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“High school is a time where everyone tells you that you need to do this or that so that you can prepare for some future life. Please do not forget life is now, you must enjoy it and embrace it. CRILA is a program that exemplifies this goal. While it will give you valuable skills that will serve you later in life, it should also be an important part of your everyday life today. So enjoy it, and don't waste this opportunity. If you are willing to put yourself out there and not be afraid to try new things, you will not be sorry, and I personally guarantee that you will find CRILA to be a life changing experience. I know that I will look fondly back on this period of my life, and I will try to embody its values in both my present and my future. Good luck.”
- CRILA 8 Student
Center for Creative Youth
Soundbridge Early Learning Center
Frequently Asked Questions
How old you have to be to apply?
Students may apply to CRILA at any age, but they must apply while they are in their sophomore or junior year of high school. Typically students are between 15 and 17 years of age when they apply.
How do I know if I am eligible to apply?
If you are currently in your sophomore or junior year and you attend a public high school in one of the 36 participating towns in the Hartford region, you are eligible to apply. Students attending high schools in the following towns are eligible: Avon, Berlin, Bloomfield, Bolton, Bristol, Canton, CREC, Cromwell, East Granby, East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartford, Hartland, Manchester, New Britain, New Hartford, Newington, Plainville, Portland, Region 10 (Burlington and Harwinton), Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Somers, Southington, South Windsor, Suffield, Vernon, West Hartford, Wethersfield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.
Are students from technical high schools eligible?
Yes, as long as the technical high school is located within one of the eligible districts.
Can students from private schools apply?
CRILA is funded through an interdistrict grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education. Therefore, only students enrolled in public high schools in the Hartford region are eligible to participate in the program.
Do I need good grades to apply?
Academic standing is a very important factor, however, all applicants are considered based on their complete application. Many other pieces of the application are closely reviewed in order to determine a student's leadership potential. A student with an exceptional personal essay and a history of leadership and community-service activities would be considered a strong candidate as well.
When will the next application be available?
The application is available at the beginning of January each year. Students can download the application from the website, request a hard copy from their guidance counselor, or request a copy by emailing email@example.com.
When is the application due?
The application is typically due the second-to-last week of March each year; however, this date is subject to change. The application page of this website will have the most accurate information about the application deadline.
Will I have an interview?
The committee may decide to contact student finalists by phone with follow-up questions; however, interviews are not required of all applicants.
How many students apply each year?
Typically, CRILA receives more than 100 applications for each CRILA class; however, the number of applicants varies each year.
How many students are admitted to the program?
Thirty (30) students are admitted to the program each year.
When and how will I know if I have been accepted?
Final decisions are usually made by mid-April. Students accepted into the program are contacted by phone and will receive an acceptance packet in the mail. All other applicants are placed on a waiting list and will receive a letter in the mail around the end of April.
I applied last year when I was a sophomore, but was not selected. Can I apply again as a junior?
Yes, students who applied in their sophomore year are eligible to apply again in their junior year. You must, however, submit a new application in order to be considered again.
What are the hours of the classes?
The academic leadership course consists of 8-10 weekday evening classes between September and April. These classes are mandatory and are held between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm at CREC Central, 111 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT.
How much does the program cost?
There is a $650.00 cost for Travel to the student. The rest of the cost of the program is covered by the Capitol Region Education Council. Scholarships are available.