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SOAL

The Summer Opportunity of a Lifetime (SOAL) program gives our students the opportunity to extend their learning outside the classroom, both domestically and abroad. SOAL is instrumental in transforming their sense of abilities, aspirations and preparing them to merge into global competitiveness. Each summer, SOAL students participate in challenging learning programs, spending a part of their summer in a new environment away from home.

Students gain new perspectives by expanding their knowledge and skills as well as exposing them to diverse and alternative learning experiences. Provided with airfare and financial assistance by PSM donors, students return with a wealth of new knowledge that they apply to the classroom. The SOAL program is a ticket to not only a new landscape, but to an eye-opening experience that will forever change them.

Each year, students compete to be a part of the SOAL program. Whether in Lower School or High School, students who participate in SOAL go to learn. Courses range from the Oxford Academic Programs in Europe to language immersion programs in the deep woods of Minnesota, to service programs in the Rocky Mountains. Courses range in length from one week to the entire summer.

Lower and Middle School SOAL students combine language immersion, leadership, skill-building and service activities with recreation. High school students interested in SOAL are encouraged to research a program that suits their interests. High School students combine rigorous academic coursework at prestigious institutions with class tours and hands-on learning.

History

The SOAL program began in 1990 as a means to enhance student’s academic lives and open their worlds to new experiences. Providence St. Mel wanted to test the global competitiveness of its students and what better way to do that than to send students out to other parts of the country and abroad to compete with their peers. Students who participated find that their education at PSM has prepared them well, and gain a new confidence. “This trip allowed me to visualize myself very differently than how I used to see myself at Providence St. Mel. It made me realize not only that I am able to compete with top students from across the world, but that I even possess attributes that allow me to stand out” said Kyera, a senior this year who attended ‘Academie de Paris through the Oxbridge Academic Program this past summer. Since 1990, thousands of students have participated in the program. PSM has made its mark in places as diverse as South Africa, Thailand, and Switzerland.

Donor Partnerships

The Summer Opportunity of a Lifetime (SOAL) program gives our students the opportunity to extend their learning outside the classroom, both domestically and abroad. SOAL is instrumental in transforming their sense of abilities, aspirations and preparing them to merge into global competitiveness. Each summer, SOAL students participate in challenging learning programs, spending a part of their summer in a new environment away from home. Students gain new perspectives by expanding their knowledge and skills as well as exposing them to diverse and alternative learning experiences. Provided with airfare and financial assistance by PSM donors, students return with a wealth of new knowledge that they apply to the classroom. The SOAL program is a ticket to not only a new landscape, but to an eye-opening experience that will forever change them.

Student Eligibility

Students in Grades 3-11 who are registered for the next academic school year at PSM are eligible to apply to the SOAL program. Students must complete a SOAL application, write an essay, furnish two teacher recommendations and upon acceptance pay a $50 non-refundable fee. Students must have at least a 2.0 GPA to apply for SOAL Application deadline is December 17, 2012. SOAL like all Providence St. Mel programs, is dependent on a partnership between the family and the school. While scholarships are available, families are required to pay part of the program’s tuition.

SOAL Destinations

Not every program is offered every year. SOAL programs are not limited to those students have attended previously as listed below.

Programs Lower and Middle School students have attended in the past:

  • Birch Trail Camp
  • Camp Foley
  • Camp Kamaji
  • Camp Lake Hubert
  • Camp Lincoln
  • Chippewa Ranch Camp
  • Northstar Camp
  • Red Arrow Camp

Programs High School students have attended in the past:

  • Adventure Trek
  • Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
  • Brown University
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Concordia Language Villages
  • Dominican University, ACT Prep
  • Elmhurst College
  • Goodman Theatre
  • Grand Canyon Youth programs
  • Hinsdale Hospital
  • Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program
  • IIT Boeing Scholars Academy
  • Illinois State Youth Music program at University of Illinois
  • Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp
  • Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Marquette University Journalism program
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • National Youth Leadership Conference
  • Oxbridge Academic Programs, London
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • Physicians Program
  • Purdue University Engineering Programs
  • Putney School of the Arts
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois ACES Engineering Program
  • UIC African American Writing Program
  • University of Maryland
  • US Naval Academy
  • White Mountain

Please contact SOAL Coordinator with any questions or concerns.
SOAL Coordinator: Michelle Byrd (email: byrdm@psmnow.com or phone: 773.722.4600)

SOAL Application