Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leadership Series: Part 1 of 7

What do they do with all of those skills?

This "Leadership Series" hopes to answer this question for seven Leadership alumni, one each week until the next Leadership Semester course begins on April 2nd.

Costa Rica Outward Bound's Leadership Semester is the one course meant to prepare students in such a way that they can use the skills they develop to use in a career and/or any leadership role. This is not surprising when their 60-day experience consists of: earning nine internationally-recognized certifications and 12 school credits; learning how to surf, kayak, raft, rappel, camp, and scuba dive; and facing the challenges and responsibilities involved with any Outward Bound course.

Leadership Alumnus #1: Sean Marr

Leadership Course: 2009, Fall Semester

Hometown: Doylestown, PA

University: Penn State

Currently: Sean was hired by Costa Rica Outward Bound to instruct the Water & Wave Semester 70-day course which begins tomorrow.

Reasons Enrolled: After receiving a degree in Education and in Spanish, he made a personal goal to improve his language and intellect with every experience since then. This led numerous types of part-time jobs after graduation: teaching ESL at an international school in Pennsylvania, interpreting and translating for the same school, serving tables at a Mexican restaurant, instructing at Rock Gym, and building walls with Guatemalans. The combination of his goals and his strong interest in outdoor education led him on a search to find programs where he could acquire stories and experiences worth sharing one day with his students. He finally chose Costa Rica's Outward Bound for its many certifications, its exotic location, the surfing, and the possible post-course internship.

Future Aspirations: Learning new languages, living in other countries, earning a Masters in ESL Education

Favorite Course Moment: One night on course, Felipe took Sean to the river and taught him how to flip (specifically, an Eskimo Roll) which he was able to do on his second try. The next day Felipe allowed him to be the Safety Kayaker (who leads the group by previewing the rapids and assisting in emergency rescues) on a 14-hr stretch of Rio General's Class II-III rapids. That day, he remembers playing tag with a river otter, entering caves with bats, and pointing out iguanas.

Quote: "It was such an amazing experience that not many people have an opportunity to do.... What I accomplished was empowering."

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