At northwest Passage high school we are offered opportunities which most are not. Among these opportunities are expeditions to all sorts of exciting places.currently we are in Arches national park, Utah. While in Utah we have biked to a sand dune, hiked through beautiful scenery like Druid arch, sand dune arch, windows district, turret arch, and double arch. Although they have all been amazing were not quite done yet so I look forward too many more spectacular things too come.- Justin F.
My Utah experience so far. We have done many things here in Utah some of my favorite things we did was going to Druid Arch , Window's Arch and Turret Arch those were a once in a lifetime thing for me. Another thing that I liked was seeing all the different shaped rocks from the van when we went places. That's what I liked so far here in Utah and I'm sure that there will be much more. - Hunter S
My Utah experience so far. We hiked 11 miles round trip to see Druid arch, that was hard really hard to do from the steep up hills to the sand it felt a lot longer and harder than it really was, and from that one hike I'm really sore all over. We also went biking that was harder than I expected from the constant up hill and the 30 mile wind going agents us it was ridiculous. -Cody M
So far we have gone biking and hiking, we have yet to go rafting. We biked for about six miles, while we were biking we stopped at a sand hill for lunch. We got to climb up the hill and it was quite fun, we also stopped and tried to catch some lizards although we were not successful. The next day we hiked to Druids Arch it was amazing, we were dwarfed by all of the rocks that surrounded us. It was hard getting to the arch but it was worth the eleven miles we hiked to go see it. We also saw the North and South Window Arches, Turret Arch, Sand Dune Arch and Double Arch. So far everything has been amazing. - Zach K.
Island in the sky, a defined reality that is almost unbelievable to the eyes. As you're looking down among the vast plains below it seems as if time has escaped you and your spiritual essence has been placed in a secluded simulation, meant to confuse or even slightly startle your receding perception. Canyons and salt valleys layer the horizon as far as the eyes can see, slowly diluting to a faint distinction of blue. The light of the glistening sun hitting the rocks at just the right angle, making them a stunning vibrant red. To me, island in the sky was not only breathtaking but terrifying as well. A simple slip off the jagged rock would be prolonged and fatal. But even with the danger that follows with its unmistakable beauty, every essence of my body is awaiting for return. I'm amazed at the fact that me and my fellow peers were able to be presented with such a remarkable opportunity. This whole experience has been beyond amazing, and I thank those who were able to make such an occasion possible. -Naomi P.
White water rafting with the Sheri Griffith Expedition down the Colorado river was excellent. When I was first told of what we were doing the thought sounded fun but I was super scared, But once we got out there and met our instructor/guide I started to feel good about this new experience. He was nice and funny and taught us the basics on calm flat water so that we could get the hang of what was going needed to be done. The beginning was pretty intense for a beginner like me but it was nothing compared to what was coming in the end. The farther down stream the more waves there were and the more possible it was to be flung out of the boat. But the instructor we had told us what was coming and gave us tips on how to ensure that we stayed in the boat, and how to be safe in the waters if we did fall out, which luckily no one did. But once it was all over I would gladly go back and do it all again because this school pushes you a little out of your comfort zone to experience new things. And that is the one true way you learn if you like something, you push yourself to try new things. -Maranda Nick
We all woke up at 7AM Saturday morning. Before we went to breakfast we loaded the van with our bags so when we were done with our service project we would just have to load up in the van and we could be on our way. During breakfast we had our last Plenary. We listened to of couple different speakers talk about what service work was to them and why they did it. Than when the speakers were done talking , we got into our groups and headed towards the buses. The service project we were doing that morning was working at the Denver Children’s Corridor. It’s a part of Denver where they focus on bettering children’s lives in a low income area. There were a few projects to do when we got there such as painting a wall that had graffiti on it, picking up trash by the lake, or putting mulch in bush beds and around trees. That’s the project that we did. there was about 20 other kids other than our group. Since we were all working together we got all of the bush beds done and about half of the trees. If we all didn’t work together, we would not have gotten as much work as we did done. Once the bus brought us back to the convention center we headed to our van to get on the road and head home. We still had to get lunch, but we decided to wait until we got out of the city to eat. When we got out of the city, we stopped to eat at taco bell and then got on our way for good. We stopped a couple times for gaws and a bathroom break, but we didn’t stop driving until we made it to Iowa around 11 o’clock that night. We drove all day long, but at least Sunday’s drive would only be 6 to 8 hours. It was worth the long day of driving.
When the students and staff members got up for the day they had to make a big decision. They all had to agree on if they would like to go see the mountains or stay back but they had time to think about it because of the plenary. While at the plenary there was a speaker that every one wanted to see. Her name was Naomi Tutu (daughter of Desmond Tutu who is a South African social rights activist.) Her speech filled the room with energy because she was involving humor in her speech. After the plenary the students agreed on skipping the work shops because they wanted to explore more of the worlds' beauty. It took about an hour before the students got restless and bored. The staff members stop in a little town called Dillon. The students and staff went on a little walk by a lake and played on a playground that was near by. After awhile every one got hungry and went one a search for a good place to eat. The final verdict was the "The Dillon Dam Brewery" (which did have some good food). When the staff member and students retuned to the Hyatt it was a around eight. They had a party going on which some some students went to but they didn't stay up too late because of the day ahead of them.
When the students and staff members awoke on this great Thursday morning we headed out to the convention center. Emilee, Austin, and I went to a Generator Schools Network focus group at the convention center that served breakfast while the rest of the students and Deb and Cate had breakfast in the exhibit hall as did most everyone else at the convention. After the focus group and breakfast we all met at a table for about half an hour and then we split and went to different workshops Cate and me attended one that was ran by a school from Illinois it was focused on youth-adult partnership. The students who led the workshop were leaders in a student council at their school . Their super intendant is all for youth leadership and when these students see problems in their school they try to fix them. During the workshop their was lots of question and answer speaking and then we did activities at let everyone realize better the significance of youth adult partnerships and why it's such a great thing.
After the workshop everyone at the convention went to a plenary. The plenary was about an hour and a half, there was a lot was multiple people who spoke before the convention one of these people happened to be the governor of Colorado. All the different speakers inspired me and I'm sure everyone else at the conference to go take action and leadership positions whenever possible. For example one speaker explained how 60% of the world is under 30, this is a big reason why young adults need to take more responsibility as leaders since we are the future of our planet. I would like to explain more about the speeches but I could go on for days.
After the plenary we went to the exhibit hall where they had taco buffet tables, Awesome!! After lunch Emilee, Danny, Cate and me went to GrowHaus, an indoor organic greenhouse with about 20 other students and a couple teachers. (Austin, Alyssa, Taylor, and Deb stayed for the other workshops that were offered that day.) Some of the group helped with planting, seeding, watering and all that good stuff, as for me and Danny wanted to do more manual labor type of a thing so we helped move all types of cinder blocks and tables and all that good stuff. This was a non profit greenhouse that distributes organic vegetables into the community, so it felt really great to be helping them with accomplishing the great things that they do. Once they told us that we did everything they wanted us to, we all headed back to the hotel and we met up with Austin Alyssa Taylor and Deb again got ready and then walked to a restaurant down the street for dinner. On the way back we explored an outdoor mall area that we all just had to go check out. Once we got back there was a celebration in the youth room that we went to for a little while, and then we all got to bed early so we could get a good night sleep.
After a quick breakfast we loaded up the van and set a course out of Nebraska. After about two hours or so we arrived at Carhenge. Similar to Stonehenge but instead of stones, it was constructed from old cars. Carhenge was a pretty cool sight to see. I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite like it. After some picture taking and brief frolicking we got back on the road anxious to arrive in Denver.
We crossed through Wyoming into Colorado. As we got closer to Denver we noticed more and more cars and buildings and such. Finally Denver came into sight. The Final Countdown played on the radio as we neared the city. We navigated The maze of one way streets and eventually arrived at our hotel. We unpacked the van and Cate went inside to check us into our rooms. Cate handed out the key cards and we journeyed up to the twenty second floor where we found our rooms. The view from our window was breath taking and awesome. We could see the Rockies an amusement park and various other pretty buildings.
Once we settled in a bit we gathered the different parts of our trifold and headed over to the convention center to set up our showcase. We trekked through the convention center and entered the Exhibit Hall. People from all across the globe were gathered to share all the different ways we were participating in service learning. In the front of the hall groups like Project Ignition and Project H2O had their exhibits set up. Beyond the exhibits in the front we found six rows of tables set up for the showcase where other schools and organizations had their smaller exhibits/trifolds/presentations set up. We searched through the rows of tables until we found a place to set up our trifold. After setting up we explored several different exhibits and showcases, got some free things and grabbed a bite to eat at the buffet. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel for the "grand opening" of the youth room. Long story short, it wasn't very grand and reminded me of a six year olds birthday party. We stayed in the youth room briefly before we were all fed up with all the chaos and screaming. Exhausted from our long drive and busy day we headed back to our hotel and called it a night. I feel like our first day at the conference was super fun and we met lots of new people and it was just a great start to the conference in general.
I left with Cate, Deb, and 5 students on March 12th for the National Youth Leadership Council conference in Denver, Colorado for 4 days. On the way, we stopped through the Badlands, and it was one of the coolest things that i've ever seen. It was awesome to get out and explore them a bit since a lot of us hadn't seen them before. This only made me more excited to get to the mountains. After bathroom breaks, food stops, detours to the Corn Palace and Carhenge, and a night in Nebraska, we finally made it to the Hyatt Hotel. We settled in our rooms the went to the convention center to set up our display. We poked the hotel around before the "grand opening" of the youth room. When we realized it was like a 6 year olds birthday party, we called it a night so we'd be rested and ready to start workshops in the morning. Taylor and Danny joined me in a student lead workshop after breakfast was done. The workshop was called The Students of Today ARE the Leaders of Today. Four students from Project UNIFY, in partners with Special Olympics, shared their inspiring stories about how they got involved. Two of the presenters actually compete in Special Olympics, and one girl named Danielle had a story that stuck out to me, and probably everyone else. Danielle was born with Cerebral Palsy and in 3rd grade, her teacher told her that she would never understand and she asked too many questions. After the workshop, she spoke at one of the plentaries with her best friend. She elaborated more about her journey and Kaitlyn, her friend, explained how getting involved in her community changed how life. It was touching that they both saw each others as equals and that's what bonded them together. Dwayne Betts also shared his story at one of the plentaries and Taylor, Austin and i attended a discussion group during an afternoon workshop. It didn't go as well as i thought it could, but it was interesting to hear his views on some things. Also, South African social activist Desmond Tutu's daughter, Naomi spoke about world peace. On Thursday and Friday, we had showcase time and it gave us time to go around and check out other school's displays. Some of the projects and organizations were doing a lot of good things to help make the world a better place. Project Ignition had booths set up and each one had something different to instigate safe driving. Since Denver was a foreign city, we went out to eat at Ace, a local Asian restaurant. We went and walked around an outdoor mall that was across our hotel on the way back from dinner. The next day, we skipped workshops to go see the mountains and to eat at the Dam Brewery. They had the best mashed potatoes! When we got back to the hotel, we all got ready and headed back o the convention center for a dance. We awoke the next morning and loaded the van before heading off to do our service work. When we arrived to our service site, we all determined that we'd be laying down mulch. We were only there for about 2 and half hours, but we distributed 3 huge piles in plant beds and around trees. I thought that there was no way we'd run out, so it was surprising when we did. During our work, i met new people from Taiwan, Qatar and LA. It was cool to get to know them and to come together to do something good for a Denver community. Next year, I would like to attend the conference in DC. I had a lot of fun meeting new people and connecting with Danny, Taylor, Emilee, Austin and Jimmy over the past 6 days. We all got along great and I couldn't have asked for a better time.
Number of service hours: ( 2 ) hours x ( 7 ) people = 14
What is MLC? Minnesota Literacy Council, it’s a place where ESL students and refugees can receive extra help with English and adjusting to life in the U.S. The MLC is also a place where English learning students can apply for a Citizenship Education Grant. The MLC is a great place for newcomers of America to get the proper help for the start of their lives in MN. They also help adults who learned English as a first language, but maybe didn’t learn to read or write very well.
What did we do? We listened to recordings with the MLC students speaking in English and took a survey and on that survey was three ratings as to how well they spoke English. Those three ratings were on how much of what the students said could we understand, how clearly were they speaking, and if we were able to get past their accent and understand what they were saying.The speech samples were from before and after they worked on pronunciation in their class. Andrea mixed up the samples so we didn’t know which ones were before or after.
Why is it important?
It helps a teacher learn about new methods of teaching to better aid her students. This is important because we need to learn new methods on teaching newcomers to the united states. It is important because it helps us to begin to understand the side of the learner, to understand the frustration and confusion that they must have felt is a mind opening experience.
Reflections from students:
Taylor: “When we started this class today I didn’t think that we would be having so much fun, I am so glad that I was wrong. We played, laughed, helped, and we learned to look at the world in a new way, and from a new perspective”.
Emilee: ”We started our volunteer work with going over what we actually knew about Martin Luther King Jr. During this discussion we also looked at different things that Martin Luther said and how we perceived it.
Rosalyn: We started our service day looking back at some other quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. We talked about what we thought the quotes meant and why he might have said them. One of the MLC teachers came,her name was Andrea. She had us listen to some of her students recordings. After we listened to each recording we had to rate how well we thought the person did. There were three columns we had to rate. Andrea brought snacks for us to enjoy while we listened and for afterwards. We finished by giving her some insightful feedback on how she could improve her teaching.
Danielle: “We started by playing a weird game where we had to chose animals and their noises. It was really weird. We also did an activity to learn what it’s like to be an immigrant just learning English with a teacher who doesn’t know their native language. It was really difficult to understand what was going on, and it really helped us realize what we all take for granted. I have a new appreciation for how hard these people work. I don’t think I could do it. We analyzed their speech samples from before their class, and after their class. The differences were incredible. After just a few months they were speaking ten times better than when they started. I was really glad to be able to help the teacher refine her methods. I feel as though the better she teaches, the better they will do in their future and the more they can contribute to the world.”
Erica: Today when we started this class, I didn’t like it so much but as soon as we started playing the animal sound game, it made me laugh. When we played this animal game I was a wolf and my friend Nicole was an owl. I had so much fun playing that game. Cate then started speaking some language and told us to repeat after her but we all thought she was a little bit crazy and we all felt kind of pressured. Then Andrea came and we listened to speakers that came from different countries and some were really good but others you couldn’t even slightly understand them.
Nicole: I really liked hearing the students talk and try to speak our language. I could understand a lot because I talk with my korean/japanese friends over a voice thing on this app and I learned to understand them with their heavy accent. It was interesting how much they improved from the first interview until they learned and got use to the language a little more.