Summerfuel Summer Programs: Study Abroad Programs for High School Students

Yale - Social Entrepreneurship

Join a dynamic community of young social entrepreneurs working to create business solutions to the most important global issues.

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June 28 - July 18, 2015
Program Fee:
Completing grades 9 - 12
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Summerfuel at Yale?

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

  • June 28 • Welcome to Yale
  • June 29 • Student Orientation
  • July 04 • Explore Boston
  • July 05 • Six Flags New England
  • July 11 • Outlet Trip
  • July 12 • Experience New York City
  • July 16 & 17 • Social Venture Final Presentations
  • July 17 • Final Dinner & Dance
  • July 18 • Goodbye Yale!

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 Yale

Take advantage of Yale's beautiful Ivy League campus and award-winning facilities. Work out in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium (second largest in the world), relax on one of the college quads, and explore nearby shops and restaurants.

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.

East Coast Adventures

No trip to the east coast is complete without a visit to New York City, Boston, and Six Flags. Every weekend you will travel to nearby destinations to make sure your time at Summerfuel is filled with exciting options to enjoy with new friends.


Summerfuel has changed my plans for the future. I have now found a new and unique identity in myself, I am confident in making friends and connections around the world, and I believe that I want to create change and speak up about issues I care about. Summerfuel has affected me so powerfully; I can’t imagine my life without those three weeks."

Megan F., California

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Student Life
Life in a day

You will attend daily class at Yale and also have plenty of time to play and explore New Haven.

Student Life 01

A guest speaker lectures students on the successes and failures of his social enterprise

Student Life 02

Students grab lunch in the college dining commons between classes

Student Life 03

SE Students work in teams to brainstorm and create functional and sustainable business solutions

Student Life 04

Students cool off with an afternoon water fight in the college courtyard

Student Life 05

New Haven’s restaurants can serve as a tasty alternative to the dining hall

Student Life 06

Hidden talents come out at the annual Yale student talent show

Your Summer Home

Your summer home at Yale will be one of Yale’s 12 residential colleges.


Each college is self-contained and built around a large, central courtyard. Rooms are suite-style, with double rooms clustered around a common space and bathrooms. Your roommate will be carefully selected using our housing questionnaire.


Each college has 24-hour security, with electronic key card access required for entry to both the outdoor courtyard and to each building entrance and suite. Yale security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance.


The college courtyard, with its grass, benches and picnic tables, is central to the Yale residential experience. The courtyard doubles as an informal athletic field for games of Frisbee, football and volleyball and is the site of many campus events. The college also has many indoor amenities, such as a student lounge, library and laundry rooms.


Your meal card will give you access to full buffet-style dining options in the college dining hall. You can catch up with friends and soak up the collegiate ambiance provided by this traditional, wood paneled hall. You can also head to nearby eateries like Thai Taste, Yorkside Pizza or Ivy Noodle - all Yale undergrad favorites.

Yale Highlights

Peabody Museum of Natural History

Contains one of the greatest scientific collections in North America, including a full Brontosaurus skeleton

Blue State Coffee

Local java spot and student hangout just a stone’s throw away from the residence halls

Shubert Theater & Yale Repertory Theater

Both are renowned for groundbreaking performances and independent productions

Chapel Street

An eclectic and interesting street filled with boutiques, shops, international restaurants and art stores

Center for British Art

Houses the most comprehensive collection of British art outside of the United Kingdom

Pepe's vs. Sally's Pizza

New Haven pizzeria rivals... which will you prefer?

Academics 01

Personalized attention help students make the most of their time at Yale

Academics 02

Social venture teams present their venture plans during the Venture Fair

Academics 03

Students partner up to debate budget priorities

Academics 04

An action plan group meets outside of classtime to perfect their marketing pitch

Academics 05

Press conferences to present final projects

Academics 06

An SE student practices his "elevator speech" in front of his peers

Academics 07

Students design their own advertising materials for their social ventures

Academics 08

A student walks a fellow social entrepreneur through her business plan

At SE Yale 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 dedicated 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 and master the central concepts of social entrepreneurship:

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 challenges with your project teammates. Games and exercises will strengthen your creative thinking before you plan and execute your venture on campus.


Listen to guest speakers discuss how they built brand awareness for their ventures and causes. Learn how to 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 you 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 lead by an accomplished faculty that includes successful entrepreneurs, community organizers and academic leaders. Experts in their field, 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 mentor.

Activities 01

Students have full access to Payne Whitney Gymnasium on campus

Activities 02

Frisbee on the quad is a great way to enjoy the summer sun

Activities 03

There’s always something fun happening in the Rec Center located in college

Activities 04

Beating the summer heat with an afternoon water fight

Activities 05

Crowning a winner at the Mr./Ms. Summerfuel competition

Activities 06

Students compete in the leapfrog race during Summerfuel Olympics

Activities 07

Participants being photographed after the Summerfuel talent show

Activities 08

Students running the obstacle course during Summerfuel Olympics

Activities 09

Summerfuel Yale heads to NYC to see the sights

Activities 10

Team building activities are a fun way to work on leadership and strengthen friendships

Activities 11

Students can use the Yale Shuttle to get around campus with staff and friends

Activities 12

Summerfuel students hanging out in the quad

Activities 13

Yale students have time to explore campus and downtown New Haven

Activities 14

Summerfuel friends enjoying some free time after class

Included Trips

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

The Big Apple: New York City Trip

From Times Square to the Museum of Modern Art to Rockefeller Plaza, there is so much to do and see in New York City. Summerfuel will take you to the best the Big Apple has to offer.

Six Flags

Spend the day at this fantastic Amusement and Water Park on the Mind Eraser, Double Trouble and Time Warp!

Boston, MA

Just a short drive away, New England's famous 'Beantown' is known for its history, fantastic sightseeing, fabulous dining opportunities and extraordinary shopping.

Outlet Shopping

Head to Conneticut’s premier outlet mall to enjoy a half-day of shopping and relaxing.

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, basketball, scavenger hunt, movie nights, soccer, Summerfuel Olympics, karaoke, ultimate Frisbee, trivia night, game shows, water wars, battle of the sexes, yoga, running club, hiking, swimming, tie-dye, henna tattoos

Senior Staff

The Senior Staff is comprised of a Program Director, a Residential Life Director and an Activities 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