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Mountain Alliance Opens Applications for Rolling Academy Leadership Development Program

Mountain Alliance, a youth leadership organization based at Watauga High School, has opened applications for this year’s Rolling Academy – an annual two-week summer leadership expedition with focuses on community, environmental awareness, communication, service, craftsmanship, and adventure. To heighten the experience, the Rolling Academy itinerary is top secret and unfolds to students each day throughout the journey! Each year is different.

Rolling Academy has traveled all over the country. Past trips have gone everywhere from Boston to Wyoming and done everything from having coffee with a Senator to camping and doing service in downtown Detroit. Last year, the program took students out West – visiting the Grand Canyon, serving at and exploring Arches National Park, paddle boarding down the Colorado River, meeting and learning from a group of Navajo, and backpacking in Colorado (among other things). “From the little moments in the van to the mind blowing moments of the Grand Canyon, this trip brought us closer together as a family,” said Thomas McNiel, WHS senior.

This year’s trip is scheduled for June 24 – July 7 and applications are open to all current Watauga County high school students until March 25. In addition to the application, students must collect letters of recommendation and go through an interview before being selected. Prior to the trip, participants will engage in fundraising efforts (the program is free for students) and group activities that help them connect as a team. Students will also share their experiences with the community at a trip end symposium. At the event, they will present posters depicting aspects of their trip, deliver speeches, and show a documentary they will make during the trip.

Rolling Academy strives to provide unique opportunities that encourage students to push themselves and to expand their worldview. “Each member from the 2018 Rolling Academy expedition gained something different from their experiences,” said WHS senior Mary Louise. “Some members gained confidence while others gained a newfound knowledge of their strengths, all while growing more open to others. Through Rolling Academy, students are given the chance to improve their leadership skills, participate in service activities, and grow as both an individual and a group. From the opportunities provided by Rolling Academy, students are able to learn from experiences and create memories that will last a lifetime.”

For more information on Rolling Academy contact Rachel@MountainAlliance.org, visit www.MountainAlliance.org/Rolling-Academy, or call (828) 263-1770. Students can apply online or stop by Room 2314 at WHS to pick up a paper application.