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Learn. Engage. Prepare for college and a life beyond.

The Freedom and Citizenship college seminar and academic enrichment program began in 2009 as a partnership between Columbia’s Double Discovery Center and the Center for American Studies. Our goal is to introduce dedicated high school students to college-level work in the humanities and prepare them for lives as informed, responsible citizens.

Students attend a free four-week residential program in July where they take an intensive seminar course on political philosophy taught by Ivy League professors. The summer program is followed by a year-long civic leadership project where students research contemporary political issues and develop advocacy initiatives under the supervision of undergraduate teaching assistants.

In the autumn, students also benefit from college application guidance from the Double Discovery Center and mentoring from Columbia College undergraduates. Successful students receive letters of recommendation from their summer professors to accompany their college applications.

Saving Upward Bound

Shaun Abreu, a participant in the inaugural Freedom and Citizenship program of 2009, wrote an op-ed with Amber Moorer and Congressman Adriano Espaillat. Their essay defends the Upward Bound programs that President Trump's proposed budget would underfund through major cuts to TRIO spending. Freedom and Citizenship students benefit from the college counseling they receive through the Double Discovery Center's programming, including Talent Search and Upward Bound.