January 18th 2011
"Mr. C, I'm not afraid of heights anymore!" exclaimed Shanice. She had just finished climbing off the vertical tower that is the high point for the Ironwood Outdoor Center high ropes challenge course. Shanice was one of eight seniors from the UrbanPromise Academy who took part in our Winter Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT) weekend. The OLT is especially meaningful to this group, who all received their UrbanTrekkers vest as part of a solemn evening ceremony at Haddonfield Presbyterian Church. The black Trekker vest with the boot print logo is symbolic of both achievement and promise for our students, who are part of our experiential learning approach to education and Christian character development.
The weekend is designed to challenge the students intellectually, emotionally and physically. In an environment like UrbanPromise that allows the school principal, Mr. Marlowe, and strong adult mentors, like Mr. Lehman, to invest in the lives of our young people, amazing things can happen - far beyond the school day and the limits of a school schedule.
Part of the weekend provided a venue for the students to share with one another fears and obstacles that they see blocking their path to success and fulfillment. Zip lines, flying squirrels, vertical playgrounds, high ropes and lessons on servant leadership also served to build confidence and develop character.
"Mr. C, I'm not afraid of heights anymore!": that's a good thing, because Shanice is setting her sights pretty high as she prepares to graduate and move on to college and beyond. UrbanTrekkers and UrbanPromise are grateful to our staff and volunteers for keeping the bar high for our students.