Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Leadership Series: Part 4 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.

Leadership Alumna #4: Donna White

Leadership Course: Spring 2007

Hometown: New Bern, NC

Currently: While awaiting her return to instruct more Costa Rica Outward Bound courses this summer, Donna is helping her long-time friend run her 30-year-old restaurant, Stanley Hall Cafe in Oriental, NC by cooking and serving. This summer will be her fourth return to instruct Costa Rica Outward Bound students, having already instructed over 100 students in over 20 courses.

Reasons Enrolled: Donna was ready for a change in life. With a passion for nature, she wanted to work it into a living. It was also important that she find something through which she could make a difference and work with young people, empowering and guiding them.

Future Aspirations: To continue her career in outdoor/experiential education, possibly all over the world. It's most exciting for her to continue empowering young people and giving them the opportunity to live "outside the box" and be anything they want to be. Mainly, though, she wants to continue instructing for Costa Rica Outward Bound, as she really relates to its philosophy and values. In an unrelated topic, Donna has also always wanted to write a cook book. She has a background in culinary arts, and hopes to combine that with her experiences in the great outdoors by including many different kinds of recipes for in and out of the home.

Favorite Course Moment: Donna couldn't choose between three of her favorite course moments.
1) "We were learning Swift Water Rescue and had to float freely down the rapids with only a personal flotation device. I thought 'I don't want to do that!' Then Phil assured me that I could, but I didn't have to do it. After doing it with motivation from my coursemates, I felt empowered. I never in my life would have ever done anything like that."
2) After a long hike the group was covered in mud, and Donna never remembers being so covered in her whole life. They took advantage of the situation and decided to finish the final part of their hike to Orlando's rolling down the hill in more mud.
3) The homestays. Within one week, Donna had three incredibly strong 'deja vus.' It wasn't just these experiences that connected her so strongly to the village life there, but also it is when she felt the most at peace and most spiritually/physically balanced than ever before.

Quote: "I have always lived by Thoreau's quote, 'Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' I think everyone can benefit from these words."

Click to read about past profiled Leaders:

Leadership Alumnus #1, Sean Marr

Leadership Alumnae #2, Amy Nicolson

Leadership Alumnae #3, Heidi Ruckriegle

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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