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10 Mentorship Programs for High School Students in 2024-2025

Applying for internships as a high school student is a crucial step toward building a strong academic and professional foundation. They provide valuable hands-on experience, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings, develop practical skills, and gain insights into potential career paths.


Participating in mentorship programs takes this a step further. Mentorship programs offer personalized guidance and support from experienced professionals, helping students navigate their educational and career journeys with greater confidence. Early exposure to mentored programs can positively impact a student's college application by highlighting their dedication to learning, their ability to seek out and leverage opportunities for growth, and their willingness to engage with mentors to achieve their goals. Mentorship can also provide students with valuable recommendations, networking opportunities, and insights into specific fields of interest, making them more competitive applicants.


In this article, we dive into 10 mentorship programs designed for high school students, each offering unique opportunities for growth, learning, and professional development. 


Application Deadline: Varying deadlines based on cohort. Main summer deadlines are March 15, April 15, and May 15

Duration: Options range from 12 weeks to 1 year.

Location: Remote — you can participate in this program from anywhere in the world!

Eligibility:

  • You must be currently enrolled in high school

  • Students must demonstrate a high level of academic achievement. (Note. students have an unweighted GPA of 3.3 out of 4)

  • No previous knowledge of your field of interest is required!

Program Dates: Summer cohort runs from June to August, Fall cohort from September to December, Winter cohort from December to February, Spring from March to June 


The Lumiere Research Scholar Program is a rigorous research program tailored for high school students. The program offers extensive 1-on-1 research opportunities for high school students, across a broad range of subject areas that you can explore as a high schooler. 


The program pairs high-school students with Ph.D. mentors to work 1-on-1 on an independent research project. At the end of the 12-week program, you’ll have developed an independent research paper! You can choose research topics from subjects such as psychology, physics, economics, data science, computer science, engineering, chemistry, international relations, and more. You can find more details about the application here!


Location: UC Santa Cruz campus, CA and virtual

Cost: $4,750

Eligibility: Students should be at least 14 years of age on the program start date of Monday, June 24, 2024 (at least 16 years of age for certain research project placements) and currently enrolled in high school

Application Deadline: March 31, 2024

Dates/Duration: June 24 to August 10, 2024


The Science Internship Program (SIP) at UC Santa Cruz offers a remarkable opportunity for high school students to deepdive into cutting-edge scientific research. The program is designed to provide students with hands-on research experience under the mentorship of UCSC faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students. Over the course of 10 weeks, participants engage in real-world research projects in a wide range of scientific disciplines, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, physics, and more.


A key feature of the SIP is its strong emphasis on mentorship. Each student is paired with a mentor who guides you through the intricacies of scientific research, helping them to develop technical skills, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of their chosen field. Mentors provide individualized support, ensuring that students not only learn about scientific methodologies but also gain insights into the professional and academic pathways in science. Throughout the program, students attend weekly seminars, participate in group discussions, and present their research findings, culminating in a final research symposium. 


You can find some of the past projects that students have worked on here.


​​Veritas AI is founded and run by Harvard graduate students and our programs are geared towards high school students who want to build their foundations in computer science. In the program, students learn various data science and artificial intelligence concepts like neural networks, image classification, natural language processing, sentiment analysis, coding using Python, and more. 


Through the AI Scholars program, students build real-world, hands-on projects in groups of 3-5 students to showcase their interests and skills. You can also apply for the AI Fellowship, where you work 1-1 with mentors from top universities to build unique machine learning projects for a period of 12-15 weeks. An added bonus is the publication assistance if you opt to work on a research paper!


These programs are an excellent option for you if you like engaging in hands-on learning and want to create unique projects. You can find examples of what students in the past have worked on here


Location: Virtual

Cost: $1,790 for AI Scholars and $4,900 for AI Fellowship 

Note. The financial aid is available for students from households earning less than $60,000 annually (for a typical household of 4) with minimum assets

Eligibility: You must be currently enrolled in high school or plan to enroll as a freshman in college in the fall of 2024. No previous knowledge is required for AI Scholars! 

Application Deadline: Upcoming summer 2024 cohort - Regular admission 2: May 9, 2024: Summer II: June 23, 2024. You can apply here!

Dates/Duration: You can find all the program dates for the summer here


Location: Princeton, NJ

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Applicants must be high school students between the ages of 16-18

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Dates/Duration: 5-6 weeks over the summer


The Laboratory Learning Program at Princeton University is a great way for high school students to immerse themselves in full-time research in the sciences or engineering. As a participant, you will engage in ongoing research projects and will be closely supervised by Princeton faculty and research staff, ensuring a rich learning experience. Each research opportunity is tailored to the mentor's schedule, providing a customized experience for you. It's important to note that this program is not a traditional summer camp. Accepted students must arrange their own housing for the duration of the program, as accommodation is not provided. As part of a final deliverable, you will be required to turn in a 2-page research summary of your summer project, helping you tie together all your learnings. 


This program is ideal for students eager to learn and apply advanced research and gain firsthand experience in a professional laboratory setting. It enhances college applications by demonstrating your commitment to scientific inquiry and ability to work independently in a rigorous academic environment.


Location: Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Applicants must be high school sophomores and juniors from Philadelphia; students enrolled in Philadelphia public and public charter schools are especially encouraged to apply

Application Deadline: February 14, 2024

Dates/Duration: July 8 to August 2, 2024


The Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) at the University of Pennsylvania is a flagship initiative aimed at enhancing college access for first-generation and underrepresented students. This four-week summer program immerses you in a hands-on, experiential learning environment to explore various career paths. You will be matched with one of the five affiliate professional schools at UPenn based on your application, allowing you to deepdive into fields like law, medicine, business, engineering, and nursing.


During the program, you will engage in a rigorous curriculum that includes workshops, seminars, and real-world projects, providing a comprehensive overview of potential career opportunities. You will also benefit from mentorship by UPenn faculty and professionals, who offer guidance and support throughout their journey. The program includes visits to cultural and historical sites in Philadelphia, fostering a well-rounded educational experience that extends beyond the classroom. This mentorship program not only prepares students for college but also empowers them to pursue their academic and professional aspirations with confidence.


Location: Virtual

Cost: $1,750 per credit 

Eligibility: Applicants must be at least 15 years of age and must be a high-achieving high school sophomore, junior, or senior (or the international equivalent)

Application Deadline: May 5, 2024

Dates/Duration: June 24 to July 12, 2024


The Cornell Art Mentorship Program is a new initiative led by B.F.A. seniors in Cornell's College of Art, Architecture, and Planning. This student-run program offers high school students in the Ithaca area an exclusive opportunity to engage in courses covering art, sculpture, and transmedia. Participants can showcase their work in the exhibition spaces of Olive Tjaden Hall, providing them with a professional platform to display their creativity.


The program not only focuses on practical artistic skills but also offers mentorship, where high school students can ask questions about the art world and gain insights into pursuing a career as an artist. Additionally, this mentorship aligns with the broader offerings of Cornell's Art Experience Summer Program, which includes workshops and sessions designed to deepen students' understanding and appreciation of the arts. This comprehensive approach ensures that students receive both theoretical knowledge and practical experience, preparing them for future artistic endeavors.


Location: Harvard University or MIT

Cost: Fee; stipend provided by the City of Cambridge 

Eligibility: Applicants must be local high-school sophomores, juniors, and seniors 

Application Deadline: The application window for the 2024-2025 cohort has now closed. Check back here for updates on the 2025-2026 cohort.

Dates/Duration: September to May (year-long)


If you're open to year-long opportunities, the Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) is an excellent option, especially for students passionate about STEM. This program pairs students with a Harvard or MIT scientist to work on specific research projects in small groups of 2-3 people. A key feature of SRMP is its strong mentorship component, where students conduct hands-on research under the expert guidance of their mentors. This mentorship not only enhances the learning experience but also provides invaluable insights into the world of scientific research.


The program culminates in a symposium at Harvard, where students present their research findings. Organized by institutions like the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Harvard College Observatory, and MIT, SRMP is highly regarded and highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of less than 5% and cohorts typically consisting of 10-15 students. This experience not only offers a deep dive into astrophysical research but also the opportunity to build lasting relationships with leading scientists in the field.


If you’re interested in learning about past projects that students have worked on, you can check them out here!


Location: Stanford University campus, CA

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Applicants must be over the age of 16 by the start of the program. US citizens and permanent residents - particularly women and under-represented minorities - are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to local students since this is not an on-campus housing program. 

Application Deadline: May 1, 2024

Dates/Duration: June 17 to 28, 2024


The Stanford Chemistry Department's High School Shadow Program is an enriching opportunity for high school students interested in exploring the world of chemistry. This program allows you to spend a day shadowing a Stanford chemistry graduate student or postdoctoral researcher, gaining firsthand experience of what it's like to work in a cutting-edge research environment.


Participants will observe various aspects of laboratory work, including experimental procedures, data analysis, and scientific discussions. A key component of this program is the mentorship provided by the graduate students and postdocs. These mentors share their knowledge, offer guidance, and answer questions about educational and career paths, providing invaluable insights into the process of scientific research. The mentorship aspect is designed to help students understand the rigors and rewards of a career in chemistry, while also offering personalized advice and encouragement. The opportunity to interact with and learn from experienced researchers can significantly impact a student's academic and career trajectory.



Location: UC Santa Barbara campus, CA and virtual

Cost: $4,975 (commuter option); $11,874 (residential option)

Eligibility: Applicants must currently be a high school sophomore or junior (outstanding 9th graders accepted on a case-by-case basis)

Application Deadline: March 18, 2024

Dates/Duration: June 17 to August 2, 2024


The UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) Summer Research Program offers an immersive research experience for high school students, emphasizing deep engagement in various academic disciplines. Each summer, students commit 30-40 hours per week to working closely with a research mentor, gaining hands-on experience in their chosen field. This intensive program not only provides a robust research opportunity but also includes university credit through two additional courses: Research Presentation Techniques and Introduction to Research.


One of the unique aspects of this program is its interdisciplinary approach, exposing students to a wide range of research topics across 24 different areas, including the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Students can explore diverse subjects and rank their preferred projects. Once assigned, they work under the guidance of a graduate student, postdoctoral researcher, or faculty member, conducting university-level research and developing a research presentation. This program is particularly beneficial for students seeking to deepen their understanding of academic research and gain valuable university-level experience. 


Location: UC Berkeley campus, CA

Cost:

  • California Resident: $6,050

  • Out of state Resident: $7,050

Eligibility: Current high school students

Application Deadline: February 29, 2024

Dates/Duration: 

  • Session I: July 6 to 20, 2024

  • Session II: July 20 to August 3, 2024


The Berkeley Business Academy for Youth (B-BAY) annually welcomes 50 students from around the globe to dive into business disciplines at Berkeley. Through intensive learning experiences led by Berkeley Haas professors and insights from corporate guest speakers, you'll delve deep into the essentials of business formation and development.


During the program, you will work on independent research, computer lab assignments, and collaborative team projects. Together with your team, you'll be tasked with creating a comprehensive business plan from the ground up, culminating in a presentation of your plan at the end of the session. B-BAY is also tailored to prepare you for the college admission process. You'll interact with undergraduates and admission advisors from Berkeley and other institutions, gaining insights into college life and the application process, including how to craft a compelling UC personal statement and college application essay. You’ll be awarded a UC Berkeley Business Academy for Youth Certificate of Completion, signifying your achievements throughout the program.


Cost: The total cost to attend the 4-week program is $2900.

There is need-based financial aid. 

Location: This program is 100% virtual, with live, interactive workshops 

Eligibility: The program is currently open to all high school students

Program Dates: The 2024 edition of the program starts on June 5th and spans over 4-weeks.

Application Deadline: There are 3 application deadlines that you can choose between: 

  • Early Decision Deadline: March 17th, 2024

  • Regular Admission Deadline 1: April 14, 2024

  • Regular Admission Deadline 2: May 12th, 2023

You can access the application link here!


The Young Founder’s Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X.


Apart from building the start-up itself, you will also participate in interactive classes on business fundamentals and business ideations, workshops and skill-building sessions, case studies, panel discussions and more.


The program is an excellent opportunity to delve into the world of business in high school, and having a space to explore multiple theoretical as well as practical frameworks that lead to a successful business. You can check out the brochure for the program here.


Bonus - Young Founders Lab

If you’re looking for an mentored incubator program that helps you establish a developed startup in high school, consider the Young Founders Lab! 


The Young Founders Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X. 

You can access the application link here!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: UCSC logo


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