Last month Green Dot Public Schools students and school staff conquered a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure that tested their endurance, strength and teamwork.
Ánimo Western , Ánimo Phillis Wheatley, Ánimo Jefferson, Ánimo Westside, Ánimo Mae Jemison, Ánimo Ellen Ochoa, Ánimo James B. Taylor and Ánimo Watts successfully tackled the Teen Adventure Challenge (TAC).
The eight Green Dot teams joined hundreds of other teens and adults at the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center in Lake View Terrace, California. Teams of three student athletes put their physical and mental strength to the test as they ran, climbed, biked, and kayaked their way through a series of obstacles. Their success hinged on their ability to effectively collaborate.
Yale Min, a technology teacher at Ánimo Westside, volunteered to participate. He was drawn to the experience because he felt it would expose students to new experiences that would foster their cognitive development.
“Classroom experiences are crucial. However, challenging mental and physical experiences are often also memorable and growth oriented,” said Min.
“I really enjoyed seeing our scholars develop a sense of pride through this experience. Just seeing them smile after the TAC really made my day.”
The TAC is run by after school education providers arc and Non Profit Core Educational Services, which brings communities together by motivating young people to venture beyond their comfort zones and explore new and challenging opportunities in the outdoors. David Nunez, Green Dot Coordinator of After School and Student Mentor Programs, said, “The Teen Adventure Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for students to test their physical limits in a safe, positive and fun environment. It’s always great to expose our students to activities outside of their communities.”
Preparing for the challenge was no easy feat, but teams enjoyed the time they were able to spend together. “We learned about each other’s strengths, the areas we need to improve in, and the things that make each of us special,” said Ánimo Ellen Ochoa School Operations Manager, Beatriz Cervantes, “We just had fun getting to know each other.”
Meeting the Challenge
Participating in the TAC helped students foster a deeper appreciation for teamwork. The teams were presented with a series of challenges that could only be completed by communicating and working together. Reflecting on her students’ determination, Cervantes said,
“Our students are agents of social change and it is our responsibility to teach them the skills that will help them in the Teen Adventure Challenge and other potential challenges they face throughout their lives.”
Min believes the TAC experience will be invaluable: “I feel as though TAC and after school programs hold great value in developing a well rounded person. I believe being well rounded is imperative to living a meaningful life.”