Making Summer Count

Classes are coming to a close for our Summerfuelers. Over the past two weeks, students have studied with Princeton Review tutors in over 18 hours of SAT or ACT prep as well as completed 3 diagnostic tests. Many students have seen significant jumps in their scores and we are proud of all that they have accomplished. Students are also walking away with polished and edited personal statements after working with our essay writing specialists, Nikki and Caitlin. In addition, each student has logged over 8 hours in Admissions workshops with our veteran college counselors as well as at least 2 personalized, individual meetings going over things like likely-target-reach schools, financial aid, and the general application process. Students have truly made their summer count and are ready to start their junior and senior years of high school strong.


We also went on our final two college tours this week to the University of San Francisco and Stanford University.

USF is a medium-sized, private university affiliated with the Catholic Church. Students took a tour of their beautiful campus that had great views of the city. The motto at USF is “Change the World from Here” as the university has a strong social justice component – in fact, it has been on the Higher Ed Community Service Honor Roll for 8 years in a row. USF is also ranked in the Top 20 of entrepreneurial schools – about one third of students study something in the Business and Marketing fields. Our tour guides, both USF students, explained to us why they loved USF from the diversity to living in San Francisco to the strong Nursing program to caring faculty. As student interest went from our group, this was one of the most popular tours yet.









During free time, some of the guys played soccer on the quad and some girls got manicures and pedicures with Sarah. There were also water gun and water balloon fights with everyone and a movie night at the local cinema – Finding Dory was a huge hit!




Up next was Stanford. On Friday, Summerfuelers hopped on a bus to Palo Alto for a campus tour of one of the best universities in the world. Our tour guide, Lilly, did a great job giving us the history of Stanford and fun facts about the university. Students were in awe of the gorgeous campus as well as all of the opportunities available to students at Stanford. It was a great trip to round out our college tours!







We can’t believe the program is coming to an end! This has been a great group and they have made lasting friendships. Everyone is excited to hang out tonight all together one last time during our final celebration. On the agenda is a pizza party, root beer and coke floats, and a Karaoke and dance party with a DJ.





Weekend Update

CAP Berkeley Summerfuelers had a jam-packed weekend with excursions to San Francisco, essay writing workshops, and college counseling sessions. On Saturday, students shopped in Union Square and explored Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the most famous waterfront communities and a tourist hotspot.







Students returned to the city once again on Sunday for an adventure in Chinatown.  Fun fact: San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest in North America. Go and Steve even enjoyed dim sum in the oldest dim sum restaurant in the U.S., Hang Ah Tea Room. Other students went to a restaurant that had floating sushi boats or checked out a fortune cookie factory where you could write your own fortunes.



Carol, Sophia, Alex, and Matteo pose outside Dragon Gate, the landmark gateway arch marking the entrance to Chinatown. This gate is the only authentic Chinatown Gate in North America.


These two photos were taken by Giulia, she has a great eye for capturing the beauty around her.


Summerfuelers walked away with lots of souvenirs from our weekend excursions and fun memories. Everyone turned in pretty early Sunday night in preparation for the second diagnostic SAT bright and early Monday morning. Students will take one final version of the test on Friday and will be able to see their scores from all three tests in order to look for improvement and where to focus any future studying.

What we’re looking forward to:
-Visiting the University of San Francisco on Wednesday and Stanford on Thursday.
-The final celebration on Friday night — a group of students are on the planning committee and we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Mock Rock 2016!

Wow – it seems like just yesterday the students stepped foot on campus, and as of today, we are about 2/3 the way through the program!!! We’re having a blast together!

Last night, the students engaged in an incredible evening activity on the Xanadu Stage (aka the lounge)! Students competed against their peers in a lip sync battle. Each team was allowed to utilize props, and add their own special dance routine to the songs performed. Students lip-synced to Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus, No by Meghan Trainor, All about that bass by Meghan Trainor, Work from home by Fifth Harmony, Jealous by Nick Jonas, Shake it off by Taylor Swift, Single Ladies by Beyoncé & Sorry by Justin Bieber.

The students enjoyed watching each group’s performance and snacking on popcorn! We had a few Summerfuel staff members serve as judges for the performances and ranked them in the following categories: Creativity, Energy, Dancing, Song Accuracy, Performance Popularity, Organization, & Uniqueness! The award for “Best Overall Performance” was given to the students who lip-synced the song, Jealous by Nick Jonas!

Welcome Summerfuel-ers of 2013!


Our staff is here at Stanford University and we are excitedly getting ready for all of you to arrive!  We are planning lots of fun events and trips and cannot wait to show you what Stanford and San Francisco have to offer.

Do you have any questions about anything related specifically to the Stanford Summerfuel Program? Send us an email at and we will do our best to answer any and all of your questions.  We will see you all in less than a week on Sunday, June 30th.  We wish you all safe travels as you make your way to Stanford!

Just to get you in the mood for this summer, check out this awesome video one of our RAs from last year put together: Passion Project

Countdown to Stanford 2013

Only 37 days until Summerfuel at Stanford officially begins! Until then, there are a couple of deadlines, events and updates that you should be aware of:

– JUNE 1st (Saturday): All final paperwork, travel details and payment due to the NYC office. Please upload documents directly to or email them to

– JUNE 6th (Thursday) at 4PM EDT: Pre-program conference call for all families participating in Summerfuel at Yale. Common pre-program details, questions and concerns will be addressed, but if you would like to discuss something specific, please send an email to with the subject line: Stanford Conference Call.

– JUNE 23rd (Sunday): Staff arrives at Stanford to start final preparations for your arrival.

– JUNE 30th (Sunday): ARRIVAL DAY!

The staff can’t wait to meet you all on June 30th! Finish the school year strong and we’ll see you this summer.


Marissa Bates

Program Coordinator


Check Out Our Students’ Online Social Action Plans!

Click the following Links to See the Projects Students have been working on! Like their pages to show your support!

Last Weekend of Excursions

This weekend marked our last couple of excursions that we had planned for the program.  On Friday afternoon, we had one of our own students share her knowledge and skills in karate.  Rowan showed the group some basic selfdefense moves and they had a great time learning from one of their peers!  Later on Friday night, the group made a trip to Redwood City to see Spiderman in the movie theaters.  Some of our die-hard Spiderman fans thought “the movie didn’t live up to the first movies” but in the end they all had a fun night!

On Saturday, we went to Santa Cruz beach.  At first, the students were weary of a day at the beach due to the weather – it was a little cold and cloudy when we arrived, but it quickly warmed up and turned into a beautiful day.  Some ate at local restaurants, some went shopping, others tried out the amusement rides andeveryone enjoyed the beach!

Sunday was our Union Square and Giants baseball game day.  A few students who preferred to go back to Union Square (to get some shopping in!) spent the afternoon in the city and the rest of the group went to see the San Francisco Giants play the Houston Astros.  For many, this was their first time at a baseball game and it was a beautiful day!  We sat with the ASA Berkeley group, so some of  our students even got to catch up with their friends in the other program.  Although it was a little cold and windy, on our way home, we made a quick stop at the Golden Gate Bridge (what trip to San Francisco would be complete without seeing the bridge!?).

We have a lot on the calendar for this week and we know the last few days are going to fly by!



What our students have been up to in the classroom

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of Week 2! At the end of last week, students met with their ally action groups and selected a key global issue for their class project. Topics range from education, recycling, and obesity to child labor, nuclear energy, and teenage homelessness.

This week, we dove right into strategic planning. Students learned and debated key concepts such as visions, missions, goals, and objectives. They challenged themselves by giving impromptu speeches on their projects in front of their class and interviewing other groups to identify the strengths and weakness of their classmates’ campaigns. They also turned to their creative side to come up with a slogan and to brainstorm creative ways to express their group’s message.

Two guest speakers joined us this week. Pamela Fong, from Safe Passages, discussed challenges in the public education system in Oakland, CA. Anna Sidana, the Founder and CEO of One Million Lights, talked about the lack of safe, clean lighting in impoverished areas. She shared some inspiring stories of young leaders making a difference and encouraged our students to get involved in bringing about social change.

This weekend, Austin Keeley, our guest speaker from last Friday, will be returning to campus to conduct a workshop for many of our students, who expressed interest in starting a chapter of FACE AIDS at their high schools. Next week, students will be busy improving their verbal and written communication skills to prepare for the Press Conference and Campaign Fair scheduled on July 19th and 20th!