Update from the field: ASCEND Program
–May 12, 2015
Since the founding of the Colorado Outward Bound School in 1962, we have always sought opportunities to support students who wish to go on course but who do not have the financial means to do so. We realized early on that for these students, their Outward Bound experience would change the trajectory of their lives. Each student would leave their course, empowered to push themselves higher and expect more of their future.
The ASCEND program, a partnership with local schools and COBS, continues this legacy. We partner with Denver area high schools to teach grit, tenacity, character, and service ethic to high need, high potential students through a three-year series of progressive wilderness leadership courses. ASCEND helps these students develop the skills they will need to climb the “mountains” they will face later in life: completing college, succeeding in a new job, and leading and serving in their communities.
Our largest partner, STRIVE Preparatory Schools, has participated in the ASCEND program since 2013. These scholars started as sophomores on a three day course at our Leadville Mountain Center, completing a high and low ropes course. Last summer, the first brave incoming juniors attended a seven day backpacking course. They summited Mount Massive, the state’s second highest 14er. Over spring break, more juniors ventured out to the Canyonlands of Utah on their own backpacking experience.
This year, we’re excited to see each grade progress again as the seniors embark on 14-30 day expeditions. Check out our photos below to see these students in action! Thanks to Megan Macomber for sharing them.