Launch in to Adventure Risk Challenge
Special to the Sun
What: Adventure Risk Challenge
Where: THS, NTHS, Yosemite, Sagehen
Why: Leadership development and academic success
When: All year
How: Get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — As Paulina launched herself into the first morning of her 40 days of Adventure Risk Challenge, she exclaimed excitedly, “Let the adventures begin!” She had chosen to participate in ARC’s 2013 summer immersion course to improve the many areas she struggled with: writing, fear of heights, opening up to people, and having confidence in herself.
“One of the biggest challenges I wanted to achieve was to try new things in a whole new environment without all the comforts that I usually have when I’m home,” Paulina said. ARC provides a unique opportunity for participants to take a leap, to challenge themselves personally, socially, and academically in a completely unfamiliar outdoor environment.
Like others on her team, Paulina benefited greatly from the strength of a supportive group.
Out on the open water in a kayak or 30 feet off the ground in the ropes course, she felt at once scared to death and encouraged, loved, and supported. No matter if she cried or failed, she said, “My teammates never left me behind; they never left me alone to challenge my fears. They were always there no matter the situation. They were like my family.”
The 24-hour solo was one of the hardest parts of the summer for Paulina, because she realized how much she missed being surrounded by that support. For Paulina that was the feeling of true friendship.
ARC also provided the encouragement Paulina needed to take the first step toward college. Hopeful about her unfolding future, Paulina is planning to attend Universidad de Leon in Leon, Mexico next year. “ARC was the step I needed to take, and opened many doors to me,” she said.
In her personal metaphorical poem, Paulina described herself as a waterfall, whose “rushing water that splashes with fear and strength, one day will change with a peaceful rush of water.”
Find Paulina’s poem “Stay Strong, Give it a Chance, and Try Hard” online at ww.tahoedailytribune.com, search Paulina.
In addition to weekly programming within the high schools, ARC offers outdoor adventures at least once each month. Upcoming opportunities for local high school youth include a weekend retreat with skiing/snowboarding March 14-16, and a weekend retreat to Yosemite April 11-13.
Contact Sean McAlindin to sign up at email@example.com or 510-460-8542.
Visit http://www.arcprogram.org for more information about the program.
STAY STRONG, GIVE IT A CHANCE, AND TRY HARD
By Paulina Mosqueda-Gonzalez
I am a waterfall
Furious water rushing through me
Rocky and immense, filled with life
Surrounded by flowers which bloom by day and night
I may not seem intimidated
But if you ever try crossing me
You will leave me with a trace
Making my water slowly diminish
Now let me tell you my story
Maybe you will see
People always cross and step on me
But many don’t know,
How much pain they leave
As a child there’s not much you can do
Like a trickle of water just starting to mature
I still learn from what’s right and what’s wrong
And always having to depend on mom and dad
I’ve always been told to help others
To not let anyone bring me down
To just hope for the best
Because everything will come
At its right time
“Your friends will always be there,” they told me
I lived for years trusting them
Thinking they were just like family
Until ONE DAY THEY FAILED ME
The pain I felt
That adrenaline rushing through my veins
Trying to act strong but seeing them
Just made me run away
Drugs they tried to make me taste
Trying to contaminate my water
I refused to say yes
Not being considered the cool one
For not tasting or taking a smoke
One by one
I let them go
As I saw my friends walk away
One by one
It hurt the most
One by one
They ignored me and told me “NO”
Thinking it was okay
I looked at the mirror everyday
Just wanting an answer
But seeing my tears run down my face
One by one
Going faster and faster like a waterfall
Every time a brick of cold ice hit me
As time goes on
Day by day
I realize how it was the best choice I could ever make
Making me stronger
Making my water stay fresh
Rushing faster and clearer
Every time a good decision is made
The few friends I have now
Are true friends
Whose best strength
Is to be there for me
I am a Waterfall
With few rocks now
But those who stayed
Were there to support
Through my roughest times
The rushing water that splashes with fear and strength
One day will change with a
Peaceful rush of water
That soon will make a melody of happiness
The birds will sing, splash and play along
The flowers will bloom with bright petals that reflect the sun
Finding life from my calm water
I will be independent
I won’t rely on my parents anymore
I will accomplish my goals
Like going around the world and help the poor
To make my parents proud
To show everybody that if I stay strong
Anything I commit myself to
Can happen any time
I will work hard
I will be passionate about my dreams and goals
I BELIEVE ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IF I JUST GIVE IT A TRY
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From classroom sessions behind a computer screen to missed dances and games, the class of 2021 has endured much during the pandemic.