Young Philosophers Talk Responsible Citizenship

March 10, 2017

students participating in HYPE

For the past seven years, the Souhegan High School Ethics Forum has hosted HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts), inspiring high school students all over New England to participate in philosophical discussions that promote leadership, citizenry and ethics.

This year’s HYPE event is hosted and co-sponsored by the University of New Hampshire and will take place on March 16, 2017. Fourteen hundred students and 100 faculty are anticipated to attend, representing high schools from all over New England. The keynote speaker is Governor John Lynch, who will also run an educator session.

This year’s HYPE guiding question, What does it mean to be a responsible citizen?, coincides with activities conceived and coordinated by Constitutionally Speaking, a partnership project of New Hampshire Humanities, NH Institute for Civics Education, UNH School of Law, NH Supreme Court Society, Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth and Saint Anselm College’s NH Institute of Politics.

Three years ago, the Ethics Forum was awarded a renewable prestigious RGSCP Grant (Responsible Governance and Sustainability Citizenship Project) from UNH to fund HYPE. This grant has led to the UNH Philosophy Department’s formal endorsement of the Ethics Forum and the use of the UNH Durham campus each year. It has also led to the affiliation of HYPE with UNH’s emerging summer philosophy program called FLI or The Future Leaders Institute and the LEAP or Leadership Empowering Authentic Progress Conference held each year at UNH Manchester. The results of this support can be seen in the rising levels of attendance at the HYPE conference and the emerging programs that HYPE has spurred.

The Ethics Forum was also awarded the 2014 Granite State Award by the University System of New Hampshire for the group’s “dedication to creating an academically rich environment for New Hampshire students to connect through philosophical discussions.” Besides its largest sponsor, UNH Durham, the Ethics Forum continues to build a strong coalition of post-secondary institutional support including Granite State College, Merrimack College, Saint Anselm College, UNH Manchester and the University of New Orleans.

The latest Ethics Forum documentary highlights the program and its work.

Excerpted and edited from an article written by Christopher Brooks, HYPE Coordinator, Ethics Forum Advisor, Teacher; Souhegan High School, Amherst N.H.

Photo source: NH Humanities.

The Future Leaders Institute Announces Summer 2015 Program

March 3, 2015
FLI students

2014 participants in a financial crisis tribunal

The Future Leaders Institute announces its 2015 summer program, running July 13-25, 2015. Now in its second year, this UNH residential summer camp for ambitious high school students explores citizenship and ethics from both an ancient and modern perspective. Due to the success of last year’s camp, the program has now expanded to two weeks. Students may choose to attend one week or the full two-week session.

The 2015 program theme is Money, Greed, Corruption. In week one, students will focus on money, greed, and society. Week two covers money, politics, and government. People tend to have mixed feelings about money and how it influences us, note program faculty Scott Smith, professor of classics, and Nick Smith, professor of philosophy. Money motivates us, for better or worse, to do things we would not otherwise do. Students will explore these dynamics and examine the questions: Can one be a good person, honest, loyal and caring while attempting to maximize profits and win elections in a money-hungry world? Or are ethical principles naive in a world where money and power are so entwined?

Camp participants will spend their days discussing and debating classical and contemporary views on wealth, power, corruption, and leadership. The faculty and teaching assistants will mix highly interactive in-class work with evening films and discussions, as well as excellent food and outdoor activities on the beautiful UNH campus.

Costs include all room, board, and materials. Early application applications are due April 15, 2015; applications will be open on a rolling basis until June 15, 2015 until the spots are filled. Spaces are limited!

The program is committed to ensuring that every New Hampshire student who wants to participate in this program can do so regardless of financial need. Please see the application for more on financial assistance.

For more information and to apply, visit

students at Mendum's Pond

The 2014 campers enjoy some time relaxing at Mendum’s Pond in Durham.

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