After a challenging quarter at NSA, students and staff are ready for some rest and relaxation. This spring, after we celebrate our graduation ceremony, students will travel north to the Arenal and Sarapiqui region for some well-deserved fun.
The trip will begin with a swim at the La Fortuna waterfall, a 75-meter tall cascade famous for its two natural swimming pools.
The Spring Break itinerary is packed with lots of aventure as well, including hiking the trails around the base of Arenal Volcano, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, a sunset cruise on Lake Arenal, and relaxing soaks in thermal hot springs.
With hope, everyone will return to campus recharged and ready for the upcoming Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) course.
Keep an eye out for photos from the course and the trip in the upcoming edition!
A key part of NSA’s mission to nurture students toward becoming more relationship-based, goal-driven, resourceful global citizens is the idea of giving back to people and communities. During their stays, our students engage in countless opportunities to give back, from mentoring new students to volunteering at Hogar de Vida.
Our students work side-by-side with the Osa Conservation preserving turtle habitats, beautify local schools, and teach free English lessons in town. And something seems to stick, because our school is lucky enough to have graduates continually expressing that they want to give back by becoming interns, contributing to a program that once guided them.
Read for yourselves from a recent letter written by a 2014 graduate:
I was checking out the NSA website a second ago and felt compelled to email. Partly to thank you and also update you on my life.
I am in my second semester of my sophomore year at UNCW. I am on track to be a Psych Major/Spanish Double and or Minor (depending on the next few semesters). I work in the summers as a surf instructor and the rest of the year as a Manny (male nanny) for a family with a 9 year old boy and a 13 year old boy. I know GPA does not indicate everything but I have a steady 3.0. In July I will study abroad in Port Elizabeth South Africa for the semester.
How is New Summit Academy? Has the profile of students been changing at all? Mike W. and I keep in touch a good deal and he spoke very fondly of his time at NSA, especially working with you. I hope to come back at some point and work with NSA. It says something about the program that some students are compelled to come back and work with the students.
I am very thankful for my experience at NSA. It was an ineffable experience at certain points but my overall feelings remain positive and grateful. Choosing to take a year off was a very hard decision but a pivotal decision that I hold to my identity/sense of self. I always enjoyed talking travel with you and all you encouraged me to do.
I know you are very busy but I thought that I would extend this to you.
February and March have been exciting months for our senior students and our faculty, as the hard work of college applications is starting to pay off. Our seniors have received decisions from just under half of the schools to which they’ve applied, and the results are fantastic! So far, 94% of schools applied to have made offers of admission. Amazing programs, Colleges That Change Lives, and top universities want our students, and are offering merit scholarships to make them even more appealing.
Schools such as Pace University, Juniata College, Whittier, Rollins, and Loyola Marymount have – to date – offered our students a total of more than $688,000.00 in merit scholarships! Congratulations, seniors, on your well-deserved success!
New Summit Academy’s innovative Global Citizenship program engages students in critical-thinking activities throughout their year with us, developing perspectives that apply to all of their classes and, with hope, their worlds. Twice per quarter, students and teachers focus on one of the eight facets of Global Citizenship: Social Justice, Diversity, Interdependence, Conflict Resolution, Ecological Stewardship, Sustainable Development, Digital Citizenship, and – this quarter’s facet – Human Rights.
Our community dedicates two days to the study of each facet, and works with students to create plans of action to enact change in their communities, and guides them in developing facet projects in their classes. This Human Rights workshop is focusing on worker’s rights and how our actions and purchases affect others. It includes an analysis of the ground-breaking documentary film The True Cost, and a Skype interview with its director, Andrew Morgan.
This Aventura begins with a 3-day backpacking journey into the chilly cloud forest of Tapanti National Park. On the very first day, after arriving at the park station, the group happened to see a wounded resplendent quetzal being transported to the Zoo Ave sanctuary in Alajuela. Renowned for its vibrant plumage and long streamer tail, the quetzal inhabits the humid highlands of Costa Rica, where protected lands offer this threatened species safe haven.
The experience was the perfect springboard for that day's class on the interconnectedness of cloud forest biomes and human interactions with local species. The class discussion focused on human impacts and important efforts to help rare species like the quetzal.
The trip ended on a high note with two days of adrenaline-pumping rafting on the Class III and IV rapids of the mighty Pacuare River.
Students on the Kayak Aventura found a true sense of cohesion and authenticity as they paddled their way across the glassy waters of the Golfo Dulce.
When they weren't chest-deep in mangrove estuaries for hands-on classes, the guys were catching their dinner (fresh snapper and mackeral!) on handlines as they kayaked through this amazing ecosystem.
Crowning moments included:
Corcovado National Park, one of the planet's most biodiverse locations, was the backdrop for this physically challenging 5-day camping and trekking adventure. Students study lowland rainforest ecology, symbiosis and forest succession on this extreme journey that entails some exciting river crossings, including one high tide crossing where waters were nearly chest level!
Wildlife sightings are one of the best parts of exploring Corcovado. During their week-long adventure, the guys saw Tapir, sea turtles, four species of monkey, wild pigs, coatimundi, caimans, crocodiles and a skunk! The group also got to experience the wonders of the Snow Moon Eclipse, watching the sun rise as the moon lit up the night sky.
Community Service marks the first of NSA's Integrated Aventuras, and with more than half of the student body participating in this initial adventure, this group was amazingly cohesive. Students showed great initiative and cooperation on both an individual and group basis during their week on the Osa Peninsula, where service was aimed at monitoring endangered sea turtle nesting sites and local reforestation efforts.
According to Aventura staff, the guys were consistently engaged in academic lessons, resulting in dynamic conversations.
Aventura highlights included:
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