Please check the Penn State Health Guidelines page for the latest information about the University’s ongoing COVID-19 response.

Program Overview

The Readiness Institute Summer Program is a six-week paid experience for rising high school seniors that helps them become community and future ready. Participants will have the opportunity to establish relationships and rituals, participate in essential skill workshops, complete projects that address real-world problems, and create personalized road maps for future success. After the program concludes, participants will have continued access to support including mentorship, additional learning experiences, and peer networking.

Designing and Leading a Purposeful Life

The Readiness Institute Summer Program gives learners the opportunity to upskill/reskill cognitive ability and competencies, develop greater social-emotional intelligence, and improve modern literacies that raise digital, cultural, and financial awareness. Participants will gain an improved sense of self and be better able to answer the following questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. Who do I want to become?
  3. How do I get there?
  4. How will I continue to learn?
  5. How will I give back to my community?

Real-Life, Learner-Centered

Learners will work both independently and collaboratively, under the supervision of mentors, in a variety of dynamic educational atmospheres. The Readiness Institute Summer Program offers stimulating and creative learning experiences that provide students with unique opportunities to:

  • explore future career pathways
  • establish habits and best practices to challenge intolerance
  • develop positive financial-management habits
  • build soft skills of communication and collaboration
  • think about growth and development as individuals and citizens
  • receive ongoing guidance, care, and inspiration from mentors
  • match aspirations to opportunities through personalized coaching
  • enhance digital literacy to thrive in a technology-driven world
  • cultivate a sense of service and capacity for stewardship and leadership

Learner Support 

We make a commitment to all our Readiness Institute Summer Program learners to provide support, mentorship, learning experiences, and peer networking as they progress along their individual pathways. During the fall of their senior year, Readiness Institute Summer Program learners receive exclusive access to a series of workshops focused on college and career readiness. Previous workshops have included: resources and strategies for applying for scholarships, FAFSA support, tips for writing college application essays, and college application completion and submission.

Important Dates for 2022 Summer Program 

  • January 31
    Application opens 
  • April 1
    Application closes
  • April 4–April 8 
    Application selection process
  • April 11
    Registration opens for accepted applicants 
  • May 13
    Registration closes for accepted applicants
  • June 27–August 4
    Readiness Institute Summer Program

Program Details

When: June 27–August 4 (Monday–Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.)

Where: Participants will take part in a mix of onsite, offsite, and virtual programming.

  • Onsite programming will be held at the Readiness Institute.
  • Offsite programming will take place at a variety of education, community, and industry institutions. Learners will participate in field trips to local organizations including but not limited to SLB Radio Productions, Carnegie Science Center, Moonshot Museum, Astrobotic Technology, and Penn State Commonwealth campuses.
  • Virtual programming will be presented over Zoom.

A maximum of 45 participants attending high school in Allegheny County will be admitted to the program, and each will receive a stipend of $2,000 and a laptop to use while enrolled in the program.


The deadline to submit an application was Friday, April 1, 2022.

All Penn State youth programs have policies in place to ensure the safety of youth participating in our programs. Read more important information for parents/guardians.