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1) Is this program mainly for very academically motivated students? 

People are innately curious. It is a mistake to assume that a student who isn’t as academically inclined is unmotivated to learn. Intellectual engagement requires a lot of energy, and if there aren't sufficient reasons to learn even the brightest student will lack attention. This recognition is the starting point for our approach. We will help our participants pursue what makes them most excited about learning!

2) I'd like to do this program but I'm pretty quiet. Would I get anything out of it? 

Many artists, composers, and writers are relatively quiet.  They are busy observing, critiquing, planning, doubting, and considering. But sometimes they are overlooked because the boisterous and entertaining tend to win attention.  At Rising Leaders, we provide an attentive and supportive environment to encourage all to share their ideas. But even more important to us than speech is understanding, as we recognize that meaningful discussion involves not only consistent talking, but careful listening as well.  

3) All of the sessions look interesting but we are planning vacations. How do I choose which session is best for me?

We will be offering a number of open houses that will fully explain what's offered in each session.  We also are available to chat about your interests and goals to help you decide.  

4) I'm not that into academics but this program looks interesting. Is it like summer school?

Our program is nothing like conventional school. Our “students” spend their days participating in interactive activities, meeting equally passionate peers, watching films, exploring the neighborhood and meeting inspiring guest speakers. The only “assessment” is whether the participant is excited and feels like he or she is learning.


Our staff of students are offering this program during the summer because we love the material so much we can’t wait to teach it. We plan to have fun, and you will too!

5) How many students per session? What determines the limit?

It's important to have few enough students so that everyone has a chance to receive individualized attention and have their voice heard. But, we also want a group large enough to allow for a diverse set of ideas and meaningful collaboration.  In light of this, we plan for each session to be capped at roughly 20 participants.

6) Do I get a discount if I bring friends?


Yes, if you sign up with a friend you each get $50 off per session! Email us if you plan to register with a friend so we can send you the unique code for this discount.

7) What inspired you to do this?

We were disheartened that so many kids work hard to meet academic standards without valuing their own interests and ambitions.  We wanted to offer tools to help kids envision their own future rather than working with a feeling of uncertainty. To adapt to the rapid changes around us requires an personal constitution and informed world view.  Rising Leaders addresses this by providing the tools for kids to excel with direction on their respective paths.

8) How does Rising Leaders differ from other debate or academic programs?

We not only focus on investigating world issues, but applying what we learn in interactive simulations and by meeting relevant speakers and organizations.  In terms of debate, we adopt a broad view rather than a more traditional technical method.  We expose students to philosophical precepts, economic thinking, global issues, and politics, and then we show them ways to act upon what they have learned.

9) How are your teachers different?

Our teachers are all rising students.  We can relate to the challenges and concerns of our students.  This guarantees results. But we also represent a wide array of interests and approaches to education. For example, Matthew learns to solve problems analytically while Abigail chooses to avoid them. Just kidding! She solves problems best by talking to others and learning by doing. 

10) Will there be adults supervising the program?

Yes, the program takes place under the auspices of Silvermusic and there are adult administrators on site at both the 72nd street and 125th street locations. All of our instructors are also 18+ and have experience leading students this age. 

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