According to Jessica Lee, the program’s director, students and teachers engage with the ancient texts and make connections to the students’ current lives. “For one student, Rousseau's Social Contract is the key to understanding why her immigrant parents treat her brothers and sisters differently, and for another, Hobbes's Leviathan describes his experiences at his underperforming high school,” Lee said.
Interested in joining the Freedom and Citizenship program?
Every summer since 2009, the Freedom and Citizenship program, a partnership between Columbia's Center for American Studies and the Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center, has invited about 45 local New York City high school students to spend part of their summer on Columbia’s campus learning philosophy and other humanities courses from Columbia professors, visiting teachers, guest lecturers and Columbia undergraduate teaching assistants. The program, which is free of charge, reaches out to local public high schools' college counselors to encourage applications from students who live in low-income neighborhoods and who might be the first in their families to go to college