The Effort Challenge

cultivating a powerful work ethic

At Trinity-Pawling, we believe all great accomplishments begin with perseverance in the face of challenges. In the end, effort is how we identify ourselves, as teachers, students, athletes, and citizens.

The Effort Challenge is Trinity-Pawling’s distinct approach to inspiring and measuring student growth. It assesses students in multiple dimensions: academics, dorm life, athletics, extracurricular involvement, and more. Through this ethos of effort, we challenge young men to become ambitious, well-rounded individuals in all aspects of life.

As members of the Pride, we strive for growth across many dimensions. For our students, this brings hidden talents to the surface, and shows them where they need to improve. Ultimately, Trinity-Pawling gives students a profound sense of self-awareness. As a result, they discover what every great leader knows: that being smart isn’t enough. Intention and character matter.

A group of Trinity-Pawling students clap and cheer on the quad in between classes

The focus on effort at Trinity-Pawling stuck with me. I see it coming through in my professional work and my work in law school, both where I have to give 110% of my life. The lessons I learned at T-P kept me organized and taught me how to manage my time and maintain a disciplined schedule.

Jacques Zelnik ’11

How it Works

Every six weeks, students receive effort grades from the faculty. They consider multiple aspects — scholastics, citizenship, co-curriculars, athletics, service, and community engagement. Students are ranked in Group 1 (highest) through Group 4 (lowest), depending on the level of engagement shown to teachers, coaches, classmates — but most importantly, to themselves.

Alumni Success Stories

Join Head of School Bill Taylor, Dean of Students Josh Collins ’95 P’23, and a panel of accomplished alumni to learn about how the Effort Challenge (formerly known as the Effort System) helped them graduate as ambitious, well-rounded individuals and find success in all aspects of life.

Alumni Panel
  • JP Burlington '95 (Director of Admission, Millbrook School)
    Jean "Osei" Mevs '94 (President, Maxx Content)
  • Jay Philpott '96 (Director of Admission, St. Andrew's Episcopal School)
  • JB Ferrarone '98 (President, Plath & Company, Inc.)
  • Kevin Emore '99 (Global Partnerships Manager, Food and Fitness at Nike)