Students in the Trustee Leader Scholar Program (TLS) propose, design, and implement civic engagement projects based on their own passionate interests. TLS projects are local, national, and international, and may be initiated at any point in the college career. The hallmark of the TLS program is an unwavering belief in each student’s ability to take complete ownership of his or her own work. Some projects grow into permanent, College-sponsored ventures, including La Voz, an award winning, Spanish-language magazine; the Bard Prison Initiative; and the Early College in New Orleans.
About TLSThe Trustee Leader Scholar Program, one of Bard's longest-running civic engagement programs, is the College’s undergraduate leadership development initiative. TLS serves as an outstanding model for student-inspired civic engagement, and is deeply rooted in the mission and outreach efforts of CCE.
At any given time, TLS supports 40 to 45 student-led efforts and more than 450 students volunteer annually to help with TLS projects. Most of them remain active in the program throughout their college careers. TLS puts capable adults into the world with the ability to design, plan, fund, and implement large-scale projects.
A hallmark of the TLS program is the willingness to take risks and make a difference under difficult circumstances. Over the years TLS students have built schools in Africa and homes in Nicaragua; run summer camps; led arts workshops in Myanmar; created widely read publications that affect a growing immigrant population; and promoted tolerance in local high schools.
Longstanding TLS projects include the Red Hook ESL program, which provides free language instruction to non-English speakers in the Hudson Valley, while doing advocacy work with recent immigrants; after-school tutoring programs in Hudson and Rhinebeck; and an expressive arts program in a residential school for children with behavioral and emotional health issues.
Learn more about TLS here.