Monday, October 13, 2014

The Difference Your $29 Makes–A Story from New Start High School

During the month of October, we’re fundraising for our 29 Dollars, 29 Days: Getting Kids on the Boat campaign. Why $29? It’s the cost for one student to come aboard with their school or youth group for a day program. Every dollar raised through this month-long campaign will go directly to scholarship children and teens throughout the Puget Sound region. Click here to donate today.

This month–to celebrate and illuminate the impact of your $29–we’re sharing stories about Adventuress’ power to transform lives. Today’s story comes from Kelsie Maney, a teacher at New Start High School. Many students attend New Start because they have been underserved at comprehensive high schools and are behind in credits. For the past several years, New Start students have come aboard Adventuress each spring for a 3-day overnight. Kelsie recalls the particular impact that the trip had on one of her students:  

“When Julia first started at New Start she had freshmen credits even though she was 16 years old. Julia comes from a family that has been devastated by gang related crimes and other challenges that too often affect urban young people, which caused her to lose huge pieces of her education as well as parts of herself, including her confidence. She also saw little future in academics for herself when she started at New Start...

New Start students work with crew member 
Thom Young to develop a plan to strike the foresail.
 “Last spring Julia went through a transformative experience aboard Adventuress. She felt accepted, gained self-awareness, and found solace in nature that she could not find in the city. She felt a new sense of purpose and even considers the possibility of working in the maritime field for her future career. Her sense of responsibility to the environment also completely changed.  She now proudly advocates for keeping the environment cleaner and tells people to be more responsible with what they buy and how they use resources. Most importantly, I have seen Julia want to be more of a citizen in her community. She takes on more community involvement and tries to work with other people at school to encourage a stronger school connection.

“Stories like Julia’s are very common after students step off of Adventuress. They take so much away with them from the chance to reflect, develop socially, and learn from caring crew members. I highly recommend donating to 29,29 because so many of the students that learn aboard Adventuress have no other way to find the sorts of transformations that happen on the Sound.  With little means to escape the city, the need for meditation in nature is huge for these students. By making the decision to support students in going to sea, you help them see a brighter future for themselves. This is a fantastic gift not just for individual students, but for their families and for the community as a whole.” 

Thank you, Kelsie, for sharing your students’ stories! And thank you, Sound Experience community members, for giving to 29,29!  

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