On March 8th (International Women’s Day!), POBS screened the award-winning documentary film, Women Outward Bound, at WHYY’s studios in Center City, Philadelphia. Women Outward Bound tells the story of the first all female Outward Bound expedition in the US in 1965, and the participants reunion nearly 50 years later. Director Maxine Davis, one of students from this life-changing and game-changing course, joined POBS for a panel discussion following the film along with POBS’ 20-year Executive Director, Katie Newsom Pastuszek, Chief of Academic Support of The School District of Philadelphia, Cheryl Logan, and POBS student alumna, Jayla Lewis. WHYY’s Katie Colaneri moderated the panel.
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Read below for highlights from the panel discussion!
Maxine Davis, Filmmaker
“Before Title 9 most of us had never played on teams. Now there are sports teams for girls … I’d say to learn to work as a team, this is the difference between 1965 and now. We really didn’t know how to work together. It was so competitive, who could be smarter, prettier, on the honor roll, but [Outward Bound] made us appreciate the strengths that each girl had. I don’t think I ever knew that.”
Jayla Lewis, POBS Alumna
“We were doing rock climbing and I fell at some point, I slipped, and as soon as I got off the wall I started crying. But my instructor talked to me and helped me breathe and afterwards they asked if anyone wanted to try again. I said, ‘I didn’t make it to the top. I want to go again.’ I don’t think I would have done that even two days before.”
Katie Newsom Pastuszek, Executive Director of Philadelphia Outward Bound School
“People recognize the importance of being supportive to each other, being a part of a community, and being part of something that is bigger than themselves and they learn this in natural places, in beautiful spectacular wilderness settings.”
Cheryl Logan, Chief Academic Officer at The School District of Philadelphia
“Students have the opportunity to share and show their strengths in a way that they don’t normally get to do in the classroom… Many students have to have armor up all day, every day to survive and Outward Bound gives them the opportunity to be vulnerable, to take risks, and be supported by their peers and then have a quiet time upon which they can reflect.”