Clubs are one structured way students are able to pursue interests throughout the week. Wednesdays and Thursdays find students gearing up and embarking right after classes to hit the pitches or waves for the Climbing and Surfing Clubs. The Running Club organizes practice runs and competes in local races, while the Ultimate Frisbee Club - coached by our Experiential Ed mentor Samantha, recently scored a last-minute win over another local high school here on NSA's home field.
Classes, wrap-up meetings, Aventuras and meals - these facets of life at NSA make up a big part of our students' experiences. However, there are many more hours in the day and many interesting activities available that engage our guys in healthy recreational opportunities.
Preparing students for a successful transition from New Summit Academy is a crucial step in helping them succeed in the next stages of their lives. A huge part of this help comes from their work within the NSA Transition Program - an intensive process which engages students, families, and a "Transition Team" in planning and preparing for life after New Summit.
The planning begins well before students' final quarters, when they work with their families to create drafts of their Transition Plans, which will be refined and edited for months before final approval. These comprehensive plans include expectations about education, finances, family and house rules, socializing, and more. Throughout the Transition Program, students also engage in life-skills workshops of their choosing, including topics such as College Level Skills, Planning for and Preparing a Meal, Independent Travel, Budgeting and Finances, and Sex and Dating.
New Summit Academy’s students and staff have just returned from an inspiring round of Integrated Aventuras: Community Service in the Osa Peninsula, kayaking the Golfo Dulce, and hiking through Corcovado National Park. Each Aventura – integrated with Experiential Education activities, engaging Academic classes, and Personal Growth work – challenges students to step outside of their comfort zone to develop important life skills while surrounded by the beauty of Costa Rica.
Below are some of the trip highlights.
Golfo Dulce Kayak Aventura
Exploring Corcovado National Park
by Kelly Weld, NSA therapist
I was having one of those incredible moments last week when I found myself surfing at sunset with Nico. Our Surf Club heads to South Jaco every week, which may be my favorite part of the job (which says a lot). I’ve been out in many different conditions: the perfect 4’ rollers in which everyone feels like a professional; big waves in which many of us ride the white water (when we clearly are not professionals), or even flat calm days in which there are no waves to catch, but everyone still feels the magic.
There is a particular bond that happens between people over a surf outing: first the anticipation and shared excitement on the drive to the beach, and then the stories told over post-session pizza. It is during these activities where some of my best student connections are made. Paddling in the warm water under a rose-covered sky, I watched Nico return to the lineup after surfing the last set. He grinned at me, happy and proud of the wave he caught, while clearly amused by my recent wipe-out. I am not the best surfer, but laughing at ourselves is part of the fun.
I have found that it is moments like these that allow the most natural and open relationships to develop between myself as a therapist, and the students with whom I work. There is an emotional connection that occurs when sharing favorite activities with someone, particularly in an outdoor setting. Profound relationships develop when that activity includes a “challenge element” (eliciting the “flow state” of presence and mindfulness) with an attainable struggle that eventually leads to mastery (creating a sense of earned pride and personal confidence).
On our drive back to campus, I could tell that something special had happened out in the water that evening: Nico and I had strengthened our shared experience and personal history. Whether it be surfing, rock climbing, paddling, or the rhythm of walking, NSA’s experiential Aventuras create opportunities for deep therapeutic rapport, the foundation for clinical efficacy.
New Summit Academy students and staff have just returned from an extraordinary experience exploring ancient and modern cultures in Belize and Guatemala!
Students returned to campus energized by this amazing opportunity, and ready to begin the quarter. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Documentary Film Premiere issue at the end of the quarter, and a shared link of the student film!
As our largest graduation ever quickly approaches, it is a perfect time to reflect on what makes up a student’s experience graduating the New Summit Academy program. While attention is often given to exciting Aventuras, engaging classes, and Personal Growth, it is important to understand the results of these programmatic aspects.
In other words, what does the resume of a New Summit Academy Graduate look like?
Resume of a New Summit Academy Graduate
The class was offered a total of over ONE MILLION DOLLARS in scholarships this year.
It’s amazing what a resume can do!
A great way to understand complexity in markets is to study how regional, national, and global changes in different areas can impact the health of the market. Students are learning how to use headlines and market indexes to make predictions about investments. Students are also working on research projects related to different kinds of impact-investing (green energy, green or social justice-minded, social progress serving) and microfinance banking to see how capitalism, profit motive, and greed can actually be used to serve noble purposes.
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!