NSA's staff and students are all excited to begin another spectacular year and want to share a reflection of some of 2018's highlights:
8 Global Citizenship workshops, investigating student-chosen topics related to Social Justice, Diversity, Ecological Stewardship, Conflict Resolution, and more.
4 Homestay Picnics, thanking our dedicated and caring Atenas hosts for taking our students into their homes and making them a part of their families.
28 successful Aventuras, including Integrated, Recreational and International Aventuras to Peru and South Africa!
Hundreds of hours of community service at Hogar de Vida, with Osa Conservation, and in the community of Atenas.
New clubs driven by student interests including a Fishing Club and a Birdwatching Club.
Nearly 100 college acceptances, including outstanding schools like Tulane, Marquette, Trinity, Loyola of Chicago, Whittier, Juniata, and Eckerd College.
Over 1.1 million dollars in college scholarships offered thus far!
20 successful graduates of high school and/or the New Summit Academy Program, ready to take on the world with new skills and confidence!
Thanks to all members of our NSA family for your support as we look forward to an incredible 2019... Happy New Year!
Our proud December graduates, some returning to their homes to complete high school, others graduating high school and entering college in the spring, experienced their culminating Aventura last week.
These young men summited the highest point in Costa Rica, Cerro Chirripo, as a metaphoric pinnacle of their experiences at New Summit Academy. Congratulations to our graduates!
Students and staff have just returned from a successful round of Integrated Aventuras: hiking through Corcovado National Park, kayaking the Golfo Dulce, and whitewater rafting in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.
What better way to express Aventura experiences than through the words of students (and their mothers!) over the years at NSA:
As testimonials from parents and students continue to pour in, we couldn’t help but share just one more:
“I am so grateful for the entire staff of NSA for their attention to so many details of the whole well-rounded program that helped our family through a difficult time. I felt very welcomed as a parent and regularly included, even though we were in another country for the year our son lived in Costa Rica. The fresh mangoes in May were especially memorable for me as we met with other parents and families during the first family session about three months into our son’s time there. I loved that you included time outdoors as a major part of the curriculum - as I firmly believe it is healing and provides clarity and peace to be outdoors. Our son loved the hiking and swimming and kayaking and seems to have a lifelong desire now to continue finding higher mountains to climb, both literally and figuratively.”
New Summit Academy’s August Aventuras provided students and staff with once-in-a-lifetime experiences! Some kayaked the Golfo Dulce, some hiked through Corcovado National Park, while others performed community service helping in reforestation and conservation efforts.
Students waded rivers, caught fresh fish on hand lines, learned about biological relationships and watershed ecology, spotted tapir and sea turtles and -- most importantly -- grew as a community and returned to campus ready to continue that growth!
Mothers are sacred in Costa Rica; in fact, Mother’s Day is a national holiday! To celebrate and say thank you, NSA hosted our yearly Mother’s Day dinner, inviting homestay and staff moms.
Students pitched in to set up the dining hall, serve dinner to their Costa Rican mothers, and spent the evening entertaining and dancing with their guests to show their appreciation for everything that these wonderful ladies do to make student experiences more meaningful.
This month, the team at New Summit Academy will gather for our yearly all-staff workshop and training week in our efforts to continue to improve the services that we offer to students and their families.
As part of that week, we thought that hearing from our families who have graduated from NSA and sharing those communications with our staff would help them to realize that they are doing and continue to do great work, and that their efforts make real changes in the lives of our students and their families.
We couldn’t help sharing a few of those communications:
--- “When we brought (our son) to you, and sat in the cafeteria space meeting everyone for the first time, I became filled with hope that he would find the help and support he needed to sort out and heal from his confusion. NSA felt safe and warm to me; I felt at home from the first.”
--- “Rarely does a day go by where I don't think about NSA. In fact, today I was wearing my NSA t-shirt while at the gym! Every person I met at NSA and got to know, impress me. This is very unusual for any organization. NSA has been important for (our son) and our family. I believe he was at his best there with you all. This has been a true gift for us. Bless each and every one of you. We love you all! ”
---- “(Our son) let go of the old, sad, negative self-image and tried and accomplished something new!! THANKS!!! I believe you ALL are the TRUE teachers of this world!! These are not adequate words to express my gratitude to all of YOU!!! Much love.”
--- “As I sit here thinking of special memories from our time at NSA, I feel warmth and love for each and every one: pulling the most delicious mangoes I’ve ever eaten from the lush trees, watching boys struggle to overcome their demons, connecting with parents who were in as much pain as we were and having no idea how we got there or what would come next, feeling silly trying to dance with Diana while full of joy at watching my son participate, sitting in awe of the leadership of NSA with a clear vision and passion for helping lost boys become confident young men. We learned how we got there and how to heal and to move forward with the tools and support of every person at NSA, including the staff, faculty, and even the other students.”
--- “Magic is happening at NSA and we are so grateful to have been touched by it."
New Summit Academy is fortunate to have many of our students return to “give back” to the program and to serve as interns and valuable mentors for our current students. This summer, we proudly welcomed a 2016 graduate, Zach, who has joined our team during a college break. Zach, who is double majoring in Physics and the Classics, was generous enough to share some of his experiences with us
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