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* NATL' POETRY MONTH * Please Read: "Five Reasons Why We Need POETRY in Schools" by Elena Aguilar, Transformational Leadership Coach at Edutopia
___________________________ * GAP YEAR HIGHLIGHTS *
In our increasingly competitive and globalised world,
emotional maturity, self-confidence and broad cultural horizons have become valuable commodities that are not always learnt in school or college.
The gap year presents the perfect opportunity not only to enjoy oneself, recharge batteries and re-energise, but also to gain these highly sought-after attributes."
-Ralph Dennison, Director of Oxford Overseas Study Program
The CorpsNetwork also reports that young people (ages 14-26) who participate in the Public Lands Service Coalition report having better communication, leadership, and teamwork skills.
Read the whole article here!
Read more about this exciting report at this link! ___________________________ * PROJECTS ABROAD
OPEN HOUSE *
There just happens to be an information session in Manhattan at a great gap year program called "Projects Abroad." They've got opportunities for:
* VOLUNTEER ABROAD
* INTERN ABROAD
* GAP YEAR
* PROJECTS ABROAD
* HIGH SCHOOL SERVICE
* SPRING BREAK
* LEARN LANGUAGES
* FAMILY TRIPS
* GROUP ADVENTURES
Go learn more on Saturday,
June 1st at 1PM:
7 City Learning
55 Broad St, 3rd Floor
* Visit their website! *
* ADVENTURES HERE *
Perhaps you don't want to go abroad for a whole year or even one semester? Your son or daughter just might love to explore an adventure OUT WEST this summer--consider Elk Creek Ranch, a western wilderness experience of mountain climbing, cabin building, and horseback riding for teenagers out in rustic Cody, Wyoming!
____________________________ FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS You still have time--take a look at City Year and follow in Obama's footsteps to serve in an urban program--there are lots of cities to choose from, including Chicago, New York, Boston, Philly, Miami, Little Rock, San Antonio, & LA!
* WWOOF IT UP! *
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Check out the awesome opportunities to grow organic produce and make the world a greener, healthier place at WWOOF!
|* THE CORNERSTONE * April 25th, 2013
Olivia Ragni, age 19, scrubbing an elephant in Thailand during a gap year that involved serving at a hospital in India and studying Spanish in Guatemala.
-TIME Magazine, Sept 2010
Mind the Gap / Year, Part II
A few months ago I wrote an article about the value of minding the gap--but this small concept has become a kind of 'theme' during these past few months....Now's the time when spring blossoms finally appear, and our seniors find out just what colleges will open their doors to their entrance in the fall...or not?! What I mean by this is that something very interesting is happening lately in higher education: apparently, according to the New York Times this past April, many colleges and universities are extending an invitation to freshman--later...in JANUARY. The article, "More College Applicants Not Welcome Until Winter" tells a tale of discontent, as students discover that their dream school is not a dream denied but a dream delayed....
It's a very interesting college conundrum.
And a wonderful life opportunity.
"WHAT?!" you might ask. YES, I must answer. And here's why. Don't even pretend that you knew what the heck you were going to do with your life at age 18. I was still 17 when I entered the halls of William Jewell College, and to be quite frank, I was personally petrified--and academically agonized. While growing up, every report card would follow with my dad asking me, "Are you sure you don't want to stay behind a year?" In retrospect, I think his question today could be rephrased into a wonderful line that sounds a little like: "Hey San--think a gap year could be fun?"
What I heard in his question then was doubt. I was the youngest in my class and always had to work extra-hard for every single accomplishment. He acknowledged that fact. I denied it. What I see now in his question is wisdom.
I have to be honest. There have been more than one or two students who have graduated from top NYC private schools that call me from the dorm room of their prestigious college and confess, "Miss Clifton, I'm scared. I worked so hard to get here--and now I'm burned out...It's hard to go to class. My mind is fried. And I have now idea what I'm doing." And consider headlines this past week about students walking out of standardized tests in tears...
Looking back, having some time off to contemplate and consider other opportunities would have be a wonderful reprieve for me. Don't think for one minute that I would have chosen it then. But I do encourage you to think about this angle of opportunity now. Before you stop reading this column to catch the finale of The Good Wife, consider this fact: our young people are accruing a debt from education that is not just staggering--sometimes it's actually debilitating. Talk about NOT smart. The price of a four-year degree often runs close to $22,261 a year for state schools and $43,289 for private institutions. Just to break it down, that's an average payment of $745 to $1,442 each month for 10 years--if there's no interest....So many students have to forget about that first apartment or new car and live at home. And be careful about the price-tag for this undergrad degree: it might not even become your future occupation. How many people do you know that majored in one subject and then went on to work in a totally different field? Not to mention--there are a myriad of accidental journeys that took some of our leading innovators to their greatest discoveries, off the beaten path:
* Ernest Hemingway drove ambulances in Europe--and then wrote about those adventures in his novels.
* After he got fired from the company he started, Steve Jobs disappeared in a class to learn calligraphy--and explored the idea of fonts that launched prolific success with Apple innovations. * Barack Obama learned about grassroots efforts when he left a prestigious position as a consultant for a nonprofit organization that mobilized community support for job training and school reform--a detour that charted his path to becoming our 44th president. In a blog called "Where There Be Dragons," (see scholarships here!) this service organization outlines seven solid reasons for a gap year, and I'd like to share them here, with some of my own embellishments: #7: The Ivys encourage it: read more at Education Week.
#6: Students gain perspective: see this study from the APA.
#5: Carpe Diem: when else are you going to travel the world? #4: Se habla Espanol? Yup. Languages matter. Especially in the work world. Call me and I'll explain what I learned during a job fair at Fordham last spring. #3: Your kids will become more interesting people. Period. #2: Don't ask them to quote Tennyson--live the adventure of Ulysses instead. Read the article about Hemingway, provide in the link above... #1: Students outperform their peers: take a look at this exciting report from ABC News, "Gap Year Momentum Grows as Studies Show Higher Performance After Delaying College Admission."
Perhaps most importantly, a gap year can develop the facets of Social & Emotional Intelligence not possible in any other setting--City Year identifies these leadership skills as service to a cause greater than self, collaboration, social justice, empathy, inclusivity, teamwork, and excellence.
One of my heroes, Hellen Keller, once wrote, "Life is either a grand adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." Take the chance and seize the day to explore...You are meant for grand adventures, and the landscape of learning waits--in that great big classroom called The World. It's yours for the taking and the making. Here's to minding the gap, with gusto!