Summerfuel Summer Programs: Study Abroad Programs for High School Students



June 26 - July 16, 2016
Program Fee:
Completing grades 9 - 12
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Summerfuel at Stanford?

More than ever, the world needs clear-sighted business leaders who have the passion and ability to take action towards solving the world’s most intractable global concerns. Summerfuel’s Social Entrepreneurship programs aim to expose high school students to the cross-disciplinary skills necessary to build effective and efficient business-based solutions to social problems. Hosted on two premier campuses, SE programs empower young social entrepreneurs to leverage their resources and find creative solutions to key social issues in their communities and around the globe.

Think critically and creatively about societal challenges and gain the knowledge, skills and perspective necessary for socially responsible leadership. Dynamic faculty will lead lively discussions and practical workshops focusing on increasing social awareness and developing critical business and leadership skills.

Together with your peers, you will work to develop and implement a comprehensive social venture, from research to operational logistics, marketing, financing and sustainability. You will have opportunities to implement and measure the impact of key pieces of your plan, all while practicing invaluable presentation and leadership skills along the way.

Program Schedule


Entrepreneurial Skills

Interactive class discussions and guest speakers will challenge you to think critically about social issues and motivate you to be a change-maker for your community. You will design your own social venture to gain the experience to build an effective organization from the ground up.

Life at Stanford

Soak up the sun at the pool, relax under a palm tree, or go for a bike ride on Stanford's beautiful campus. Compete in a soccer tournament, bond with hall mates at late night bonfires, or explore the restaurants and shops of Palo Alto.

Hands-on Experience

Hands-on workshops will develop your communication skills, build your confidence and challenge you to think on your feet. These active and engaging sessions will teach you the real-world tools you will need for success. By the end of the program, you will have a better understanding of your personal leadership style and have stronger public speaking, writing and critical thinking skills.

California Livin'

Each weekend you will travel to exciting "NorCal" destinations throughout northern California. From San Francisco to Six Flags to the beach, there is always a fun option.


In all my life, I have never experienced such an enlightening three weeks as I have at Summerfuel. Through the camps academic curriculum and student relationships, the experience has significantly opened my mind to much about the world that I was unaware of. Therefore, it has truly affected the way I live my life. I was granted an opportunity to discover information about global issues, other cultures, and even information about myself through my participation in the camp. I will never forget the people I have met in my experience with Summerfuel; they have positively changed my outlook on life."

Erin G., Illinois

More Testimonials
Read the Stanford blog Stanford Summer Blog
Student Life
Life in a day

You will attend daily class at Stanford and also have plenty of time to play and explore Palo Alto.

Student Life 01

Students research a social venture and present case study findings to their classmates

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SE students enjoy lunch al fresco at their Stanford dining hall

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Social venture groups brainstorm proven strategies to generate a complete business plan

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Most participants rent bikes to explore campus and downtown Palo Alto

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Residents enjoy a wide variety of options in the nearby dining hall

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Summerfuel staff members arrange nightly events like the annual bowling outing

Your Summer Home

Your summer home at Stanford will be Larkin in the Stern Complex, which will be overseen by our residential program staff.


At Larkin, rooms are traditional dorm-style, with double rooms on a single-gender hall with a common space and bathrooms. Your roommate will be carefully selected using our housing questionnaire and taking into consideration your age and geographic diversity. On the first floor of your dorm, you will find laundry facilities and a kitchenette.


Larkin features 24-hour security. Electronic keys are required to enter the building and keys are necessary to access individual bedrooms. Stanford security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance.


Most students rent bikes to take advantage of Stanford's beautiful 8,000-acre campus. Bike rentals come complete with locks and helmets for safety. Bike rental details will be sent to enrolled students in the spring. Outside of our residence hall there are sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, and plenty of grassy fields for both sports games and hanging out. There are also numerous trails for running and biking.


You will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at Arrillaga Dining, where your meal card will give you access to full buffet-style dining options. Arrillaga offers a wide-range of meal options to accommodate almost all dietary restrictions and preferences. You can also head to nearby eateries like Peet's Coffee or the Treehouse at Tresidder Student Union - all Stanford undergraduate favorites.

Stanford Highlights

Stanford Shopping Center

Great shopping right next to campus with over 140 world-class stores and restaurants.

Stanford Memorial Church

The University's architectural crown jewel.

Califonia Avenue

A popular business district that features a Farmer’s Market and much-loved local shops.

Cantor Arts Center

A fantastic art collection comprised of 24 galleries and Rodin Sculpture Garden.

Stanford Stadium

50,000 seat stadium, home of the legendary Stanford Cardinal football team.

Hoover Tower

This 285-foot tower has spectacular views of San Francisco.

Stanford Shopping Center

Great shopping right next to campus with over 140 topnotch stores and restaurants

Stanford Memorial Church

The University's architectural crown jewel


Teammates working on the details of their social venture plan

Academics 02

An afternoon class discussing the qualities of a leader

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Students role-play to sharpen their presentation skills

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SE students work to finalize the details of their venture’s business plan

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A venture team performs a mock pitch for their social enterprise

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Students collaborating on their social venture and enjoying the sun

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A social venture team presents their final business plan

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Groups bounce ideas off of each other during open collaboration time

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Teams produce a website and pitch materials during the venture development process

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A group enjoying the California sunshine during class

At SE Stanford you will have the unique opportunity to create a full-fledged social enterprise, focusing on an issue about which you are passionate. Summerfuel's experienced and passionate faculty will take you step by step through the process. You will analyze some of the most pressing global concerns and discover how entrepreneurs from around the world have taken the initiative to address them. You will then create your own social venture plan and master the central concepts of social entrepreneurship and business planning:

Research & Discovery

Learn how to use best research practices to discover and examine today’s pressing social issues and the companies and organizations taking steps to address them. What is already being done and is it effective? How can you and your venture make a greater impact?

Operations & Logistics

What will you need to implement a focused project? Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills as you face operational planning challenges with your project teammates. Games and exercises will strengthen your creative thinking before you develop your venture on campus and prepare to launch it post-program.


Listen to guest speakers discuss how they built awareness for their companies and causes. Study market trends to determine what makes a brand “cool” and resonate with potential clients and partners. Learn how to effectively communicate your message effectively using social media and other emerging marketing and advertising tools.


Design realistic financial models and gain effective strategies for fundraising. Along with your teammates, create and present budgets for your venture project, and role-play interviews and pitches to potential investors and/or donors.


Discuss ways to build sustainable and scalable business models. Study and compare successful and growing ventures and apply these lessons to your own venture plan.

Past Projects Include

  • Launching a low-cost food truck selling surplus food from hotels to slum communities in Mumbai, India.
  • Establishing a medical practice using a sliding payment scale to fund non-life threatening surgeries for low-income patients.
  • Starting an all-organic restaurant that donates its profits to nutrition education in low-income urban and rural areas.
  • Founding self-sustaining food kitchens to help combat homelessness Tampa, Florida.
  • Creating a literacy awareness campaign in Sao Paolo, Brazil.


SE’s cross-disciplinary courses are led by an accomplished faculty that includes successful entrepreneurs, community organizers and academic leaders. Experts in their field and with extensive teaching experience, Summerfuel faculty will engage you both in and out of the classroom. Small classes foster intellectual inquiry, dynamic discussion and debate, and encourage the role of professor as mentor and advisor.

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A group of SE students waking through campus

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A friendly game of ultimate frisbee in the lawn

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Casino Night is always a favorite with students

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Summerfuelers enjoying the Stanford gardens

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An aspiring filmmaker documents life at Stanford

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Impromptu volleying on the main lawn

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Relaxing on campus with friends

Included Trips

Summer weekends are meant for fun and we make sure that you have time to enjoy them.

San Francisco Sights

From the famous Golden Gate Bridge, to the center of 60s counterculture at the Haight, to the fantastic diversity of Chinatown, San Francisco has it all. We will make sure you see and experience the best of what this great city has to offer over two daytrips to the “City by the Bay.

Great America Theme Park

Get ready for all day excitement at this combination theme and water park. With over 50 rides and attractions from which to choose, you will have a blast with your friends.

Half Moon Bay

Enjoy a relaxing day on the beach, or go on a hike in the hills near the shore. This is the perfect opportunity to soak up some sun and work on your tan.

Daily Activities

When classes finish, it is time to play. Summerfuel staff organizes exciting and active extracurricular options every day of the week.

Past favorites include:

Talent show, speed-friending, sand volleyball, scavenger hunt, movie nights, soccer, Summerfuel Olympics, karaoke, ultimate Frisbee, trivia night, bowling night, game shows, outdoor movies, water wars, battle of the sexes, yoga, running club, hiking, swimming, tie-dye, henna tattoos

Senior Staff

The Senior Staff is composed of a Program Director and an Assistant Director.

All members of the senior staff live in residence with students and are available to assist with any issue that arises. Senior staff members are experienced educators with collegiate or boarding school residence life experience and great familiarity with our programs.


RAs on the Social Entrepreneurship program are campus leaders dedicated to sharing their knowledge and collegiate experience with a motivated group of high school students. RAs are all rising college seniors or recent college graduates and are hired with the greatest care. RAs fill the role of mentors, supporting students academically and socially in order to make the program the best it can be. Each RA will work closely with a group of ten to eleven high school students.

Safety & Supervision

The safety, security and overall well-being of our students are our utmost priorities.

  • 1 to 8 residential staff to student ratio
  • 24-hour dorm security
  • Electronic key pass required for entry into residence hall buildings
  • 11pm daily curfew
  • Zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use