Setting Up for Summerfuel Oxford 2019!


Hello! This is Cyle, the assistant director for Summerfuel Oxford 2019. Lindsey (the director) and I arrived on campus Sunday and have been setting up our office, meeting with university officials, brainstorming, and introducing ourselves to the wonderful museums and sights that Oxford has to offer. Our amazing (and I can’t say that clearly enough- these are some outstanding humans) staff of RAs arrive in the coming days and we can hardly wait to see them!

I’ve been anxiously awaiting June and Oxford for the last several months and so it’s hard to believe that it won’t be too long before you and 44 other students will be boarding your flights and traveling to Lady Margaret Hall to join Lindsey, the RAs, and I for three weeks full of learning, adventure, and community. I am sure that I speak for the entire staff when I say that we couldn’t be more excited to meet you!

In the coming days, we’ll be posting a little bit about ourselves and what you can expect when you arrive. Meanwhile, if you or your family have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at:

We’ll have a phone set up shortly as well, and will update this post with that phone number as soon as we can!


Countdown to Christie’s!

Greetings students and families,

My name is Jamie Rodda and I am thrilled to be the Program Coordinator for Art Now at Christie’s New York. Summerfuel and Christie’s Education have teamed up to offer an amazing, one-of-a-kind glimpse into the art world of today with New York City serving as the classroom. Our days will be filled with visits to various museums, galleries, and private collections, as well as classes with the experts. We also have a variety of other activities planned, including trips to Storm King and Point Pleasant! Be sure to check this blog for daily updates and photos of our activities.

Lodging and Staff

During the program, students will reside in John Jay Hall on the campus of Columbia University, conveniently located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Students have single rooms and will share floors with another Summerfuel program—Leadership and Innovation. We will link up with this program for various activities when our schedules coincide. Additionally, staff from this program will work closely with the Christie’s Program staff and students. For your reference, the staff members for the Leadership and Innovation program are Lawrence Alexander (Director), Shanita Ray (Assistant Director), and Resident Advisors Kordell KeyAndre, Kathryn Lige, Kaity Beaumont, and Jacquelynn Akins.

Arrival Day

We are ready to welcome you on Sunday, July 8! Students can begin checking in at 3 PM. We will have staff out at the airports to meet and transport students to campus. Students should look for staff in blue Summerfuel t-shirts in the baggage claim area (for domestic flights) or in the arrivals area (for international flights). I will be here at John Jay Hall meeting students and families as they arrive. If you’re traveling by car, use 514 West 114th street, New York, NY 10027 as the drop-off location.


In the event you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Starting on July 5, you will also be able to contact me on the program cell phone that I will have for the duration of the program. That number is 1- 917-861-8894.

Looking forward to meeting you and having an awesome summer!

Jamie M. Rodda

Program Coordinator

Art Now at Christie’s New York

5 Ways to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

Do you dream of becoming an entrepreneur and a leader? Summerfuel’s Leadership & Innovation program at Columbia University and Social Enterprise program at Stanford University provide students with the experience and tools they need to do just that. From business finances and marketing to team-building and action plans, we cover it all.

This article from Inc. outlines what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and leader in this day and age:

Is Entrepreneurship Getting Harder? 5 Ways to Be Successful in the Digital Age

You need more than passion and dreams to reach entrepreneurial success.

Entrepreneurs aren’t a dime a dozen anymore. According to The Wall Street Journal’s research, the number of entrepreneurs is the lowest it’s been since before Y2K. It seems that for every Mark Zuckerberg or Brian Acton, thousands upon thousands of Millennials are eschewing the founder path.

Perhaps they’ve realized what Marc Fischer, CEO and founder of mobile technology studio Dogtown Media, has learned: “Startup founders have a duty to question the status quo, state a bold vision, hack the system, and disrupt everything they touch. Joining the club of entrepreneurship is easy; executing on the vision is hard.”

His words ring true for anyone who’s had a brilliant idea only to discover that breathing life into it makes Dr. Frankenstein’s job look like a piece of cake.

As Fischer learned in his time as a mobile app developer, “Graveyards are filled with founders who floundered and failed for a million and one different reasons.” Why? Most people just aren’t ready to question the status quo and disrupt en masse.

Whether you already have a revolutionary concept you want to bring to the world or you’re merely eager to write your own paycheck, you need more than passion and dreams to reach successful entrepreneurship. You must be willing to adopt true leader characteristics and integrate them into the fabric of your working philosophy.

1. Track your finances like a hawk.

You don’t have to become obsessive, but you should know as much about your balance sheets as your accountant.

“Many new businesses underestimate their operating costs and overestimate their profits, which can lead to failure pretty quickly,” says David Disiere, founder and CEO of transportation insurance agency QEO Insurance Group. “Make sure your projections are realistic and your startup is well-funded before you get started, and once you do, stay on top of your finances. Even if you use an accountant or hire an employee to manage the financial side of your business, you still need to understand your fiscal standing at all times to ensure your business stays in the black.”

Not sure how to understand all those numbers and make smart projections? Gain a basic education by doing some in-depth research online or asking for advice from a finance whiz. The more comfortable you are with your accounts, the better you’ll be able to stay afloat.

2. Just do something already.

Everyone knows someone who has tons of plans and knows a million and one useless facts yet never takes one step forward. That’s akin to planning a whirlwind trip to Europe, mapping out every step of the journey, and then shelving the itinerary. Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk took a no-holds-barred viewpoint of this mindset during a recent blog rant: “Too many of you just read and consume and make pretend. …”

Don’t be that guy or gal. Sure, it’s fine to study up on the competition, create all sorts of disruptive objectives, and brainstorm until the cows come home. But at the end of the day, all talk and no action equates to zero entrepreneurship. Allow your dreams to leverage actions. No one snagged a client by sitting on the sofa and wishing something would happen.

3. Give yourself mental and physical breaks.

If you haven’t realized it already, all work and no play really is a recipe for disaster. As an entrepreneur, you can expect to work like a dog. Hey, Elon Musk reportedly still works 80-90 hours weekly, after all. However, he’s stepped back a bit because he realizes that bodies and minds aren’t computers.

Even if you can’t do more than snag 30-minute walks or bike rides or use your favorite app to enjoy a few solid hours of REM sleep per night, you’ll be doing more than the workaholics on their way to burnout city.

4. Ask for — and take — all the advice you can get.

You don’t know everything. Neither do I. Augment your knowledge gaps with a little assistance and advice from others. Of course, be sure to implement what you learn as well. One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is seeking counsel but never using it to better themselves or their processes.

At the same time, don’t forget to share what you find out. Author, coach, and speaker John Maxwell has noted: “The true measure of leadership is not how much you achieve; it is how much you inspire others to achieve.” Stop being selfish; generously spread your insights like seeds ready to burst.

5. Replace bad habits with smarter ones.

Human beings are reliably consistent. You can depend on it. Unfortunately, they’re not always consistently making good choices.

Take time to jot down your worst work habits standing in the way of you becoming a founder. Are you a procrastinator? A self-saboteur? Generally afraid of failure? Be honest with yourself. Systematically work to turn your poor habits into smarter ones, inching closer to becoming a leader who can pick up the torch and get people to eagerly follow. I’ve written a book on this topic.

Truth be told, just about anyone who’s willing to make changes and take action has the capacity for entrepreneurship. Figure out what’s standing in your way, and push it aside.

High School Summer Programs: Amazing Pre-College Summer Programs for Your Teen

Here at Summerfuel, we strive to provide your 9th-12th grader with a summer experience that they’ll never forget. We’ve got summer programs in the states, chances to study abroad overseas, and opportunities to take a specialized trip for entrepreneurship or art! In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at all of the one-of-a-kind summer programs that Summerfuel offers to teens just like your student. Read below to learn more about all that Summerfuel has to offer!

Summerfuel’s Pre-College Options

Cultural Exploration:

Barcelona, Spain

During their three-week trip to Barcelona, your teen will have a chance to be immersed in the Spanish language, experience academic life at Spain’s top private university, and enjoy the fantastic culture and cuisine of a gorgeous city!

Andalusia, Spain

Located on Spain’s Atlantic Coast, the city of Conil has physical and cultural beauty with a rich history that dates back to the fifth century. During this summer homestay program, your teen will get intensive language-based study, daily activities, and excursions throughout Andalusia.

Nice, France

Situated in the center of France’s amazing coastline, Nice is known worldwide as a center of art, culture, cuisine, and exclusive summer resorts. Your teen will experience the French language and combine experiential study with immersion in the French culture.

Pre-College Campus Visits:

Oxford University

Let your student experience life as an Oxford undergraduate when they join our Oxford study abroad program. Your teen will get a taste of the academic life, the cultural excitement, and the rich history of beautiful London!

Tufts University

If your student is more interested in a program closer to home, our Tufts University pre-college campus program gives your teen a taste of what it’s like to be on the campus of one of the top-ranked universities in the U.S. Sign your high-schooler up for a two-week session, or allow them to stay for four weeks!

UC Berkeley

Our summer program in Berkeley gives your student the opportunity to see the beauty of Northern California with amazing food, a memorable academic experience, and activities they’ll never forget. Sign your teen up for our Berkeley program today!

College Admissions Edge:

Getting ready to apply for college can be an overwhelming task, but with Summerfuel’s CAE programs at Tufts and Berkeley, students learn all the necessary tools. From SAT or ACT prep with the Princeton Review to one-on-one college counseling, essay writing, and admissions workshops, we’ve got you covered.

Business & Entrepreneurship:

In addition to our amazing trips abroad and campus experiences, we also have these business, leadership, and entrepreneurship programs!

International Business at ESADE Barcelona

Social Enterprise at Stanford University

Leadership & Innovation at Columbia University

And finally, if your student loves art and wants to learn more about the vibrant art world of New York City, consider the Art Now program in NYC.

No matter what your high schooler enjoys doing for fun, you can’t go wrong with one of our amazing summer pre-college programs. Sign your high school student up for a life-changing Summerfuel program and give them a summer they won’t soon forget! Apply now. Have questions? Contact us today!

Pre College Summer Programs: All the Reasons to Sign Your High Schooler Up for a Summer Program

Welcome back to our blog page here at Summerfuel! With summertime fast approaching, we’re staying as busy as ever with enrollment for our one-of-a-kind summer programs. Not only do we have fantastic pre-college summer programs here in the states, we also have plenty of opportunities for your child to study abroad. When you sign your teen up for a summer internship, trip abroad, or stateside summer program, you’re investing in their future by giving them an experience they’ll never forget. Our summer trips have been known to help teens get a better handle on where they’d like to attend college, experience different places, people, and cultures, and give them a fun, yet challenging pre-college program. Whether your high schooler has a pretty good idea of where they’d like to attend college or they’re still deciding, a summer program through Summerfuel might be exactly what they need to make that big decision. 

High school can be a tricky time for anyone. Young people are trying to navigate their way through academia, many students are tring to figure out where in society they fit in, and the ever-looming decision of where they’ll attend college is always in the back of their minds. With all of their duties, responsibilities, and expectations, it is quite possible for kids to be overwhelmed and exhausted by the time college approaches. However, when you can provide your teen with the unforgettable experience of a pre-college trip, a chance to study abroad, or another variety of summer program, you’re giving them the tools to better narrow down their search for the perfect school. In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at the many reasons to sign your teen up for one of the outstanding summer programs that Summerfuel offers high school students! Continue reading to learn more.

Choose From a Great List of Summer Programs

Find an amazing and personalized adventure with a variety of options and unique destinations for any one-of-a-kind young person.

Be a Part of a College Campus

When a college visit is what a high school student is needing, sign them up for a Summerfuel program that will give them just that.

Get Immersed in Other Cultures

Getting to meet people from other countries is such a valuable experience for anyone and the right summer program can make that happen.

See the Bigger Picture

Students who participate in summer programs can have their worldview opened up and realize how big this planet really is.

Make Lasting Friendships

Having unique experiences with peers can lead to friendships that last a lifetime. Summer programs offer that to everyone.

Have a Memorable Experience

What better time to create lasting memories than by going on an exciting Summerfuel trip in between school years?

Walk the Path of Self-Discovery

Students often find out who they are when they can see more of the world and meet different kinds of people.

Break up the Monotony

High school can be hectic, graduation is chaos, and prepping for college is stressful. A summer program can be a much-needed escape.

Travel the World

When people have a chance to travel and see different places, they’re given a greater appreciation for the world around them.

Have Fun!

A summer experience is the best way to live life to the fullest! Young people have the time of their lives with Summerfuel programs.

These are just a few of the reasons to sign your student up for a summer program here at Summerfuel! Make sure that you check out our options on our website and contact us with questions. Don’t let your teen be left behind when their peers are seeing the world this summer! Space is limited, so sign them up today!

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.





A Day in the Life…

So, parents and friends of CAP Berkeley 2016, what exactly do Summerfuelers do in their free time? In between studying, essay writing, and college prep, students are often found…


Rockin’ their new Cal gear

Singing loud for all to hear


Taking selfies

IMG_0701 (1)

Playing Pokemon Go – gotta catch’em all!


Having dance parties


…and dance parties


Playing 4 square


…and other fun games


Going on Target and Walgreens excursions (Isis would like her mother to know she is keeping up with her hygiene)


Taking more selfies


Showing off their unique talents (like Go, Sophia, and Carol playing the piano!)


Exploring Berkeley’s campus and going into town


And, of course, beachin’


….honorable mention goes to late night Froyo runs (we love our ice cream and yogurt here at CAP Berkeley).

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!