Thursday, February 25, 2010

Leadership Series: Part 2 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. (Click to read about Leadership Alumnus #1, Sean Marr)

Leadership Alumna #2: Amy Nicolson

Leadership Course: 2008, Fall Semester

Hometown: Upland, CA

University: California Polytechnic State University

Currently: After working for Costa Rica Outward Bound as an instructor last summer, Amy is finishing up her senior year at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. She just completed her Senior Project: a study about Costa Rica Outward Bound's 2009 Girl Scout alumnae and how their courses have affected them six months later. On top of finishing all of her senior work, she is applying for summer outdoor instructing/therapy jobs. What are some of the first questions asked by these possible future employers? "Do you have your WFR certification?" or "Do you have lifeguard training?" to which she promptly and excitedly responds, "Yep!"

Reasons Enrolled: Originally, she wanted an atypical study abroad experience that was not filled with tourist activities and partying. She wanted to do something independently and completely immerse herself in it. In addition, Amy's interests and lifetime goals played a huge part in attracting her to this course which included outdoor activities, challenges, and outdoor certifications.

Future Aspirations: She wants to get her Masters in Counseling or Wilderness Therapy in the next year or two. She loves to work with kids and help them using the natural therapy of the outdoors and its challenges.

Favorite Course Moment: Amy particularly remembers the moments in which she faced big challenges (i.e. rafting, surfing, hiking), not only because someone was always there to root her on, but also because she found confidence and empowerment when encouraging others. And after successfully completing the course, most challenges thereafter were "easy" to her. She returned home, "believing more in myself, believing more in others, having more trust in others, having more confidence and patience."

Quote: "It turned out to be the best thing of my whole life."

The Costa Rica Outward Bound Leadership Semester is 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 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.

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