While many will be spending their summers vacationing or working, others have found an opportunity combining the two into an unforgettable experience.
Oklahoma Christian University provides its students with many different opportunities to gain further knowledge in their field of interest, one of which is The Fund for American Studies. The program is a summer studies program in Washington, D.C.
Emily Williams, Jonathan Cannon and Daniel McCormack received a $5,000 scholarship to partake in this eight week experience in Washington, D.C. The Hatton Sumners Foundation donates $15,000 to Oklahoma Christian students on this program.
TFAS has five different institutes a student can go into, an internship in the D.C. area and classes at Georgetown. Among the different institutes are Comparative Political and Economic Systems, Political journalism, Business and Government Affairs and Philanthropy and Voluntary Service.
Williams will be attending the institute of business and government affairs, Cannon will be in the institute of political journalism and McCormack will be going to the institute of comparative political and economic systems.
"I'm not really sure what I'm getting into, but I think this is part of a well rounded education. I believe it's very beneficial to learn in a different setting and will also provide lots of contacts and learn different aspects of a business," Williams said. "It's a very marketable skill and will help me decide more of what I want to do."
Along with the classes at the different institutes, students will spend seven hours a day in their specific internships.
"I am applying to several internships, and I'm most interested in finding one in foreign relations or government commission international religious freedom to help those who are being persecuted," McCormack said.
Nathan Mellor is a part of the faculty committee who reviews the applications.
"We look at their background and see if they show interest in leadership and service, writing ability and their plans for the future," Mellor said. "All the students are extremely talented and very superlative. It was not an easy choice."
They each have different, specific goals that will be hopefully develop and expand as they take part of TFAS.
Williams hopes to get a masters degree in business after she graduates this December and then go into advertising.
McCormack would like to go to graduate school, get his doctorate in political science and one day teach and write political assessments.
Cannon wants to work in international journalism.
"I want to find bills and add the human side to the technical," Cannon said. "It's a great résumé builder and getting to live and work in D.C.—an invaluable experience."
Mellor hopes the students gain knowledge that will allow them to make a difference.
"DC is a unique place, and even though the forerunners are older, the people who are working on the ground are college students," Mellor said. "Students may not realize how talented they are, and I hope they gain a greater sense of patriotism and a greater awareness of their ability."