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Leadership Institute for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT)
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As part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s overarching mission to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth, the Museum is proud to offer LIFTT, the Leadership Institute for Today and Tomorrow. LIFTT enables New York City high school students in their junior year to participate in a yearlong series of programs and experiences that develop critical skills and insights necessary to mature into engaged and active citizens. 

Through partnerships with local educational youth service organizations, LIFTT encourages students to activate their leadership potential, sharpen their public speaking skills and become engaged in community and civic programs, all while preparing them to take the next step in their education—the college application process. Each year, LIFTT’s cohort of 40 students come away with a heightened sense of community awareness and are inspired to serve in their own local communities, as well as in the national and global communities.

LIFTT is an expression of the Intrepid Museum’s mission, and is a key component in the Museum’s array of education programming, which inspires students through the stories of heroism and civic engagement that underlie Intrepid’s service to this country, as a naval ship and now as a cultural institution.

How to Apply:

Applications for the 2015-2016 LIFTT program are now closed!

For Parents:

The LIFTT program requires full participation from the students as well as support from family and friends. Students will receive the learning and social experience of a lifetime. 

The LIFTT program will also provide students with the following:

  • Exposure to unique work, projects and experiences
  • Improved academic, public speaking, teamwork and social skills
  • Friendships with peers across New York City
  • Off-site field trips to discover the many learning resources available within New York City
  • MetroCards for transportation to and from the program location
  • A personal statement/college essay for use in the following year’s college applications
  • A certificate of completion for successfully completing the program
  • College guidebooks
  • A personal recommendation from the Intrepid Museum program manager (for use in college applications)
  • Opportunities to take the next step in their college/career paths by applying for an internship with the Education Department at the Museum.
For Teachers:

LIFTT encourages the participation of students who attend New York City schools, especially Title 1 public schools. There are many rising 11th grade students with the potential to develop outstanding leadership, public speaking and career readiness skills; however, they may need additional guidance and encouragement to achieve academic and social success.

We ask teachers, school administrators and community leaders to identify students with the drive to expand their leadership skills, and to encourage them to apply to this program. 


Who can apply to the LIFTT program?

Students from New York City public schools who are entering the 11th grade are eligible for the LIFTT program.  We are looking for students who would like to develop or further their leadership and public speaking skills as well as  improve their college and career readiness.

What is the application procedure?

Step 1: Fill out and return all portions of the application.
Step 2: Students who meet the program qualifications will be contacted to set up an interview with a staff member of the Intrepid Museum.
Step 3: Approximately 40 students will be notified of an invitation to join the program.

*NOTE* Selection of applicants into the program is based on review of all application materials and on interview performance.

How long is the program?

The LIFTT program runs the duration of the school year (September–June). The cohort meets approximately three times a month, on either a Saturday or a weekday that school is not in session.   

What is a typical day like?

Every day is different, but the main themes of the program (leadership, public speaking and college/career readiness) stay the same. Each day focuses on one of these themes as the cohort either goes off-site to other institutions and venues or stays on-site at the Intrepid Museum. 

Will transportation be provided?

Students make their own travel arrangements to and from the LIFTT program. Field trip meeting locations will be communicated in advance. MetroCards to and from the meeting location will be provided. 

How many sessions can a LIFTT student miss?

We understand things come up, so please contact Caitlin Ballingall regarding your absence or early dismissal. Please try to give as much notice as possible.

*NOTE* A student will be at risk of dismissal from the program if he or she misses more than two days.