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Kiera '20

"Everyone in Ex Ed told me, 'You can do this,' even though I didn't think I could."

We encourage students to try new things and develop new passions. Supported by a culture focused on growth and development, our students thrive on embarking on new adventures andĀ stepping out of their comfort zones.

One area of the school that plays an important role in giving students this freedom is our experiential education department. A unique feature of the Academy curriculum since 1975, outdoor education builds intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental skills and helps students understand their role as citizens of the Southwest. Trips are mandatory in grades six through nine; outdoor leadership and skills-based electives are available in the 10-12 division.

Kiera is one of many students who's life was forever changed on a trip early in her Academy education. Because of physical restrictions, she never saw herself climbing mountains or whitewater kayaking. Through the help of her instructors and classmates, Kiera has not only conquered her perceived limitations, but gained a confidence that has reverberated through the rest of her life.

"Ex Ed has definitely changed my life," reflects Kiera. "I used to be embarrassed that I couldn't do it by myself, but I realized that that's not always a bad thing. The fact that these people want to help me and are so happy to help... it's amazing."