Testimonials from UP grant recipients:
Olivia Peters, Teacher at Mckinley Middle School:
“Urban Peaks has been such a positive experience for my students, and we couldn't be more thankful! My school is a therapeutic urban public school and kids who enter the school have experienced significant failure in other settings. They have low-self esteem, poor impulse and emotional control, and difficulty connecting with others in a positive way. Urban Peaks funded and organized a multi-week climbing club for my students, and they loved it!
All of the students worked very hard to master new things and were so proud to have achieved their goals by the end of the club. It was wonderful to watch them overcome their fears, push themselves past obstacles, and finally begin to develop some self-confidence. The feeling of mastery and accomplishment is something that my students don't experience often, but...ALL students were able to succeed. Beyond individual successes, my students were able to open up new connections with both Urban Peaks staff, teachers, and their peers. We could not be happier with the experience they gained, and know they will all be better prepared for the challenges of life. Thank you Urban Peaks!”
Alicia Reines-Leo, teacher at Josiah Quincy Upper School:
"I teach at Josiah a Title 1 Boston Public School. Many of our students come from low income families; all of our students receive free lunch. Many of them will hopefully be the first in their families to go to college. Over half of them do not speak English at home, and for many, English is not their first language.
In January 2015 I brought my 6th grade advisory classes...on an Urban Peaks funded outing to experience climbing and the high ropes course as an activity to support our social/academic curriculum in learning about reasonable risk taking. Most of my students would never have the opportunity to experience climbing and the high ropes course if Urban Peaks had not subsidized the cost of their trip. I was amazed at how transformative many of the students felt about the experience. Many were able to overcome life long fears and apprehensions to risk taking and heights. Many improved in their ability to follow directions! The effects of the trip were long lasting and the bonding experience between the students (and their teacher) contributed to a positive classroom environment, increased engagement in the classroom, and noticeable improvement in social dynamics. Many of the students gained respect for one another and found common ground on which to build new friendships. [The] staff was amazing in teaching about climbing and the students all felt supported and grateful."