Gratitude – Year 8, End of Year

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Gavin Frager from St. Louis, Missouri. These are my final moments as a student at The Link School, and here I am writing a letter to those who made these many years possible. Throughout the three years I have spent here I have become a completely different person. There’s the normal academic growth that everyone experiences as a student in any environment, and there’s the deep personal growth that only people that have been lucky enough to spend the time in such a unique environment that I have. I have done things that I never would have dreamed of doing. I have made mistakes (more than my fair share) and have learned from them, mainly due to the forgiveness that I have been given. In any other place I would have been chewed up and spit out as a student that no one can help, but here all the mistakes have been evaluated and forgiven, which has really helped me learn from my mistakes instead of resenting the punishment. Thank you so much for helping me to attend Link and grow in this way.

Sincerely,

Gavin Frager

 

Dear Sponsor,

Thank you for enabling me to attend The Link School this year! I am a sophomore from the Chicago area and I have greatly enjoyed my two years as a Link student.

At Link, I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time outdoors, during trips and school days. Most of my favorite things to do now are things that require me to be outside. Most people will say that their favorite part of school is the trips. I am one of those people, but I like trips for different reasons: they are a nice break from standard academics, people spend time with each other outside of their normal friend groups, and, personally, I find the spiritual aspect of school a lot more present in the backcountry, away from the distractions of everyday life.

Link has helped me prepare for life and grow as a person by forcing me to try new things and like them, and work with people I don’t like. While those two things kind of stink, due to my slightly prickly nature, I am sure that the world is full of people I probably won’t like, so I feel better prepared to deal with them because of Link.

Thank you,

Sarah

 

Dear Sponsor

My name is Kelvin Elrick. I am 15 years old. I live in Michigan.

Some of the awesome stuff I’ve done here has been really fun! I have grown in lots of my abilities and I am still learning. I have grown in my kayaking skills, because I have learned to roll a kayak upright, but I still need to work on it. I have also improved on my rock climbing skills. I can climb harder routs than I could before. During English class, I learned about dialogue and my class wrote a story. I also learned more math.

All of this stuff I learn here at link is really meaningful to me, because I enjoy doing it and I always learn from it; like kayaking, I enjoy doing it so much and the more I practice rolling, bracing, leaning into things, and strokes. Doing all of these thing keeps me on my growing edge.

–Kelvin =)

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Brian Burr.  I’m from New Jersey, but I was born in Colombia. I enjoy many things like mountain biking climbing and many others.  I’m really grateful for being at The Link School.  It has offered me many things I thought I would never try. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to come here.

Brian

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Kiersty Sheehan and I’m from New York. I’d like to take this time to personally thank you for your kindness in sponsoring me this year. It was truly an exceptional experience to have had the opportunity to attend The Link School for my senior year. I thought after high school I would like to major in Outdoor Education while in college and when the suggestion of attending The Link School presented itself, it could not have been a better opportunity to see whether or not I truly wanted to explore that major in college.

While at Link I got to challenge myself not only physically but also mentally. At my old school I had no academic drive to apply myself and once I got to Link, I finally found my motivation to get the work completed with satisfaction.  For example, my first semester GPA was a 3.8! I have never had so high of grades in my entire high school career.

Some of the other ways that I challenged myself outside of academics was through horseback riding. I have ridden for most of my life and when I got to Link, I had the opportunity to not only improve my riding abilities but to also help improve the horse’s abilities as well. As a senior, I got to complete a senior project where I got to focus in on training a horse named Kip. As well as physically training Kip I got to better understand him as a creature of God. What I learned is that Kip wants to learn but doesn’t understand how sometimes; this makes him hesitant and unsure. When I got to work one on one with him, I was able to break through those hesitations and improve his confidence. When it comes to working with horses, it’s not a one sided action, it’s a team effort between yourself and the horse. Through this project I learned to become a more calming, encouraging partner with my relationship with horses.

If it weren’t for your generosity, I would not have had this once in a lifetime chance to learn as much as I did! With sincerity, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for students like me and enriching their lives for the better. I look forward to take what I’ve learned from The Link School and apply it to the rest of my life.

Thank you again so much,

Kiersty Sheehan

 

Dear Sponsor

Hello I’m Eli Abbott and I am 18 years old from Worcester, MA and this is my second year at The Link School.  I’m at Link because I have seen myself grow in different ways and I am still growing.  It has been such a blessing being able to come here. Also I can’t wait to start my senior year here next year.

One thing that has been meaningful to me are all the things that I have done. Academically I have raised my grades which is great.  I have been talking and working with a practitioner and she gave me some thoughts to work with in regard to my expression of intelligence. With my academics I have improved so much that I have an A, 3 B’s and just one lower grade.

This year I have experienced so much that has changed the way that I look at the world.

Sincerely,

Eli Abbott

Thank you for all the support

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Summer Herout, I am from Portland Oregon. This weekend I will be graduating; I cannot believe how quickly this year went by! Talking with friends from home they would always tell me how slowly their days went by and how they were so done with school. Being at Link I never felt this way. Each day was filled with meaningful work, challenges, and lots of laughter.

I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to take calculus in a class with one other student. I had two teachers and there were two students. This ratio made my learning experience way better, and I feel that I learned more than I thought possible. Had I not been in this environment, there is no way that I would have completed the course. Taking calculus has taught me a lot about hard work and prioritizing my time.

This year I have grown more than I thought I ever would metaphysically. I was faced with situations that required lots of spiritual work. I am now way more comfortable and reliant on Christian Science. A few weeks ago I biked a hundred mile mountain bike trail called White Rim. Working metaphysically beforehand made it possible for me to complete the ride. I felt that I was not the one biking, but that it was God through me.

Thank you so much.

Your generosity means so much to me,

Summer Herout

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Kaelyn Colizzo, and I am a currently Sophomore attending The Link School. I live in Denver, Colorado with my exceedingly large extended family, my dog, Missy, and two horses, Chika Marie and Red. When I’m not spending time with my family, I can usually be found reading, writing, spending inordinate amounts of time on Netflix, or spending time with my friends.

This has been my first year at Link, and it saddens me to say it’s coming to a close. The few months that I have spent at this amazing school have been some of the hardest, most gratifying, exceptional times in my entire life, and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience them. My classes were challenging and encouraged me to grow, both academically and as a person, and I loved every second of them. The time I was given to individually pursue my interests increased my understanding of so many things- time management, horse-related skills, and how to have fun and do the things I love. Most importantly, over the course of the year I was able to be a part of an indescribably amazing community, and I am nothing short of blessed to have gotten to know these wonderful people, and I am happy to say I now consider them my family.

I don’t think I possess the words to convey how meaningful this year has been for me. I have done so many things I never would have ever been able to do, had I not attended this school, and I am undoubtedly a better person because of it. The people here, students and staff alike, are unbelievably selfless and supportive, and I don’t think I could ask for anything other than that, nor would I want to. For this, my year at Link, I will always treasure the memories and friendships I cultivated, and I will forever be unspeakably grateful.

Kaelyn

 

Dear Sponsor,

I am Zac Green, I am from Douglasville, Georgia  and I have have gone to The Link School for 2 years and have really enjoyed it. In Georgia I didn’t care about school or where I was going, but when I came to Link I found a new way to learn and experience school and life.

This year at Link has been amazing. We have done a lot of things this year but I think that the most meaningful part was the exploration of healthy community and what it means to be a healthy community. I really enjoyed going to Ecuador and exploring this idea because it made me think differently about those people because even though they don’t have a lot they all have a great outlook on life. I also really enjoyed getting to ride the White Rim Trail in one day because it showed me that I can push myself beyond my perceived limits.

All of this was meaningful to me because it showed me that just because people don’t have a lot of possessions doesn’t mean that they can’t be happy with what they have. Riding White Rim was meaningful to me because it showed me that there are amazing things in this world and that we don’t have to just sit around and dream about them.

Sincerely, Zac Green

 

Dear Sponsor,

Hi! My name is India Morrison. I am from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I’m a new student of Christian Science! I came to The Link School looking for a unique and adventurous educational experience and I really think that I found that here at school.

We have done many amazing things this year, we backpacked the Sangre De Cristos, we rafted down the Colorado River, mountain biked in Utah, spent 3 weeks biking in Ecuador, rock climbed in New Mexico, backpacked in Utah, and kayaked down the Dolores River. This was an amazing year and I will never forget any of it!

I feel as though I learned a lot this year.  I finished my academics without stressing out and becoming entirely disorganized as I had in the past.   I learned how to climb a 5.9, kayak through class three rapids without flipping, and finally figured out how to light a dragon fly stove. I know I will be using these skills long after I graduate high school. This year I truly experienced a healthy community, I found a family, I met my best friend, and I spent the entire year laughing. It was a really amazing experience this year and I want to thank you so much for helping me do this, I would never of had these experiences without your help and I thank you for that!

Sincerely,

India Morrison

 

Dear Sponsor,

Hi, my name’s Lois. This is my second year here at Link, and I’m a sophomore. I make a point to push myself and be positive. I’m technically from Illinois, but I consider myself from several different places including Colorado and the Midwest. I’ve been going to Cedars Camps since I was six, and consider Lebanon a home away from home. I love to read, watch anime, and talk – meaning unless I’m reading, watching anime, or sleeping I’m probably talking, so if you ever meet me in person and I seem shy at first, don’t be fooled.

Some of my fondest memories of the past fifteen years have been those spent here at Link. I’ve learned a lot about myself this year as well as the curriculum being taught in classes. Being with so many people all the time has made me realize how much I appreciate my alone time, but when I am with people I can still enjoy myself. During the mountain biking season, I pushed myself to the limits racing twelve miles every other weekend. Those months proved to me how persistent I can be when I set my mind to something.

Looking back on this semester I know I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons that will help me throughout my life. I’ve been able to do things this year I’ve dreamed of and others things I’ve never imagined. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to tell anyone how much this opportunity has meant to me, but I hope this letter helps you see how truly grateful I am.

With infinite gratitude,

Lois McClintick