Inform. Discuss. Enlighten. Acknowledge. Learn.





IDEAL, which stands for Inform, Discuss, Enlighten, Acknowledge, and Learn, is a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization. Our goal, ambitious yet simple, is to change the way students think about politics and interact with each other. IDEAL operates in two separate spheres: IDEAL MEDIA, or Cherry Tree, a forthcoming publication and podcast; and IDEAL CAMPUS, which sponsors student chapters in colleges and high schools across the country.


Cherry Tree

IDEAL Media, Cherry Tree, is the next evolution of IDEAL. Through a publication and podcasts, Cherry Tree produces content in hopes of revolutionizing the political media model. 

Click below to get involved!



Students are the foundation of IDEAL. Born out of a high school club, this now national non-profit depends on its students across the country to make real effective change. Our chapter presidents and officers have spent time working on the hill, and our alumni have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships, received national recognition for work they've done, and are attending some of the most prestigious universities and graduate schools in the world. A diverse network of incredible talent, IDEAL CAMPUS is built on, for, and by students who want to make a difference in the world. 

The IDEAL Chapters in each institution help students think critically about important political issues of the day. The chapters employ our unique, philosophy-grounded model, promoting civic discourse with a focus on objectivity, sensitivity, and civility. Each chapter publishes articles, and takes an active role in its respective communities, taking on Community Projects that embody the IDEAL mission of changing the way students think about politics and interact with each other. 

Click to learn more about the IDEAL model, our philosophy, and how to start your own chapter! 



The organization creates an accessible and inclusive forum that allows students to express their opinions and interact with others. IDEAL does not stop at expression; it encourages its members to embody and create the change that they seek in the world. Given today’s political climate, IDEAL is not a luxury, but a necessity.
— Nick Zito, MBA Candidate, Northeastern University
IDEAL has highlighted the role of productive and substantive dialogue in politics. It provides a framework to overcome political polarization, increase youth civic engagement, and create a norm of rewarding policy decisions based on information rather than political expediency.
— Jamie Starr, Swarthmore College
I am so heartened by IDEAL’s efforts to amplify these ignored voices determined to improve our country and world. IDEAL is a place where I am confident my opinions can add to general discourse, build on new ideas, and feel constructive.
— Hope Dancy, London School of Economics
IDEAL is bar none, the most intellectually engaging student group on campus...Participating in IDEAL events on campus has helped to improve my ability to speak in public, organize events, gather and review source-material, and dialogue productively. 
— Jack Valenti, Johns Hopkins University