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 24 new students each academic year—12 students from Taft, 12 students from public schools in the city of Waterbury. GLI Scholars will enter the program the winter of their sophomore year, and they will complete the program in the spring 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 and partnered Global Leadership Project. Project requirements include a public presentation and an annotated bibliography.

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
  • One recommendation (must come from a school administrator or teacher). If you do decide to apply to GLI you should be sure that the person who you will ask to write your recommendation knows about it as soon as possible so that they can get started early.
  • An interview
  • Demonstrated experience and/or interest in leadership
  • Demonstrated experience and/or interest in community service
  • Enthusiasm to work with diverse groups of people
  • Two short essays, one of which gives you the chance to describe an issue facing your local community, and the other one which asks you to discuss a time when you have had to work with other people to achieve a goal.

Applications are due Wednesday, October 17, 2023.

Apply for the GLI Scholar program GLI Recommendation Form

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.