IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
The Good for Kids Foundation &
The Foundation for Systemic Change
The Changemakers Program provides a cohort of young Latina women from Ossining, Tarrytown, and Peekskill School Districts with an all-woman led summer wilderness adventure and a fall follow-up program to develop leadership skills, give a healthy dose of nature, and provide an introduction to the creative story arts of film, photography and reflective writing as tools for igniting personal growth and positive social change. The goal is to have participants return home ready to use their voice to help empower others in their community.
The participants were selected based on a recognition of their positive character traits and their innate leadership potential. The intention was to design an immersive travel experience in nature over the summer that would also be aligned with an ongoing academic program in the fall, centered on developing the student’s voice, their self-efficacy, and their sense of belonging in the school community in the hope that they would inspire the same in others on their return.
The Changemakers’ Program begins with pre-trip seminars to prepare the participants for the trip and to introduce the fundamentals of positive social change and personal growth. In the summer, we embark on a weeklong adventure into nature, including a four-day river trip through the Gates of Lodore Canyon on Utah's Green River -- one of our country’s most awe-inspiring wilderness areas. This journey delivers rare moments of peace and quiet to exhale, to reflect on our lives through journal writing and intentional conversations, and to discover new ways to become authors of our own life story through the creative arts of film and photography.
"It was awe-inspiring to witness the girls embrace nature's challenges and learn to adapt with grace. Their creativity flourished amidst the breathtaking landscapes, and I'm excited to see how their experiences manifest in their artistic projects."
- Ms Lin, Ossining Teachers / Open Roads trip mentor
All of this sets the stage for the fall's school-sponsored coursework which includes projects designed to guide participants through the process of actualizing their intended goals toward social change. This blend of school-centered coursework and large-scale experiential learning aims to inspire a dramatic shift in the participants’ sense of voice and agency as changemakers The program culminates with a public presentation of the student work from the summer, and with each participant having an opportunity to vocalize their Statement of Intent for the change they want to bring to their community.
"The Open Roads program not only allowed the girls to bond as a team but also empowered them to overcome obstacles with confidence. The lessons they learned about teamwork, leadership, and cultural appreciation are invaluable."
- Ms. Barajas, Ossining Teachers / Open Roads trip mentor
READ MORE ABOUT THE TRIP HERE: