Learning Opportunities for Teens in the Upstate

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Ready or not, your teenager is heading out into the real world soon! Fortunately, the Upstate provides teenagers with learning experiences all year long outside of the general education classroom. If your teen is interested in a career in science, government, or the arts, there are several local options for teens to gain experience.

General Learning Experiences in the Upstate

The Upstate is home to multiple museums that offer teenagers the chance to learn more in-depth information and opportunities to volunteer for a behind-the-scenes look at what these museums and centers offer. For example, Roper Mountain Science Center allows teens to volunteer where they will get first-hand STEM learning opportunities. Plus, places like the Spartanburg History Museum, offer summer camps just for teenagers.

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Learning Opportunities Galore at the Library

The first place to begin searching for learning opportunities for your teen is the local library. Spartanburg County Public Libraries offer educational programs for teens (how to get a job programs, test prep courses, etc.), volunteer programs, and internship opportunities. Plus, the Headquarters Library has recently the SPARKspace, which is a public makerspace with librarians who will teach your teen everything from 3D printing to sewing. Greenville County Public Libraries also offer teen programs and homeschool programs.

Life Skills and Career Preparation Opportunities

If your teen has not decided on a career path, look for learning opportunities that open the doors to multiple careers and teach life skills. For example, the Benjamin Franklin Experience in Greenville is a summer program that is designed to help teens consider different careers.

If you are looking for leadership experience, there are several options. Both the Spartanburg Parks and Greenville Parks systems offer different teen leadership and scholastic programs.  The YMCA of Greenville hosts SC Youth in Government and Y-Corps. Additionally, teens can become a part of Junior Achievement of Upstate South Carolina.

Test Preparation

For those parents looking for test preparation courses, consider Sylvan Learning Centers, which has locations throughout the Upstate. Sylvan offers test prep courses all year, but they also offer a variety of STEM courses and camps during the summer. SC Test Prep is another test prep program based in Spartanburg.

Lifeguard and Boater Certification

Teenagers wanting lifeguard certification can take a course at their local YMCA. If your teenager wants to have his/her boater certification, you can find information about the process here. In South Carolina, those under 16 years of age are legally required to pass a boating education course before operating a personal watercraft (including jet skis).

Language Learning Opportunities

German School Upstate offers classes in Spartanburg (Spartanburg Day School) and Greenville (Shannon Forest Christian School). Additionally, Spartanburg Country libraries has a teen program called “Language Learning Teens.”

Learning About Animals

For teens interested in animals, they can volunteer at either the Greenville Humane Society or the Spartanburg Humane Society. In addition to volunteering, Greenville Zoo hosts career day events for teens throughout the year.

Learning the Arts

There is an abundance of learning opportunities in the arts in the Upstate. Your teen can take acting classes at Spartanburg Youth Theatre and South Carolina Children’s Theatre, as well as take classes during the summer at USC Upstate. For the musicians, Lawson Academy offers several courses to help individuals perfect their skills.  For the aspiring artists, Spartanburg Art Museum, Creative Soul, and Greenville Center for Creative Arts offer classes just for teens.

These programs are all specially designed for teens ensuring they will have fun and learn at the same time. What’s even more exciting? Many of these places offer flexible scheduling, homeschool classes, and a wide variety of summer camps just for teens!

Do you have a learning opportunity for teens to add to our list? Add it in the comments!


Jennifer Curry
About the Author
Jennifer relocated to Spartanburg seven years ago, and now spends her days working from home and taking care of her two kids. She loves this area because we can go from rural areas to urban areas to the mountains within an hour. Her favorite things to do with her kids are using their imaginations and visiting Spartanburg County local libraries. Follow Jennifer at www.litlovingmom.com.

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