Later this summer I’ll be resigning my position at the Philadelphia Outward Bound School. This was a bittersweet decision for me and I would only be leaving to tackle something really significant – and challenging – next.
I’m planning to write a novel! This has been a lifelong dream, and my experiences at POBS have given me the confidence to go for it now. I’m sure you know the famous Kurt Hahn quote – “There is more in us than we know. If we could be made to see it; perhaps, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” He was absolutely right. I’ve seen lightbulb moments on countless students’ faces as they’ve leapt off the goal pole at our Wigard Avenue site, or unbuckled their safety harness after successfully navigating the James McLane Family Challenge Course with their classmates at The Discovery Center. It is so empowering to believe in yourself. And it’s not always easy to do so.
We’ve done a lot at POBS over the past 5 years. I am most proud that during this period we helped over 28,000 young people challenge themselves and see their own incredible potential. We also made new commitments to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; launched new public-facing programs at The Discovery Center; expanded our work with the School District of Philadelphia to include a progression of programs with North Philadelphia middle schools; and increased our operating budget from $1.2M in 2018 to $3.4M in 2022. And we continued operating through a pandemic!
I’m on the job until the end of July and my colleagues and I would appreciate any thoughts you have on this transition or POBS’s future. You can reach me at [email protected]. The wide range of students, partners and donors who believe deeply in POBS’s work is what makes all we do possible. I hope you’ll remain a champion of the organization. I know I will!