Cora Laborde ’25 Attends Harvard Summer Program

Cora Laborde ’25 stretched her academic wings this summer. She recently returned from an intensive two-week summer program at Harvard University focusing on law and philosophy. The objective of the action packed program was to cover a semester’s worth of college-level material in two weeks. “I read cases and dissertations that investigated complex moral and legal concepts. I wrote two papers that truly tested my ability to analyze texts, engage in critical thinking, and articulate my thoughts. I was academically challenged to the maximum — it was a wonderful way to push myself,” she explained.

Laborde especially enjoyed the debates with other students during class as an opportunity to more deeply digest course material and consider alternate perspectives from her own. When not debating issues, she attended lectures about innovation, invention, and the future of the global economy, and learned techniques to mix policy with passion to achieve equity.

In addition to interacting with experienced and passionate facilitators, she visited art museums, took a tour of Boston, and had the opportunity to visit Boston’s federal courthouse and meet Judge Angel Kelley — recently appointed to the federal judiciary by President Biden. The program also featured college readiness workshops where participants were given tips on how to prepare for their freshman year at university. “These social events allowed me to form friendships with people outside of my classes and my dorm,” she related. “One of my favorite aspects of the program was the autonomy I was given to explore Cambridge and Boston with my friends.”

Another highlight of the program was learning alongside equally motivated peers. “During the first couple of days, it became very clear to me that I was eating dinner, playing pool, and walking to class with people who strive to achieve exceptional goals. I met many students from around the world; within my dorm room, 5 different languages were spoken. I had the best time learning some German from my Swiss roommate and conversing in French with other international students. Many of the friends I made have accomplished amazing things, and they inspire me to reach my greatest potential. They proved to me that age is never an obstacle when it comes to pursuing greatness,” she explained.

This is not Laborde’s first summer spent engaging in in-depth learning opportunities. Last summer, she attended a program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where she studied finance. “Upon reflection, I realize how different the experiences were, and that is exactly what I love about pre-college programs. They allow you to explore different colleges and form an idea of the college experience you would like to pursue. These programs have allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, and consequently, I have become increasingly excited to start my college career,” she shared. “I am extremely grateful that my parents supported me in pursuing this opportunity, and I intend to put to use all that I have learned!

Earlier in the summer, Laborde served as an ambassador to the HOBY Youth Leadership program at Drew University in Summit. Read about her experience here.

Presenting research at conference