With weather like this, it’s easy to spend one’s days lazily lounging besides the pool and tanning. For some, this may comprise the whole of their summer plans. However, many Lamorinda teens spend these weeks doing the opposite – interning, traveling, taking classes, and preparing for the upcoming school year.

For example, Noah G., now a senior at Miramonte, is interning at Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan’s office for the summer. “I am very interested in learning about how the government works, and this internship will be an opportunity to see this on a more localized scale, so I interviewed a couple of months ago and was accepted. I’ll be spending more time inside than outside in the sunshine!”

Some teens are also taking extended trips to foreign countries. Kacey S. and Meg S. are among a large group of Bay Area students who participate in the Amigos de las Americas program. They travel to Equador and Paraguay, respectively, for eight weeks this summer.

“I am excited to put myself out there and immerse myself in the rich culture of Cotipaxi,” said Kacey, “I’m a little nervous about the isolation, but this is an amazing opportunity to improve my language skills, learn something about myself, and spend time away from home. I really want to get the best out of this Amigos program.” Similarly, Caroline C. is returning to Kenya this summer to aid and teach underprivileged children. Many teens feel that volunteer service trips help them gain an important sense of perspective, and allows them to help others who are truly in need. Caroline found her first trip, taken during her freshman year, to be an enriching experience that she is excited to do again.

Still others are spending the summer frantically preparing for the upcoming school year, through classes at UC Berkeley and DVC or tackling the massive amounts of AP homework. “I have seven books to read”, explained Ben, “in addition to the textbooks I’ll need to highlight and the college applications that I need to begin. I’ll hang by the pool when I can – but it’s with Pride and Prejudice under my arm instead of any light reading.”

So while teens in the area have certainly not stopped their active lifestyles, summer is a wonderful time to delve deeper into books and pursue extracurricular interests. And, of course, it always includes a bit of fun in the sun!
Caie Kelley is a junior at Miramonte High School and the Pop Culture reporter on the teen show, Express Yourself!™  In her free time, she enjoys swimming, piano, and volunteering.
As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visit www.BTSYA.com. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself or for photos, descriptions, links, and more visit http://www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com