Doing Nothing on Thanksgiving is Not an Option at Eagle Rock School

One thing you can’t say about Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock School is that there’s nothing to do. This is one of those times of the year when students, staff and instructors are in accord that this mountainside campus of ours is indeed a great place to spend late-November holidays.

And, much like the name of the holiday, there’s plenty of gratitude to go around as our community prepares for literally dozens of events and activities over a four-day period. It’s a time when we all gather together to celebrate how fortunate we are to live in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by forests that a lot of us like to call home.

Thanksgiving Day 'Gathering' at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving Day ‘Gathering’ at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock is about celebrating the importance of having each other and remembering that we are all here to better ourselves. It’s a time to appreciate what we’ve done to improve ourselves and what we’ve done to help others. It’s a celebration of how we have impacted each other’s lives in a positive way and to celebrate those successes.

Whether we’re indoors creating art or standing outside in the cold playing touch football, the idea is to spend time together.

The highlight of the holiday, of course, is today’s Thanksgiving Day dinner at 3pm, skillfully prepared by Continue reading…

Announcing Eagle Rock’s 2017/2018 Cohort of Public Allies Fellows

We’re about two months away from welcoming nine new and three returning Public Allies Fellows to Eagle Rock for the 2017/2018 academic year.

Public Allies Eagle RockAchieving the title of Fellow is no easy task. Funded by AmeriCorps, Public Allies is insistent in the philosophy that everyone has the ability to lead and anyone can be an inspiration to others. Creating just and equitable societies takes hard work, and the job requires a great amount of passion, and the courage to step forward and take action

Arriving September 1st, each of the fellows referenced below will be active participants in our residential and community-based school and professional development center. To that end, each fellow has expressed or demonstrated a passion for teaching and youth development — and more specifically — an interest in progressive education.

So, who exactly are these young leaders? Below are short biographies and a few fun factoids about each of our 2017/2018 Fellows:

AdamAdam Louie, 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Outdoor Education: Adam was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration from San Francisco State University. With an emphasis in Outdoor Education, Adam has worked as a field instructor for Outward Bound California and frequently takes courses with WMI (Wilderness Medicine Institute). His love for nature and passion for traveling has brought him to many corners of the earth. Adam enjoys getting lost in foreign countries, learning their language, and eating local street food. He also can’t get enough of playing sports, experimental cooking, and binge watching tv series.

AdrianaAdriana Ortiz, 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Health, Wellness & Counseling: Adriana is originally from the Bronx, NY. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia and recently completed her Master’s degree at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Prior to pursuing graduate school, Adriana served as an AmeriCorps Member for City Year Los Angeles. When she’s not in school or working, Adriana enjoys discovering new places to eat, reading, listening to music, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Continue reading…

2017 Public Allies Fellows Tackling a Trio of Team Service Projects

Among the many responsibilities taken on each year by Eagle Rock’s cohort of Public Allies Fellows are Team Service Projects (TSP). This time around, our 2016/2017 fellows have their eyes set on three such projects that are expected to come to a close by the end of this summer.

Taking a step back for a moment, each year, we offer full-time apprenticeships to 12 Public Allies Fellows from across the nation. These fellowships provide an advanced year-long service and leadership development experience at our full-scholarship residential high school in Estes Park, Colo. Once here, the fellows are tasked with working with our educators in re-engaging, retaining and graduating our most prized assets — our students — many of whom have not found success in conventional school settings.

Eagle Rock Public Allies Fellows

Once on campus and acclimated to their new roles, each fellow participates in a Team Service Project that seeks to recognize the assets of a community instead of approaching communities in a needs-based manner. In small groups of fellows — and in partnership with community members — members of the cohort create, implement and evaluate a service project with sustainable and lasting positive impact.

What we offer below are updates to three such projects that have been taken on by our Public Allies Fellows: Continue reading…

Another Highly Anticipated Explore Week is Now Underway

From deftly dribbling a basketball to graceful salsa dancing, Eagle Rock’s student body is immersed in alternative courses this week during Explore Week, an event that occurs three times each year and is highly anticipated by students and instructors alike.

The reason behind this enthusiasm is the opportunity Explore Week presents to students to take on non-traditional courses that don’t necessarily fit into the mold of an academic curriculum.

This week’s event features courses taught by our own instructors, current Public Allies fellows, folks from our mountainside community, as well as noted experts in the courses offered.

Below is a list of courses — and a little about their instructors — from this trimester’s Explore Week, which wraps up Friday afternoon:

Improv Theater

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When you make something up on the spot, it’s called improvisation. In this Explore Week course, students are practicing improv theater through active games and exercises. They are learning how to control their Continue reading…

For Some at Eagle Rock, Basketball is the Only Game in Town

One of the highlights of my time thus far while serving as a Public Allies Fellow at Eagle Rock School this year, has been being given the opportunity to start a co-ed basketball team.

Without getting into it too deeply, it was basketball that kept me from dropping out of my own high school. And it was basketball that provided myself — and my friends — with a safe place to not only learn the game, but to pick up life skills in the process.

Basket Ball at Eagle Rock School

I didn’t play basketball on my high school team in Richmond, Virginia, but I did join an Amateur Athletic Union team (AAU) during those years. Instead of quitting school altogether, basketball turned into a gateway to success because, in order to play, I had to attain certain requirements in the school setting.

Meeting these criteria was easier because many of my teammates also struggled with school, and they were using the game in the same way I was. Basketball was our escape from the day-to-day issues we faced, including Continue reading…