by Ashley McCarrick

Test prep for the SAT ®, ACT ®, and PSAT/NMSQT ® tests is a popular summer activity, but there are plenty of additional activity options. Summer is a great time to prepare for college and to explore possible career and study options. The DFW Metroplex has a number of specialty programs worth investigating. Here are a few to consider:

Summer Camps and Programs

The University of Texas at Arlington has a number of youth programs designed for middle and high school students. Options include engineering, computer science, music, and more. Learn more and get registration information at

The University of Texas at Dallas offers academic, athletic, communication, and recreational camps throughout the summer. Visit for details.

Texas Christian University in Fort Worth offers summer camps for 1st-12th graders. Creative writing, digital game design, and forensics are just a few of the areas of study. Learn more at

Volunteer Opportunities

If you have not found your niche for volunteer service, use the summer to explore various organizations. Most people find that service to a meaningful cause relieves stress and allows them to focus on that which is most important in life.

Visit or for opportunities near you.

College and Career Research

Go on campus visits, even virtual ones; has tours for colleges around the world. Sites like have plenty of information on potential colleges, including available majors. Students often are not aware of the thousands of majors available at colleges and the career options they offer. Do some exploring!

Of course, you should use the summer to relax and enjoy some downtime, but including meaningful activities will only enhance your experience and your life. Use your time wisely!

Ashley McCarrick is an Executive Director at KD College Prep. She has been serving KD students since 2007 and enjoys helping teenagers discover their dreams. In her free time, Ashley delights in spending time with her daughter, Lilley, and volunteering with various local organizations. You may contact her at