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Opportunities are just POURING IN for NYC’s public school students.

GIF of young girl accidentally pouring too much sugar into Kool Aid

We know you know, but just in case it has to be said… too much sugar is not good for anyone!

This month, City students in grades K–12 can take part in and/or apply for an incredible range of opportunities both in-person and virtually, including paid jobs, internships, virtual events, learning camps, contests, career prep programs, and even free travel! Thanks to City agencies like NYC Parks and the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, as well as organizations like the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Cooper Hewitt, City students have a bevy of learning experiences available that will help them explore their interests and career pathways like never before.

Check out the following list of opportunities below, and visit their respective websites for more information!

Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

Opportunities for Students Available in February 2022

The opportunities below are ordered by their listed submission/registration deadline dates, with the most urgent deadlines listed first. All in-person events, workshops, and trainings are subject to visitor and masking/vaccine guidelines—for more information, please refer to each site’s website in the links below.

Discover the Life of Poet and Activist, Gwendolyn Brooks

For students in grades 8–12 (must be at least 13 years old)
Event takes place on Zoom on February 24, 2022—3:30–5 p.m., E.S.T.

Advance registration required

Interested in social justice, art, and poetry? The Morgan Library & Museum is hosting the exhibition, “Gwendolyn Brooks: A Poet’s Work in Community,” in celebration of the life and work of American poet, Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000). While the in-person exhibition will be on display at the Morgan Library & Museum until June 5, 2022, City teenagers can take a free virtual tour of this exhibition with curator, Nicholas Caldwell, on Thursday, February 24, 2022. Following the tour with Mr. Caldwell, students will then be able to participate in a virtual poetry writing workshop with Dr. Alwin A.D. Jones, a writer, poet, and formerly tenured professor of Black Literature and Global Studies.

During this virtual event, participants will be able to learn more about Gwendolyn Brooks, including her social justice work and community activism, find inspiration in Brooks’ poetry, create original poems, learn more about Black-owned publishers and bookstores, and explore the Morgan Library’s research opportunities and collection online.

No writing/poetry experience is required, and participants will need to have access to paper and writing tools for this workshop. For more information, visit this virtual tour and workshop’s Eventbrite page.

Explore Careers in Architecture in a Free One-Day Virtual Conference

For students in grades 9–12
Event takes place on Zoom on February 25, 2022—10 a.m.–1 p.m., E.S.T.

Registration deadline: February 24, 2022

The Center for Architecture’s career exploration program, Discover Architecture 2022, is a free virtual one-day conference for high school students interested in architecture. The program includes a series of 50-minute presentations and workshops led by architecture professionals. Sessions are designed to help high school students get a better sense of what it’s like to be an architect, and will explore topics such as the collaborative process, current design projects, job site tours, and more! The event will be held from 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., E.S.T. on Zoom.

To learn more about Discover Architecture 2022 and to register, visit the Discover Architecture 2022 webpage.

Apply for the Princeton Summer Journalism Program

For students in grade 11
Program runs June – August 2022

Application deadline: February 28, 2022

The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) is a free journalism and college preparatory program at Princeton University for current high school juniors from low-income backgrounds who are interested in journalism. Students participate in workshops taught by Princeton professors and professional journalists to learn reporting skills and gain experience with tasks like holding a press conference, producing a short documentary, reporting on a sporting event, and conducting interviews for feature stories. At the conclusion of the program, students’ works are published in the Princeton Summer Journal, and then students work one-on-one with a volunteer college adviser and professional journalist to help them through their college application process.

Applicants must have a minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA to be considered for PSJP. To learn more and to apply, visit the PSJP webpage.

STEM Matters NYC Spring Break Enrichment Programs

For students in grades K–12
Sessions run through Spring Recess (April 18–22, 2022)

Application deadline: February 28, 2022

This spring recess (April 15–22, 2022), the NYC Department of Education’s STEM Matters NYC is offering City K–12 students a variety of exciting and hands-on experiential STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs that will run from Monday, 4/18 through Friday, 4/22 from 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. These programs will include camps for K–8 students, and an internship and water conservation leadership program for high school students.

If you’re interested in animal science, aviation, marine biology, mechanics, ecology, engineering, and more, apply for the STEM Matters NYC spring break program by Monday, February 28, 2022. Spots are limited, so don’t miss out!

Participate in the 2022 New York City History Contest

For students in grades 6–12
Contest will be held in March 2022

Submission deadline: February 28, 2022

It’s time for NYC’s middle and high school students to flex their knowledge of City history! The 2022 New York City History Day contest, hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library’s Center for Brooklyn History, is taking submissions now through February 28 for historical projects that cover this year’s theme, “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.”

Submissions will be accepted in the following formats: paper, exhibition, performance, website, or documentary. All categories allow individual or group entries, which the exception of the paper category, which only allows individual entries.

Please note that students who wish to participate in this contest will have to link their project to a registered teacher from their school. If your teacher isn’t registered, have them check out BPL’s Resources for Teachers page so that they can learn more about becoming a sponsor teacher.

Contest winners will move onto the New York State and National History Day contests.

To learn more and to register, visit the Brooklyn Public Library’s NYC History Day contest page.

Journalism student interviewing another student

NYC students from can gain valuable journalism experience through Princeton’s Summer Journalism Program. (Photo Credit: Princeton University)

Design Your Dream High School for the 2022 National High School Design Competition

For students in grades 9–12

Submission deadline: February 28, 2022

What would you design for a more peaceful world? Cooper Hewitt invites City high school students to participate in their 2022 National High School Design Competition. The 2022 competition challenges high school students to envision the future we want to live in and create designs that challenge the status quo, embrace justice and truth, and support safe, healthy, and respectful environments.

The competition is free to enter, and prizes include inspiring virtual mentoring opportunities with leading designers and experts in the field. The main winner will also receive a complimentary Family Membership to Cooper Hewitt.

To learn more about this competition, check out Cooper Hewitt’s contest webpage.

Become an NYC Parks Lifeguard

For qualified candidates who are at least 16 years of age

Potential candidates must register for a Lifeguard Qualifying Test
Testing groups and appointments will be limited—register ASAP.

Think you have what it takes to become a City lifeguard this summer? Then it’s time to earn your whistle, because NYC Parks is seeking lifeguards to help keep New York’s beaches and pools safe all summer long.

As a lifeguard, you’ll develop valuable skills that will last a lifetime, including vital leadership and communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team, first-aid and rescue techniques like CPR, and improved swimming capabilities. Once hired, lifeguards work 5–6 days a week, and first-year lifeguards earn a minimum of $16 an hour (or about $800 a week).

All potential lifeguards must pass the City’s Lifeguard Qualifying Test, which is a series of vision and swimming exams. Once you pass the qualifying test, you will be placed into a lifeguard training program, where you will develop your swimming skills and lifesaving techniques—upon completion, you will receive your certification to become a City Lifeguard.

For more information, visit NYC Parks’ Become an NYC Parks Lifeguard page.

Apply for a Summer Travel Scholarship

For students in grades 7–11

Submission deadline: March 1, 2022

The nonprofit organization, Trip of a Lifetime, is now accepting applications for summer travel scholarships for students in grades 7–11. Trip of a Lifetime has sent over 225 under-served students from the five borough on a trips to Ecuador, Costa Rica, and the east coast of the U.S.

For more information, including selection criteria, visit Trip of a Lifetime’s website, and complete your application online.

Learn How to Set Goals and Search for Jobs

For students in grades 10–12
Virtual event takes place on Zoom on March 1, 2022—4–5 p.m., E.S.T.

Advance registration suggested

Join Believe & Inspire for an interactive virtual Goal Setting and Job Search workshop for high school aged students. Learn practical life skills to help accomplish life goals, and understand how to create SMART goals and conduct industry research to find job postings that can increase your chances of getting an internship or employment opportunity. The session will take place from 4–5:00 p.m. via Zoom on Tuesday, March 1.

Learn more on the Believe and Inspire Programs page, and register by completing the Spring 2022 Workshop Registration form.

(Re)connecting Brooklyn’s History: Civil War Correspondence

For students in grades 6–12
Virtual event will take place on March 2, 2022—4–5 p.m., E.S.T.

Registration deadline: March 2, 2022

The Center for Brooklyn History Education’s “(Re)connecting Brooklyn’s History” series brings the fascinating work of historians to audiences of students and educators through online presentations regarding local history topics. In this workshop, historian and curator, Julie Golia, will lead students and educators through a virtual presentation regarding what 19th century letters can teach us about the U.S. Civil War. Using this correspondence, participants will be able to draw comparisons between today’s digital media and the very different experience of letter writing.

To learn more and to register for this event, check out this event’s listing on Eventbrite.

Lifeguard making adjustments to his observation tower on the beach

NYC Parks is looking for lifeguards! First-year lifeguards can earn $800 a week. If you’re 16 years of age or older, consider applying today! (Photo by Jen Gallardo. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Flickr.)

Take a Stand Against Hate Through Your HeARTwork

For students in grades 3–12

Submission deadline: March 4, 2022, at 5 p.m., E.S.T.

The NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) is running its third annual HeARTwork Against Hate contest to give young New Yorkers the opportunity and platform to take an artistic stand against all forms of bias, discrimination, and hate while communicating the positive values that make New York great.

Eligible participants can win prize up to $250 (grades 3–5) or $500 (grades 6–8 and 9–12), and winners will be featured on OPHC’s website and on various digital displays across the five boroughs.

For more information about the contest, visit the HeARTwork Against Hate contest webpage.

Participate in NYC DEP’s Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest

For students in grades 2–12

Submission deadline: March 4, 2022

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection invites NYC students in grades 2–12 to create original art and poetry that reflects an appreciation for our State’s water resources. NYC DEP asks students to consider five contest themes: Water, A Precious Resource; NYC’s Water Supply System; NYC’s Wastewater Treatment System; Harbor Water Quality and Healthy Marine Ecosystems; and Water Stewardship and Climate Change.

For more information and to submit your entries, visit DEP’s Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest webpage.

Build Your Leadership Skills through the Service in Schools Leadership Institute

For students in grades 10–12
Sessions run through Spring Recess (April 18–22, 2022)

Application deadline: March 4, 2022

High school students interested in becoming leaders while also serving the community can apply for the Service in Schools (SIS) Leadership Institute! The SIS Leadership Institute is an exciting opportunity for NYC public high school students in grades 10-12 to build their leadership skills over the course of a five-day, in-person program during Spring Recess and two virtual afterschool sessions in May 2022. Throughout the program, students will work in small groups to learn about local issues and develop live virtual lessons for students in grades 3-5 that will be presented to a class in late spring 2022.

For more information, visit the Service in Schools Leadership Institute page, and complete the Service in Schools Leadership Institute Form to apply.

Take Design and Engineering Classes at The Cooper Union

For students in grades 9–12

Registration deadline: March 18, 2022

The Cooper Union is offering high school students the opportunity to take design and engineering classes for its Summer STEM 2022 program. Topics that students can study include: Design and Drawing for Engineering; Biomaterials Design; Computer-Aided Drug Design; Racecar Research; Next-Gen Construction Materials; Augmented/Virtual Reality; and more. Design or engineering experience is not required.

Note that these programs do have a cost, though financial aid is available.

To learn more, check out the Summer STEM 2022 program’s official virtual information session on Thursday, March 3 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. You may also visit Cooper Union’s official Summer STEM 2022 webpage, to learn more and to submit your application.

Young girl reaching over to grab a paint brush to work on a watercolor painting of a rainbow

Young students in grades 3–5 can participate in this year’s HeARTwork Against Hate contest and win prize money for their work! (Photo by Vlada Karpovich. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.)

Fourth Annual NYC Public School Film Festival

For middle and high school students (Grades 6–12)
Festival screening will take place May 20–21, 2022

Submission deadline: March 25, 2022

For the fourth time, the DOE is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) to host the annual NYC Public School Film Festival for NYC middle and high school students. As part of the festival, students are invited to create original films (5 minutes or lower) in any of the following categories: animation, short feature/narrative, documentary, experimental, and public service announcement/advocacy.

A panel of educators and media professionals will select approximately 20 films for recognition, and each film selected for the festival will receive a certificate of official selection. Selected films will be screened on May 20–21, 2022.

To learn more, check out MOME’s New York City Public School Film Festival page.

Summer Law Institute

For students in grade 8
Program runs from July 5–August 5, 2022

Application deadline: April 2, 2022

Calling all eighth grade students! If you are fascinated by legal TV shows, or ever thought that you could be a great lawyer or a credible witness, consider applying for Legal Outreach’s Summer Law Institute (SLI). Through SLI, students will learn about law and the criminal justice system, meet attorneys, go on field trips to legal institutions, and even participate in a mock trial before a real judge! This five-week program for rising ninth graders will introduce you to new friends from other schools, expose you to positive and successful role models, and push you to see yourself as a young professional in training.

The program runs from July 5–August 5, 2022. To learn more about this program, including application requirements, check out Legal Outreach’s SLI webpage, and apply directly on their page!

Help Make a Positive Difference in Your Community through YVote

For students in grades 9–12
Monthly meetings from February–June 2022

Rolling admission; apply online ASAP

Interested in helping to transform our civic landscape and turn today’s youth into a political force? Apply to join YVote to be on the front lines of a youth social movement organized around creating change and holding elected officials accountable around issues like promoting financial literacy, expanding youth leadership opportunities, increasing youth voting and civic engagement, reallocating police funding, and providing housing for all.

Two tracks are available­ this spring—participating students can work on Political Education and Advocacy, or they could work on Youth Organizing and Activism. Each track meets once a month at scheduled times via Zoom; check out the YVote page for dates and times.

Engaged participants are provided a stipend of $75 per track. For more information about YVote, visit the YVote program page, and apply today.

Join the Gilder Lehrman Institute Student Advisory Council

For students in grades 8–12

Rolling deadline; apply online

Gilder Lehrman’s Student Advisory Council is a group of high-achieving students from all over the world with an interest in American history who are nominated by their teachers to join this elite community of like-minded individuals. Student Advisory Council members work with Gilder Lehrman Institute staff members to provide feedback on existing programs and help the Institute refine its outreach with the needs of young people in mind. Students in grades 8-12 are eligible to participate in the council and act as the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s student voice. Meetings are free and held via Zoom on the second Saturday of each month.

For more information, visit the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s Student Opportunities page, and contact for any questions.

Become a Member of the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s Digital Volunteers Team

For students in grades 8–12 (must be at least 13 years old)

Rolling deadline; apply online

Consider joining Gilder Lehrman’s Digital Volunteers and help transcribe historical documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection! This work will help make the Collection’s primary sources more accessible for students, teachers, and researchers across the City and around the world. Participating students are eligible to receive service hours for their work. This program is flexible, as it allows students to complete their transcription work remotely.

For more information about volunteering for this program, contact Alinda Borell at


For more opportunities like these, keep an eye on our official Student Opportunities page, and subscribe to The Morning Bell below!

Have an opportunity available that you would like to share with City students and families? Consider submitting your info to us online!

Banner photo by Vlada Karpovich. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

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