The end of the semester is at hand. It's a busy and stressful time of year. I know. College students are preparing (or taking) exams. High school seniors are working on mid-year projects and facing college application deadlines. When that last bell rings, I know the temptation to just leave the laptop and books behind. Take a break. Enjoy your family and friends; but also schedule some time for future planning, too. 2-3 hours a week until the school year starts is a small investment that will pay off for your future.

In fact, two very good programs have come across my feeds that I have to share.

1. For College students - Sophomores - Graduate Students - Postdocs

US Department of Energy Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship

A 10-week summer internship program (June 3 - August 9) that provides opportunities to minority and female students who are pursuing degrees in science, technology (IT), engineering, or mathematics (STEM majors). Candidates who are selected will have the opportunity to work on focused research projects consistent with the mission of the Office of Fossil Energy.

Candidates will receive a paid stipend during the program ($600/week for undergrads, $750 for MS students, $850 got PhD and Postdocs) in addition to approved transportation expenses to and from the internship site and technical forum location. Heck I'm thinking of taking this. That's some nice money and the experience in Department of Energy/Fossil Energy mission-related research programs, and getting an "inside view" of federal employment which encourages students to consider future opportunities within the Department of Energy is immeasurable. More information here.

The deadline to apply is January 18, 2013. It's a straight-forward application, too. Get your resume and 2 letters of recommendations ready and upload all of the info directly into the online application.

2. For High School Seniors


The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. We provide Gates Millennium Scholars with personal and professional development through our leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career. More information here.

Deadline to apply is January 16, 2013. It's a more involved application process, but takes as much energy and effort as completing a FAFSA for the first time -- which you still need to do for this scholarship. Get those letters of recommendation lined up and be sure to showcase your community service and leadership presence, and complete the online application.

Best of luck, everyone!

Thanks to my friend T. Rodgers of St. Louis, Missouri for sharing the DOE announcement with me. I had never heard of this program before. Readers like you help me spread the word of how STEM and education are for everyone. Thank you for your continued support.

Do have any recommendations for students (or parents of students) applying for internships and scholarships? Do you know of any other scholarship/fellowship/internship programs worth sharing? Please drop your links in the comments and help spread the word!