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    Adapting to a hybrid school model this coming year will be challenging and unfamiliar to students, teachers, and parents alike. We aim to ease this transition by offering enriching online extracurricular programming and expanding the vibrant community we have built over the past two summers. Our programming will support participants in ways schools are unable to given the limited capacity of large online classes. We will offer personalized attention, space for reflection, and the opportunity to lead discussions on areas of interest. 

  • Sessions will be held on a trimester long basis. There will be a Fall, Winter, and Spring session. For more information on registration and rates please visit our Registration Page. 

  • Every two weeks we will focus on a new topic. 

    • During the first two weeks we will present an overview of different topics participants may wish to explore that fall under the session's broader theme. We will then facilitate workshops to build the research, rhetorical, and leadership skills they need to investigate and lead discussions on their chosen topics of interest moving forward. We will continue to develop these skills throughout the program.

    • For the remaining weeks participants, working individually or in small groups, will select our topics. They will work closely with their instructors to develop structured programming related to their topic and lead the discussion session. 

    • Examples of past topics include: global affairs, social activism, the effect of music and the art on the brain, the power of sleep and dreams, and political polarization. 

  • Every Sunday from 4:30 - 6:30 pm EST there will be a 90 minute long structured program related to the week’s theme. This time may include seminars, lectures, interactive activities, and guest speakers. We will introduce new topics and develop skills needed to engage with the ideas considered.

  • There will also be time set aside for community building, fun workshops to brighten your quarantine, and weekly celebrations of all you you've accomplished!

America, and the world, will be changing rapidly in the coming months. We are unsure what the future will hold. However, we do know that Rising Leaders will always be a place for discourse, inquiry, and collaboration. It will continue to be a community for young thinkers, activists, and students to find curious peers and navigate the future together. We can’t wait for you to join our journey this year!

**NOTE: Our sessions will be conducted primarily through Zoom, though we will also make use of other means of communication for interactive activities and readings. If you need assistance accessing online resources we will do our best to help. In the event that NYC social distancing regulations change we will re-evaluate the structure of our programming.**

Fall Session


What is a utopia, and how far are we from it?

At a time when the world seems dystopian, this session will reorient our focus towards what makes a utopia. In the process, we will delve into history, ethics, and sociology to discover what human flourishing looks like and how best to promote it.

Each week, participants will add new elements to their vision of utopia and negotiate between the ideal and the possible. Specifically, we will discuss how government, city planning, education, and art can all contribute to creating both a fair and meaningful society. 

By the end of the trimester, participants will have a richer understanding of their socio-political context and will have the tools to critique what is dysfunctional and save what is valuable in our own society. 


Winter Session

A Greater Society

Over the Winter months we will continue to explore social questions with a greater emphasis on live simulations and lively debates. Using both philosophical and scientific reasoning, we will address ethical and practical problems that arise in our effort to build a more just society. The many questions we will work through together include moral relativism, humane city layout, and the construction of identity. 


By working through each of these issues, participants will refine their interdisciplinary thinking and gain a fuller understanding of the world. They will also make and sustain amazing friendships. Here’s to continuing our journey!

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