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Author Topic: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?  (Read 3027 times)

Description: teen topic

Offline CMdeux

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What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« on: February 04, 2013, 02:15:45 PM »
So I'm curious.

We've been talking about this around here because our DD will graduate from high school a whopping 3+ years early.

While she is undoubtedly ready for the academic demands of college...

we'd love it if she had the ability to spend a year doing something that is simply meaningful in some way... because, well-- the acceleration has given her the "gift of time."

I think it's really obvious how FA management improves with additional maturity, too-- so every additional year is better advocacy skill, more assertive communication strategies, etc. etc. 


BUT... about 60% of traditional "gap year" planning is about travel.  To developing countries or really marginal locations in terms of management.  NOT happening with someone like my DD, who has a super-low threshold.

What does that leave??

Our family has had some conversations about this, but I'll hold off until a few other people have weighed in first. 

TIA!!   :thumbsup:
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline Macabre

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 02:28:45 PM »
Travel to Europe.  I don't think he needs to travel to an underdeveloped part of the world to sped the year well. He currently does a lot of service. If he could spend time expanding his foreign language skills that would be time well spent IMHO.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 02:49:01 PM by Macabre »
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline Macabre

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 02:34:03 PM »
I'm terms of travel, it's been so helpful to see members like Nameless or members' kids (GoingNuts, LindaJo, and Peg) travel.   

I am pretty confident in DS ability to go to a European country by himself by that age.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 03:08:35 PM »
Spend the year travelling to National Parks in the US . . . couple it with indepth geology studies . . . then maybe work against fracking.

 ;D

Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

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Offline LinksEtc

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 03:09:25 PM »
we'd love it if she had the ability to spend a year doing something that is simply meaningful in some way... because, well-- the acceleration has given her the "gift of time."

Quote
What does that leave??

I think it depends on what she finds meaningful.  Volunteering, advocacy, small business - Shark Tank  :), writing/publishing, internships, diving deep into a specific academic subject, art/music, USA travel, bucket list, etc.

My kids would love unlimited time to improve their Wii skills  :P

-------------------

Macabre -  :grouphug:

Offline PurpleCat

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 03:53:38 PM »
Your DD will know what would mean the most to her.  If I knew her to talk to her, I would tell her....I had a chance to go to Europe and put off college.  I got scared and decided at the last minute not to go and went to college instead.  It is my only regret in life.  Once I got out of college and was faced with student loans to pay back....I was stressed to get working and start paying.  I never felt like I had a chance to be free after that.

My feeling is that there is nothing like that last bit of true freedom and if you have a chance to try something, see something, do something - go for it...all of it.....live live live!!!  (I love Auntie Mame!)

What are some of your daughter's interests?  Can you turn them into an adventure?  Is there something she would like to learn that is not part of her academic plan.....something like.... photography.....that she could submerge herself into for awhile.  Try, explore......

If overseas travel is out, how about some domestic travel....by rail.....follow a coast....visit the places of some of her favorite famous americans....follow a museum trail.......explore the smithsonian museums.....travel and blog about it.

Such exciting possibilities!

Offline booandbrimom

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 06:35:04 PM »
Wish I knew. I agree with you...most of the commercially-available programs involve travel to unacceptable locations.

If you're just starting to think about this, here's a good resource:

http://www.usagapyearfairs.org/programs

My son is still too stressed out to talk about college vs. gap year, so we haven't narrowed things down any.
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Offline booandbrimom

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 06:35:26 PM »
Maybe she should go intern for FARE.  ~)
What doesn't kill you makes you bitter.

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Offline CMdeux

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2013, 06:44:00 PM »
She's actually seriously interested in:

a) interning for a local NPO that she's worked with for many years (a food-based one, ironically!)

b) learning a string instrument intensively

c) learning a third language-- Spanish or ASL-- and doing some volunteer work as a translator

d) job shadowing seriously-- some of the front runners on that wish list include a federal judge, professional editor, college faculty, etc.

e) spending time improving her artistic skills-- probably taking some classes

f) Google Science Fair.  She has an idea, but is a long way from making it a reality... though it's FEASIBLE, imo, and definitely something that she would be able to do in another year.... the age group winners there get 50K and a mentor for a year.  So that's a pie-in-the-sky kind of gap year plan.  But it's also a far cry from the Intel competitions, which frankly are a matter of privilege as much as any kind of independent innovation (the winners INVARIABLY have already got a faculty mentor and access to state of the art research facilities).
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

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Offline Macabre

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2013, 06:56:44 PM »
I know a kid who, after graduating from high school (and she did cyber school) went to Egypt by herself over the summer to learn Arabic. She went from there to an orphanage in Viet Nam for the year. She had gotten a full ride to UVA, too. :)

As she was doing this stuff I thought DS would never be able to. Maybe not--but he can do other things. I think other things are totally doable.

Hoping SLIT helps with this frankly--whatever happens after high school.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline CMdeux

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 07:08:21 PM »
I really do believe that it's possible for kids to remain within their own communities and make a difference/find themselves.

There are needs everywhere.

Maybe I just hope so, I dunno.  I realize that travel is broadening, and maybe we'll try to do the east coast during a gap year-- it's possible, I think, and it would be amazing.

A lot depends on how feasible air travel turns out to be.  If it's merely a PITA, that is one thing. 
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

twinturbo

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 02:53:54 PM »
Best bet is something where chronological age isn't a legit barrier to begin with. One of my nieces competes on the international circuit for violin. She also performs at the metropolitan symphony as a soloist as well and she just turned 13. She also absolutely loves it, we all support her violin habit because it's $$$. But, she made it all the way to national champ to international competition on a fairly cruddy Yamaha, the travel is what got expensive until she fell in love recently with her new violin.

I took DS1 out of school for 6 months so he could visit every local and major metropolitan wordclass science museum and zoo and astronomy and robotics event available to us. It was a lot of picnic in the minivan and/or McD if NYC.

The reason I mention age because DH initiates and supervises collegiate internships. In the last year he was approached by someone at the HS level to facilitate internships. The problem is that taking charge of minors became nightmarish for all involved.

Check out Intel & Microsoft's girla in science and engineering not because I want to herd your child here as a female specifically but I have solid contacts there and the funding is really solid and it's somewhat local for you and it is designed for girls in that age range and it could start really awesome contacts. I could dig up a ready to use contact in 2 weeks. Need to give them business time to respond.

Other potential bonus is scholarship. Follow the money and opportunity.

ETA: I reread and saw that you've actually considered Intel but have concerns about it being politicized. While that's true to an extent what I would add is what their youth programs do offers much more opportunity than winning their public prize. Becoming entrenched with Intel to develop mentors and contacts will allow you to avail on their relationships with other entities such as NASA and Microsoft in the short long term. And there are people there with networks to great universities or previous work experience in something cool, international sites, etc.

What works is networking in and becoming part of the fabric there. Once there colleagues with ample academic chops and ties will do much to help an obviously bright, accomplished young mind on fire.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 04:00:53 PM by twinturbo »

twinturbo

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 05:02:31 PM »
DH has the following reccomendation as a former hiring manager in the tech industry and as a graduate admissions board member: Join an open source project.

It will develop skills to program, to work on a large scale collaboration, to network globally (not exclusive to only the most developed nations), to contribute to humanity, to build a portfolio of programming projects, to have fun.

In the open source community age or resources don't matter, it's a meritocracy in the truest sense with contributors from all over the world, you'd quickly recognize that it's truly diverse and not just industrialized countries. You find a project that interests, you develop and submit your code and it either works or doesn't.

For example, Linus Torvalds the author of Linux (the basis of Android for starters) lives in Portland. There is a strong portion of the open source movement centered there. It's entirely possible he's willing to mentor a young open source developer. Considering open source is used nearly everywhere the possibilities are endless and the pricepoint for entry is nearly zero.

Offline candyguru

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Re: What would your FA teen do with a GAP YEAR?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 10:29:39 AM »
I'm terms of travel, it's been so helpful to see members like Nameless or members' kids (GoingNuts, LindaJo, and Peg) travel.   

I am pretty confident in DS ability to go to a European country by himself by that age.

yes, I've been to Europe 3 times (age 13, age 18, and age 39) and not a problem...  Italy, France, Britain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Denmark...  it can be done, and I know of others with PA who also travel to Europe.
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CANADA, land of maple syrup and poutine
Me:  peanuts, ragweed
DD1:  PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING NOW! peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, wheat, lentils/peas/beans, leaf mould
DD2:  milk (and avoiding peanuts)