Students and staff at Black and Brown Men's Retreat

2021 EDI CARES Youth Summer Programs

Update: Clerical Error has been corrected.

Summer program admission information previously was incorrect due to a clerical error. All summer programs are open to all students. Previously the admission requirements stated the programs were only for students of color. That error has been corrected and all summer programs have been open and will continue to be open to all students.

EDI CARES is excited to offer free summer programming for all high school students in Pierce County.  Summer programs are a great way to meet new friends, improve your skills, and explore new interests. All of our summer opportunities will take place at the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus so students will have the opportunity to experience life on a college campus, and meet college mentors and staff. We’re committed to offering excellent summer engagement opportunities focused on topics ranging from college and career preparation, leadership development, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and social issues, ranging from racism, health, environmental, and educational inequality.  If you are looking for enriching and engaging opportunities for Summer 2021, check out our summer programs and apply today.

Registration for Summer 2021 programs is now closed.

Our summer programs are scheduled to be in person for summer 2021. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all our camp participants, so we have instituted the following protocols:

  1. All summer opportunities will be capped at 20 participants.
  2. The only individuals permitted inside campus buildings are camp participants and camp staff. Parents and/or guardians and anyone not enrolled in our summer programs are prohibited from entering any and all campus buildings.
  3. Mask wearing is mandatory for all participants and staff. 6 foot social distancing guidelines will be employed at all times.
  4. Any students who show COVID-19 symptoms will be immediately quarantined and ask to leave the camp premises; they will not be able to return to the camp until they show proof of a negative COVID test.
  5. Daily health screenings and temperature checks will be completed the morning of each camp.
  6. All spaces will be sanitized frequently throughout the day and all participants will be given their own camp materials.
  7. We highly encourage all camp participants and camp staff to get vaccinated and get a negative COVID test prior to starting their camp experience.

Should you have any questions about camp protocols or any of the programs below, please email EDI CARES at

group of students
students drawing around 3d printer

Vaka Summer Camp (four day camp)

Vaka STEM Summer Program

Session I: July 12 - 15
Session II: July 19 - 22
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily
Open to all high school freshman, sophomores and juniors in Pierce County

Our four-day Vaka Summer Camp is geared toward learners who want to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through a lens of traditional knowledge to better understand their connection to the environment and world around them.  Students will engage in hands-on, interactive activities around environmental justice, and develop their college-going skills. This camp is geared to anyone who wants to learn more about the environment, and how to start and succeed in college. Students will be introduced to Pierce College staff and mentors during the entire summer experience. To accommodate the large demand, this camp is offered twice throughout the summer, July 12 - 15 and July 19 - July 22. Students only need to register for one time frame.  If you’re interested in building community, learning about the college-going culture, and exploring STEM subjects, apply to Vaka today!

Transportation assistance is available, and lunch and snacks will be provided each day.

LINK Summer Program (one day camp)

LINK Summer Camp

Date: Friday, July 23
Time: 10 a.m. -3 p.m.
Open to all high school freshman, sophomores and juniors in Pierce County

Join our one-day full-experience Legacy of Indigenous and Native Knowledge (LINK) program to engage in knowledge building activities centered on Indigenous experiences. Our hands-on learning activities will explore cultural-identity and worldviews to gain Indigenous knowledge. Our immersive program will actively develop skills in community building while connecting a pathway to Tribal Colleges or Universities. Activities will include Indigenous beadwork, self-identity exploration, and land-connection. Priority given to Native and Indigenous students but open to all students.

Transportation assistance is available, and lunch and snacks will be provided.

TREES Summer Program (two week camp)

Transforming Racial Equity into Emerging Scholars

TREES Summer Camp

Week 1 Dates: July 26 – July 29 (Monday – Thursday)
Week 2 Dates: August 2 – 6 (Monday – Friday)
Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily
Open to all high school freshman, sophomores and juniors in Pierce County

This two-week experience will focus on exploring themes of combating racism and environmental injustice, using technology to solve real-world problems, and building skills for lifelong learning and success. Students will have the opportunity to use the Pierce digital design lab and makerspace to create technological solutions for social issues. We'll explore local neighborhoods and history to compare urban/suburban settings, what defines a place, and how social change happens on a local level.

If you're interested in learning how you can grow as a student, meet like-minded local peers and  engage your community to make a positive impact in the world, apply today!

Transportation assistance is available, and lunch and snacks will be provided each day.