Future Leaders Institute

An Overnight Camp for Ambitious High-School Students


The Future Leaders Institute is a residential camp at UNH for ambitious high-school students to come together to learn, debate, argue, and write persuasively in a collaborative environment while making friends and enjoying summer in coastal New Hampshire. Award winning professors Nick Smith (Philosophy) and Scott Smith (Classics) bring interdisciplinary and highly interactive learning approaches to get students working on the biggest challenges confronting humanity.

The Future Leaders Institute is a collaboration between UNH’s Department of Philosophy and Department of Classics, Humanities & Italian Studies and is generously supported by the Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project (RGSCP).

2017 Institute: July 17-28, 2017

Cost for 12 days: $1,000 (includes all room, board, and materials). We are committed to ensuring that every New Hampshire student who wants to participate in this program can do so regardless of financial need. Please see the application for more on financial assistance.

Past Program Schedules

Once your pre-application has been approved, you will be able to officially register for the Future Leaders Institute on the UNH Learn For Life website. Registration requires that an account be created for each child. Each child’s account will have a unique User Name and Password, but the same email address can be used to manage multiple child accounts. The accounts must be created with the name and birthdate of the child, not the parent. If your child currently has an account, then you do not need to create another account.

Accounts can be created and the Registration questions can be completed at any time. If your child has an account already, you may want to log in and use the ‘Forgot User Name or Forgot Password' functions if needed. We recommend that accounts be created or logged into again, and the registration questions are completed BEFORE registration opens. This will make the enrollment process smoother and quicker.

The discussions were great and I loved how it didn’t end in the classroom. The debate was great and it was an awesome addition along with the end of the week congress hearing [on the financial meltdown of 2008].

Professors Smith & Smith are outstanding instructors, [my child’s] peers engaging, and the facilities a great showcase on your part for UNH. Cathy Leach was top notch, too. Will definitely carve out a week next summer if a similar program runs again.

After UNH, [our child] went to a pre-college program at Brown University. He thought the UNH program exceeded the Brown program by far!

I also want to express to you how amazing FLI was and that I took away so much knowledge from that experience.

The whole thing from start to finish was outstanding… The staff were so skilled and full of passion both for their subjects but also in terms of the whole process of teaching. They both seemed to really enjoy young people and made learning both exciting and fun from everything [my child] shared.

The experience couldn't have been any better.

It was an absolutely incredible experience and I pity those who will not be able to participate in a program such as I did.

Some of the best parts of the week [were] the conversations and debates; this allowed for interesting topics and engaging discussion.

[I loved] going to the pond, and learning about corruption within government, businesses, and corruption and the different systems like libertarianism, socialism…and capitalism.

Here are some more select survey comments from 2016. Please add them to the web page, and Scott if you want to add any of these to the handout please do (or sent me the Word version and I can add them). Here are some:
During my time at FLI, I most enjoyed learning about such a wide range of topics while meeting so many new and interesting people. It was interesting to challenge myself to think about and discuss issues that I had not considered before the program, and leave with an understanding of them.
My favorite experience at FLI was the open debate and discussion of big problems. Being able to debate issues with people who had strongly differing philosophies opened and expanded my mind in a way that has never happened anywhere else. In particular, I enjoyed the organized debates where participants were separated into different sides.
I really enjoyed the discussions we had at mealtimes amongst ourselves and with the TAs, Professors, and guest lecturers.
I enjoyed every second of my experience.
Communications leading up to and during the program were very helpful. We were especially appreciative of the daily updates. We looked forward to reading them and felt confident that our daughter was learning and growing under the direction of the FLI team.
Amazing and [our son] can't wait until next year, he had a fantastic time.
Our daughter absolutely loved her time at FLI. She was challenged academically and personally to grow and think outside of the box on many issues she had not previously encountered. She loved her interactions with the professors, mentors and other students. As parents we really believe that our daughter's experience at FLI provided her with insight into the intensity of study and expectations of quality work at the college level. She has expressed interest in returning to the program next summer. We were all very pleased with her experience.
FLI was a great value for the cost.
We really liked everything about the structure of the camp. We especially liked the fact that the kids were not coddled in the process and the topics were serious and relevant. Even if they never come in contact with the discussion topics again, they were required to independently research, discuss and respectfully disagree and debate with facts and not blind emotion. We believe this is a skill too often lacking in our society. We hope that experiences like FLI will encourage our daughter to always seek to educate herself on all sides of an issue and form opinions founded in knowledge and to learn to disagree respectfully. We would like to see the topics continue to be centered on relevant issues that affect not only today's society, but also will potentially impact future generations.

R. Scott Smith

Professor of Classics
Rome Program Director

(603) 862-2388 (Voice Mail Only)

301 Murkland Hall
15 Library Way

Nick Smith

Department Chair
Professor of Philosophy

(603) 862-1329 (Voice Mail Only)

250EA Hamilton Smith Hall
95 Main Street
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824