessary, just an open mind, and above all, it’s free!

Check out the world-renowned Smithsonian Institute and their need for “Digital Volunpeers” who provide transcription services for historical data. It’s not just for history buffs, but biologists and language enthusiasts are invited as well. The transcription projects range from African American History and Biodiversity to Mysteries of the Universe and World Culture, to name but a few.

You will become one of 20,000 volunpeers who help transcribe 500,000 pages of field notes, diaries, ledgers, logbooks, currency proof sheets, photo albums and manuscripts, as well as biodiversity specimen labels. Go to: https://transcription.si.edu

Or are you more interested in Social Justice work? How about becoming an “Amnesty Decoder?” Amnesty International is seeking global volunteers who can help decode human rights violations.

The fascinating projects will take you all over the world, from decoding oil spills in Nigeria and comparing satellite images in Darfur, to women rights abuses in India or evicted Covid-19 residents in Kenya. The projects are varied, important and notable.

Check out: https://decoders.amnesty.org

Instead of just flipping through your Instagram posts for hours, or watching reruns of your favorite shows on Netflix, you can actually expand your mind, learn about real-life injustices and work with teammates all over the world who share your values, passions and above all compassion. And who knows, you might find a project so fascinating that your college essay will write itself this fall!!