Summer Success with AE2: Opportunities in Debate, Policy, Activism, and Law

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Calling all future lawyers, policymakers, and government officials! We’ve compiled a list of opportunities you can pursue this summer to boost your college applications while quarantined. These are great opportunities for you to highlight your passions and show that you stay motivated even during the summer.

Classes and Programs

Many universities host programs for high schoolers centered around policy and debate. These are generally paid courses that give students a taste of college life. The following are some highlights that are still accepting applicants. If you have a specific dream school, we recommend looking on their website to see if they have a summer program that is still accepting applications.

Stanford Beginners’ Policy Experience Program

Grades: 9-12

Cost: $2,195

Deadline: May 25th

Description: This is a policy debate program designed for beginners. The lab will teach students the core principles of policy debate, provide a first in-depth glimpse into the evidence production process (all digital), and instill the love for policy debate that all of Stanford staff shares. The core two-week program is designed to introduce major concepts while fitting into the tightest of summer schedules while the extended week provides students several additional practice debates and a mini-end of camp tournament.


Institute for Speech and Debate

Grades: 9-12

Deadline: Unspecified

Description: ISD is a nationally recognized speech and debate summer camp program for middle and high school students.  Designed, managed, and staffed by championship speech and debate coaches, ISD offers the highest quality speech and debate program in the nation.  


Stanford Core Congressional Debate Program

Grades: 9-12

Cost: $1,695

Deadline: May 25th

Description: The 2-Week Core Congressional Debate Program is designed to give students everything that they need to succeed in Congress.


Competitions and Scholarships

Competitions are a great resource to utilize, especially as most of them can be done in the comfort of your own home. They’re a way to stand out in admissions by highlighting your competitive strengths. Many competitions also have cash prizes, which will help you start saving up for college (or just treat yourself!). For even more opportunities we recommend checking out


Grades: 9-12

Prize: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Description: DoSomething offers hundreds of scholarships surrounding activism. They are often simple to apply to and are a great way to educate yourself on social justice issues while entering scholarships.


NSS Virtual spUN Virtual Student Debates

Grades: 6-12

Prize: Varies

Deadline: Late May/Early June

Description: The spUn Debate teams for the Middle and High School level are comprised of students who are enthusiastic about space settlement, who wish to learn about the tools of debating, and who want to work with students from around the world who will work together to comprise each debate team.


Ocean Awareness Contest

Ages: 11-18

Prize: Up to $1,500

Deadline: June 15th

Description: The 2020 Ocean Awareness Contest is a call for young artists, conservationists, makers, thinkers, and activists who are concerned about the future of our blue planet. Join thousands of youth around the world in an annual program that raises awareness about the climate crisis and potential solutions, uplifts youth voices for ocean conservation, and inspires hope and action through art, creative media, and storytelling.


Other Opportunities

Internships with Local Congresspeople

While many of the world’s businesses are slowing down, Congress is busier than ever with the global pandemic. It’s a great time to reach out to your local congresspeople to see if they’re hiring interns.


There are many opportunities to fight for what you believe in, with world issues only growing more prevalent during turbulent times. If you’re new to activism, we recommend writing to your local congresspeople about issues you care about and spreading awareness in your community about voting remotely during upcoming elect

Fighting the Pandemic

With the global pandemic going on, there are many ways to help while showing off your strengths to college admissions. Organizing food drives, collecting masks, and mobilizing your community are great ways to highlight your leadership abilities and commitment to social justice.

Final Thoughts

We hope you found something exciting for you on this list. If not, don’t worry! We will be coming out with more opportunities everyday this week, and many of them intersect with activism and policy. Don’t want to miss out? Subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of this page!

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