Global Leadership Institute

The Global Leadership Institute (GLI) is a competitive and rigorous co-curricular program that brings students from Taft and Waterbury public schools together both in and out of the classroom for shared learning and leadership experiences. The program’s mission is to develop a generation of global leaders with a genuine concern for world problems, multiple perspectives on global issues, and the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to worldwide change.

The two-year GLI program accepts 20 new students each academic year—10 students from Taft, 10 students from public schools in the city of Waterbury. “GLI Scholars” enter the program in October of their sophomore year, and complete the course of study in April of their junior year.

The first-year curriculum includes monthly talks by global leaders and scholars, teambuilding events and experiences, and diversity leadership workshops. First-year students will also participate in a summer service internship. GLI Scholars refine their focus in the second year of the program by beginning to look at specific local, national, or global issues for which they have a genuine concern. The subject of that focused inquiry will form the basis of a culminating Global Leadership Project. Project requirements include a research paper and public presentation.

Global Leadership Institute applicants must be high school sophomores enrolled at Taft or in the Waterbury public schools, and are assessed using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to commit to a two-year program
  • Grades that reflect both solid academic and conduct standing
  • Two recommendations (one must come from a school administrator or teacher)
  • An interview
  • Demonstrated experience and/or interest in leadership
  • Demonstrated experience and/or interest in community service
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people
  • Two, 500-word essays:
    • Essay 1: Describe one issue facing your local community that particularly concerns you, and propose a solution to the problem. Be sure to identify your local community (e.g., Waterbury, Lithuania, Chicago) in your essay.
    • Essay 2: Explain how your participation as a Global Leader Institute Scholar will enhance your ability to serve your community and the world.
Apply for the GLI Scholar program

Water for South Sudan

As a middle school student, Minna Holleck read A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park, the New York Times bestseller about life in Sudan. The story stuck with Minna, and inspired her GLI Project.