A free week-long summer residency program for racially and ethnically underrepresented high school students interested in exploring careers in accounting and business.
The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business
2100 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-1017 or (800) 686-2727, ext. 2248
Provides free after school programs for elementary and middle-school aged youth, programs including academics, enrichment activities, and health and fitness. The ASAS Columbus program serves at several Columbus City School locations (specific schools are listed on their website as they change from time to time).
1743 West Lane Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43221
ASAS Columbus: columbusasas.org
ASAS Ohio: asasohio.org
Offers one-to-one community-based and school-based mentoring programs, as well as week-long, overnight camps during the summer for youth. In Franklin County, they offer a Hispanic Mentoring Program for Spanish-speaking youth and families. Visit the website or call to find out how to enroll a child.
Offers a low-cost outdoor leadership program for youth ages 9 to 12. Based at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park just west of downtown Columbus, Bold Columbus provides fun and educational experiences, including group challenges, leadership training, team games, nature education, arts and crafts, outdoor cooking and more.
Park Address: 1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, Ohio 43119
Serves youth ages 6 through 18 from across the city. For a low cost, the nationally-acclaimed Club provides members with access to after-school and summer programming oriented around three pillars: Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Character & Leadership. Club members have access to tutoring, gym space, teen-specific areas, field trips, career-readiness opportunities and mentoring.
Provides holiday assistance, housing and emergency assistance, free dinner and host a free summer program through CDF Freedom Schools. Call for serving times and days.
501 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Heart of the City Freedom School: broadstreetumc.net/hocfs
A free week-long summer camp for students 14-18 years old. Students learn various aspects of engineering, including automotive, simulation and manufacturing. They will have the opportunity to hear from CAR researchers, complete hands-on projects and take field trips.
930 Kinnear Road, Columbus, Ohio 43212
A free summer camp for military children ages 8 to 15. Priority enrollment is given to children of wounded, injured, ill and/or fallen military men and women. The camp is a week-long helps kids learn new skills, build character and make new friends while enjoying the outdoors. Complete their online application for enrollment or call the hotline below for more information.
801 North West Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
Supports children in the Columbus community whose parent has cancer, by providing a free summer camp experience and year-long peer support. Camp Kesem is operated by student volunteers and serves approximately 150 campers ages 6-16 every year.
PO Box 3501, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Visit your local library to get access to free books, music, movies and documentaries. Most libraries will also have group reading times for children, homework help, fun events for people of all ages and more.
A free violence reduction program offered to youth ages 14 to 21, living in zip codes 43207, 43203, 43223, and 43211 evening activities. The recreation centers located in these zip codes are open until 10 pm to engage youth in the arts and in educational and recreational activities. Gang and violence mediation and intervention are also provided.
1111 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
Offers academic programs and a safe place to learn and play after school and during the summer for a very low cost. Children can get homework help, tutoring and a nutritious snack and/or hot meal. They also offer anger management, substance abuse, violence prevention and recreation and enrichment activity (like field trips, drama and art) programs are offered.
Offers a year-long program for City of Columbus middle-school youth ages 10-15. Participants have the opportunity to gain real life skills by working on projects and attending events that will guide them towards becoming positive leaders in their communities. Participants will need to be recommended by their principal, assistant principal or teacher in order to be considered.
1111 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
A community‐based, non‐profit, advocacy organization that works to empower African Americans and marginalized groups through economic, educational and social progress with programs, classes and services. Visit the website to learn more about the different programs that fall under these six categories:
788 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
A non-profit that offers mentoring and leadership development, bullying and violence prevention programs, summer camps, job readiness programs, college and university tours to elementary school, middle school and high school youth. CND also offers emergency support services on a case-by-base basis, parenting services and addiction counseling for adults.
A free week-long summer camp that introduces young women in grades 8-10 to the data science and analytics field. Students will gain hands-on experience on scientific methods and processes for extracting new knowledge from data, using animation software, giving presentations. Visit the website for contact information.
The Ohio State University, Translational Data Analytics Institute
1760 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Offers summer day camps, homeschool programs and preschool programs for youth ages 3-14. They have nearly 2,000 acres of plant collections, gardens, hiking trails and natural areas for people to explore. Scholarships are available.
7770 Jacksontown Road Southeast, Newark, Ohio 43056
(740) 323-2355 or (800) 443-2937 Toll-free
A free, two-week summer digital animation program for young women in 7th and 8th grade. The mentors are Ohio State graduate students and faculty engage the young women graphics and animation, integrating problem-solving skills, collaborative learning and presentation.
Advanced Computing Center for the Arts & Design
1813 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Program: Offers youth and their families mental, emotional and behavioral health programs and services. Licensed social workers and counselors provide counseling and clinical treatment programs addressing a range of issues including school concerns, sexual abuse, delinquency, domestic violence, family conflict, substance abuse and mental health issues. They also offer parenting classes, free kindergarten readiness programs and after-school and summer programs at their two youth centers.
Eligibility: male and female, ages vary per program
Cost: government insurance (Medicaid, Molina, Caresource), private insurance and self-pay (sliding scale fees based on income); most programs are free
Referral: individuals may refer themselves or be referred by someone else for the counseling programs, for psychiatric services they need to be referred through a Directions for Youth counselor
Intake: (614) 294-2661
Provides free career training, job and post-secondary education assistance, industry-recognized certification and supportive services for young adults ages 14 to 28. The programs are offered year-round at various locations around Columbus. For youth in kindergarten to 8th grade they offer summer day camps. These services are free to those that meet TANF and/or WIOA eligibility guidelines. Please call for eligibility determination.
100 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 221-3398, ext. 101
Helps immigrants and refugees from all countries establish roots and gain self-sufficiency in Central Ohio. They offer job training, mentoring, English language classes, after school tutoring for children, case management for victims of domestic violence and much more. They provide these youth, adult and family care programmings at various sites throughout Central Ohio. Visit the website for a list of all the program sites.
Main Office: 1060 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
Provides a free camp experience for children with serious medical illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, sickle cell disease, asthma and arthritis. 24-hour care is provided by specialized doctors and nurses, and the camp is free. Campers step outside of their sickness to experience activities such as canoeing, swimming, high rope experience and more.
5260 State Route 95, Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338
Provides refugee youth ages 11 and up education, year-round soccer programming, after-school tutoring, academic enrichment summer camp, leadership training and other resources and support to empower them to succeed in academics, soccer, and to positively impact their wider communities. Tuition is free and they offer free lunch.
1933 East Dublin-Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
A summer program for young women entering the 10th, 11th or 12th grade to experience mathematics through engaging activities in a nontraditional environment. Participants will build confidence in their math and programming abilities and develop a deeper understanding of a variety of topics, including mathematical and algorithmic reasoning and problem solving skills.
The Ohio State University, Department of Mathematics
231 West Eighteenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
A week-long summer camp that introduces middle school students (grades 6-8) to multiple world languages and global citizenship. Participants receive a couple hours of world language instruction in small groups, followed by a cultural lesson taught in English, and activities on global issues and what it mean to be a global citizen. Scholarships are available.
The Ohio State University
1775 College Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Offer free adult education classes (like GED preparation, ESOL, job training, computer lab) with free childcare services and transportation, community engagement programs, health and wellness programs and services, and youth programming (like after school homework help, mentoring, summer programs, internships and career exploration).
303 East Sixth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
280 Reeb Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43207 (Only adult education and workforce development)
A faith-based, non-profit organization based in Columbus’ Hilltop community. Some of their programs include a teen club, open basketball gym, their no-cost Westside CDF (Children’s Defense Fund) Freedom School, free legal clinic, mediation services and more. Visit the website or call for program locations.
Serves children and their families living in poverty, helping them to get housing and resources, while providing educational after-school/summer programming and support for kids grades K-8. They also host Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) a program for three and four-year-old children, not enrolled in Pre-K, who will soon enter Kindergarten.
33 North Grubb Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Shelter: (888) 474-3587
Offer fun, healthy safe experiences during the school year and throughout the summer, building academic, career, artistic, and physical strengths for boys of color ages 9-15 years old from zip codes 43206 or 43207 whose families earn 200% of poverty or less.
788 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
Offers a tuition-free youth jazz program, focusing on listening, learning and performing jazz. They also provide band and vocal classes, workshops, summer programs and group performances. Auditions for Columbus Youth Jazz is held in the spring each year.
734 East Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203
Works with high school students from under-served communities to educate them about and prepare them for careers in the legal profession. They provide year-round, four-year academic and professional programming to participants. The program is free to all participants, and students are provided bus passes and lunch.
1700 Lake Shore Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43204
A STEM education and financial literacy organization serving 3rd–12th grade students. Their programs include: STEM clubs, workshops, leadership training, summer camps and mentoring. Their E-STEM Chapter gives youth an opportunity to be exposed to STEM and business concepts. Some services are free. Scholarships are available.
PO Box 361061, Columbus, Ohio 43236
A national, non-profit organization that helps develop academic and leadership skills in public high school students who come from low-income households or will be first-generation college students. LEDA Scholars are recruited as juniors in high school and spend the following summer at the Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute. The 7-week summer program is free and includes leadership study, writing instruction, standardized test preparation and college guidance.
315 West Thirty-ninth Street, New York, New York 10018
A free 4-day summer camp that gives high school-aged youth a chance to explore careers in healthcare. During the camp, high school students will engage in hands-on interactive and experiential learning activities and get a chance to work directly with medical and physician assistant students, doctors, and other health professionals.
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dublin
6775 Bobcat Way, Dublin, Ohio 43016
A free six-week residential academic enrichment program for rising high school seniors who have a strong academic record and are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering. Students’ housing, meals and activity costs covered and they only have to pay for transportation to and from MIT. Visit the website for contact information.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
Current high school students who attend or whose home Columbus City School is South or Marion-Franklin are able to have homework help, cultural field trips, college tours, test prep, career exposure, a six-week college-going experience with work-study opportunities and more. This program is free for eligible students. Visit the website for more information and how to apply.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
Offers several free services to the Latino community including: homework help, educational after school programs and summer camps; 24/7 translation and interpretation services for multiple languages, ESL and citizenship classes for adults; tobacco free program, free car seat checks, and support group for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Offers one-time events, summer camps and scholarships to support the youth of military families. Visit the website for contact information.
Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
OMK Contacts: ohio4h.org/statewide-programs/operation-military-kids/about-omk/contact-omk
Works with families and children, farmers and business owners, community leaders and elected officials to build better lives, better businesses and better communities in Ohio. Many programs fall into four categories, including;
A free youth development program dedicated to serving economically disadvantaged children in the Columbus community. Their programs include a sports summer camp for youth ages 9 to 15, a youth leadership academy preparing youth ages 15-18 for college and future careers and community-based sports clinics throughout the year. Transportation is free to all campers via buses.
2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43210
Provides high school students with year-round tutoring services, test preparation, college/cultural tours and personal/career development activities and workshops. They encourage first-generation and/or low income college bound 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who attend or live in the service areas of Briggs, East, South, or Walnut Ridge High Schools to apply for admission.
154 West Twelfth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Supports military kids through activities and programming specifically targeted to youth of the guard and reserve. Programs include camps for youth and teens, family workshops and free days at the zoo. Most programs are free or for a very nominal price. Programs are open to all Ohio military members.
2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Offers various services for Central Ohio families throughout the year. Their services include: an in-residence rehabilitation program, after school learning centers for youth to get tutoring and homework help, job help, Christmas assistance; free meals and produce giveaways, furniture assistance, housing and rent assistance, utility assistance and veteran support services. Visit the website for their Family Thrift Store locations in Central Ohio and for more information on each program.
Link to Family Thrift Store list: co.salvationarmy.org/CentralOhio/family-stores-in-central-ohio
Offers free service learning programs to schools with students ages 8 to 14 years old and through family programs for youth ages 5 to 14 years old. Their programs provide positive outcomes for students in areas of critical thinking, research and observation skills, civic engagement, leadership and teamwork.
16 Orchard Lane, Columbus, Ohio 43214
Offers free youth and adult programming and connects families facing suburban poverty in Hilliard to resources. Programs include a summer lunch program for children, ESL classes, a legal clinic, a monthly job readiness clinic, winter coat store and more.
Upper Arlington Lutheran Church (UALC) at Mill Run
3500 Mill Run Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
Provides a variety of services for Somali youth and adults.
3422 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43224
A faith-based non-profit organization that offers creative arts classes, holistic health and free mentoring and outreach programs. They also offer intern and apprenticeship opportunities to students. Their classes serve students from ages 5 to adults, to the homeschooling community and organizations. Their programs and classes have a minimal fee, which teach fine arts, dance, theater, choir, band, wellness, music lessons and more.
Millworks Art Studios
2020 Leonard Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219
Provides childcare for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old, family services, senior services, and youth programming for youth ages 5 to 18 years of age. food pantry. They also have a Choice Food Pantry, community garden, Christmas gift programs and other neighborhood services.
1500 East Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219
Provides rising high school seniors with a strong interest in computers, engineering and science with the opportunity to gain skills needed to pursue careers in STEM fields. The Summer Academy includes seminars and hands-on projects, designed and taught by Carnegie Mellon faculty, teachers and graduate students. Students admitted will not be charged tuition, housing or dining fees.
Carnegie Mellon University – Office of Admission
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
A free 12-day program that aims to increase understanding of the law and its possibilities among Ohio high school students. Students participating will have daily interactions with lawyers, judges, and Ohio University (OU) faculty, and develop knowledge and skills that will prepare them for collegiate study.
1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701
A faith-based organization that offers a free space for young people of all ages where they can do their homework, get tutoring, play sports, create art, music, dance and more. They also serve a cooked meals and can take food home from their food pantry. Contact them for more information.
880 South Wayne Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43204
The weekly school-based mentoring program pairs Upper Arlington, Marble Cliff and Grandview Heights teen mentors with children enrolled in the after school programs in the Upper Arlington and Grandview Heights school districts. They award at least two college scholarships each year to volunteer teen mentors and also offer several summer camp opportunities.
3600 Tremont Road, Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
A free week-long summer program that provides a fun outdoor learning environment for rising 6-8 graders. Students learn about the different sports playing surfaces and how STEM is used in turfgrass science from Ohio State University faculty and staff.
2710 North Star Road, Columbus, Ohio 43221
This community center in Gahanna is a place for school-aged youth to build relationships, play games, get homework help, or just hang out, in a safe and inclusive environment. They also offer workshops, game nights, special events, family nights, guest speakers, small group gatherings, and more.
254 Agler Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
Through this program, middle and high school age students can participate in after school and summer youth internships to gain skills growing vegetables in sustainable aeroponic towers. In the free youth development program, they gain leadership and entrepreneurial skills while preparing weekly cooking demonstrations and having fun.
The Ohio State University, Campbell Hall 135
1787 Neil Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Offers after-school, in-school and summer youth programs, family needs assistance, reentry programs, counseling services, drug treatment, crisis intervention and more. Visit the website for a detailed description of their services.
2720 Airport Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219
Provides programs focused on 3 areas: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Their programs, services and initiatives are for men, women and children of all ages covering health and fitness, swimming, age-specific activities, child care, camps, programming for children with special needs and more. Visit the website or contact a YMCA center for more information.
YMCA Administrative Office: 40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
YMCA Locations & Contacts: ymcacolumbus.org/locations
Provides free open studio space and one day workshops for teens, at select Columbus Metropolitan Libraries, to give them hands-on experience with music programming, audio recording, videography, video editing, digital art, fine arts and more.
Provide affordable housing for women recovering from drug-related, alcohol-related, and mental illnesses. Services include: wellness and recovery support, computer and internet access, employment assistance, financial literacy classes, GED program and more. The YWCA Family Center provides emergency shelter and critical services including, family assistance, family advocacy, childcare, employment and resource center to help central Ohio families find housing. The YWCA Kids Place offers affordable childcare during the school year and summer programs for families in Gahanna and Westerville school districts. They also provide leadership training for high school girls and women in their 20’s.