Meet Andrea Konow, a first time Building Adventure participant. To celebrate her 65th birthday and 30th year as a public defender, Andrea will rappel 31 stories all in the name of a “good cause.” As a public defender, she has known many causes worth fighting for, and is driven to make a difference in the lives of young people. By participating in Building Adventure, Andrea will help us raise the funds needed to deliver our mission and serve our students. As the adoptive mother of two young girls, Andrea is the embodiment of our mission ⎯ to change lives through challenge and discovery ⎯ and a leader we are honored to partner with. Read her story below.
What brings you to Building Adventure?
When I saw Building Adventure in the newspaper I decided to do it. I think any program in Philadelphia that gives kids opportunity, increases self-esteem, and keeps them out of the Criminal Justice system is the best way for us to address our city’s problems.
How did you discover the Philadelphia Outward Bound School?
I first became aware of it when I was an Outdoor Education major at Oregon State University. I’ve always thought Outward Bound was a really cool program.
What are you doing now?
From school I went to work for the Girl Scouts in Camp Administration and Programming. Later on, I went to Law school. I worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Los Angeles and as a Public Defender in the Juvenile Courts in San Diego and Harrisburg. I’ve been working as a Public Defender in Philadelphia for fifteen years. I currently work in the Homicide Unit as a defender for capital and non-capital homicides.
Why are you rappelling?
I think Outward Bound gives kids a stronger feeling of accomplishment and self-esteem. It’s a different modality that teaches kids to push the edge of the envelope through challenge and accomplishment. I’d rather see kids pushing the edge of the envelope on the ropes course or on Outward Bound than pushing the edge of the envelope on the corner and deciding to carry a gun.
What do you hope to gain from Building Adventure?
I like to keep challenging myself. The last time I rappelled I was in a mountaineering class in college. When I think about those rappels I remember how much I liked them. So, I thought to myself, ‘For my 65th birthday, I want to do something for me.’ I want to contribute to something that is really important and at the same time find a way to challenge myself.
What will you do to prepare?
I’m not an adventure junkie but a few years ago I decided I wanted ride a century (100 miles) in one day. Today, I’m able to say, ‘I rode a 100 miles in one day on one bike.’ It was a way to challenge myself while, at the same time, raising money for a good cause.
Andrea is ready to be challenged by Building Adventure, but not without your support! Help Andrea go “over the edge” by making a donation to her Firstgiving page.