Eagle Rock Joins Estes Park High School in Encouraging Active Citizens

Change can often be a good thing, and such was the case last month when we switched up our traditional two-day Eagle Serve program for something new: tasking our students to put in the time, energy, and resources in order to benefit the local community in a new and profound way. In previous trimesters, Eagle Serve challenged returning Eagle Rock students withthe importance of being of service to others through participation in open enrollment courses that drive home the idea of “giving back to the community”— especially for students we believe can become the nation’s future leaders and/or active citizens within their own communities.

But this time around, we partnered up with about 40 students from nearby Estes Park High School  interested in participating in an intense, two-day intercultural conference that we called The Necessity of Exploration. And while the goal of being of service to others hasn’t changed from prior trimesters, we did alter how this is being done.

In order to achieve this, we found it necessary to remove the ignorance over social and cultural issues affecting our local community, and to prepare our students to be of service to others by first recognizing their role in diversified communities. By raising awareness and holding courageous conversations with peers from a local school, our students discovered and uncovered what is missing and what must be done to truly serve others.

So, for two full days last month — Jan. 17 and 18 — students from both schools joined together at the Estes Valley Community Center in hopes of Continue reading…

House Parents Describe Their Eagle Rock Student Housing Experiences

At first glance, the job of being a house parent for a group of six teen-aged boys and an equal number of teen-aged girls could be a tall order. And as challenging as it is to properly support a dozen students on a daily and nightly basis, imagine a house full of young adults when it comes to being engaged in their own education and living community.

Three of our six house parents recently wrapped up their first trimester in this critical on-campus role. And, not unexpectedly, our administrators again proved to be really good at selecting the best staff members to serve as house parents. We’re also experts at preparing and supporting those house honchos for what the job entails, but some things — as you’ll read below — can only be learned while performing the job itself.

That being said, no one can describe the house parent experience as well as these fresh adult leaders. We’ve asked the three newbies to reflect on what those experiences meant to them personally. But first, a little background on our on-campus Living Village, which is made up of six houses — each designed to accommodate up to 12 students in two separate sleeping areas. Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Residential Life Program Coordinator, Courthney Russell Jr.

Courthney Russell Jr. is the residential life program coordinator here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, tasked with the responsibility of fostering a safe and secure environment within our on-campus community.

Born in Fort Knox, Ky., Courthney lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a time, and eventually moved to East Atlanta, Ga., an underserved community devoid of many of the services found in more well-funded communities. He attended Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., and received his medical degree in 2011 from Windsor University School of Medicine on Saint Kitts Island in the Caribbean.

Courthney Russell Jr

It was while taking classes at medical school that Courthney made the decision to dedicate his life to humanity — to help neighborhoods like the one he grew up in. He says by leveraging his medical knowledge in a non-traditional way to become what he calls “an authentic, determined, humble leader by example,” he is doing his part (while helping others) to make the world, one neighborhood at a time, a better place to live.

Courthney joined the Eagle Rock community in 2014 as our community advocate and student support consultant and was promoted to his current role in Residential Life four years later. We recently sat down with him to learn more about his past, his thoughts on Eagle Rock and his interests.

Here’s what Courthney had to say: Continue reading…

Explore Week — An Opportunity for Students to Go with the Flow

When we hear that someone is “in the zone,” or “on fire,” we know these terms are describing a person who is performing at his or her peak. Whether it’s the basketball player who hits 15 free throws in a row or a jazz drummer improvising complex patterns at breakneck speed, we recognize great skill when we see it.

However, what we might not realize is that the potential to achieve this state of being exists in every one of us. And unlocking this potential is possible given the right circumstances and application of willpower. In fact, by becoming concurrently relaxed, alert, focused and responsive, achieving Flow is a mental and physical condition allowing most of us to operate at the top of our abilities.

Learning how to go with the flow is the topic of just one of Eagle Rock School’s learning options underway this week (Feb. 22-26) both on and off campus. It’s all part of our Explore Week, an opportunity for students to explore a variety of topics that don’t start with the “three R’s” of “reading, writing and ’rithmatic.”

Eagle Rock Explore Week

Instead, our student population is participating in a week’s worth of education surrounding music, art, hobbies, sports, outdoor activities and other pursuits intended to expand the mind and body beyond regular classes.

We’re going to begin this list of course titles underway through Friday, including the above-mentioned “Go with the flow,” offering, as well as a short description of the instructors teaching these one-of-a-kind courses: Continue reading…