Gratitude Y12 – Winter

 

Gratitude from the Y12 Students

 

Dear Sponsors,

My name is William Rackham I am a fifteen year old junior, and I am from Aurora, Colorado. I grew up in Christian Science and have always wielded that healing power. I have gone to many, many different schools, but I just never found the perfect fit. I have dealt with the claim of ADHD my whole life and have always carried that on my shoulders going from school to school. I love action sports and everything about them including; skating, snowboarding, surfing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, dirt biking, trophy truck racing, rally car racing, super cross, and everything in between. I love all animals except for lion-fish, although I’m coming to appreciate them too. I want to become an underwater welder when I’m older, but am also looking into other careers such as the navy, diesel mechanics, and diving. I love the water and would live in it if I could. I have two dogs, Xena (yes, like the warrior princess), and Raven. I have two older sisters and one younger brother, and also lived with my four little cousins for just over three years. My favorite food is shrimp chicken gumbo and I love myself an orange Julius from time to time. My parents are both really kind, down to earth, supportive people, and are actually the reason I looked into Link in the first place!

After seventh grade I never stayed at any school longer than a year, but now at Link; I wish I could stay forever. I love how here there is definitely a huge focus on academics, but at the same time it is much easier to get through school, for you have something to look forward at the end of everyday. At public school I would need to take medication every single day just to be able to get through school without dreading it, and I hated taking that stuff, it changed my personality and made me someone I am not. Here at link I am not medicated, I am the happiest I’ve ever been, and I am getting better grades than I ever did at public school. There is a perfect balance between challenge and learning here that you cannot find anywhere else. The staff are so supportive and see you as a person rather than a number. Links academic experience has definitely changed my whole point of view on high school. My teachers used to tell me that if I stayed on the path I was on I would never graduate, and I worked hard to change that path but could never really make those hurdles, I would get behind and then end up getting more and more behind because my teachers had two-hundred other students to worry about, but coming to link I have a very solidified plan for a diploma, and supportive teachers to help me along the way. I was at a very dark place at my old school, and Link has been that light at the end of the tunnel for me.

I also LOVE the activities here, I mean we get to go on a new and exciting trip every few weeks, and we get to be a part of the process through planning, preparation, and carrying it out. Every new excursion we go on challenges you in a different way and it gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself, your peers, and your spirituality. I love that one of the values is growing edge, it really just shows what this school is all about, growing yourself FOR yourself, not for a GPA or an honors cord, simply for you. The trips push you so much in all different kinds of ways and it forces you to realize how much you are truly capable. Our schedule everyday is packed with activities so there is no time to be bored; it is literally perfect for me. Even on weekends we have crazy fun activities to choose from like climbing or rolling kayaks at the hot springs. I have grown so much in things that I love to do this year including biking, and climbing. I even did a mountain bike race, something I never would think I was capable of. I have pushed myself academically, physically, and mentally to lengths I would never think possible. Link has definitely been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had.

Link to me is a way of life. Yes it is an academic school, and it does a great job at being that, but it is also a school in how to treat others and how to carry yourself. The staff here perpetuate respect and dignity in everything to do and it really starts to carry over into the way the student thinks. I really value the way that you are treated here for example, if you are failing a class you will not be met with things like “get your act together”, you will receive extensive support, and be given tools that will help you not make that mistake in the future. Here at Link it’s not about just succeeding, it is about understanding what makes you succeed and I really hold in high regard this way of thinking. 

Thank-you so much for making this school possible, sponsors, it has changed my life.

Sincerely, William Rackham

 


Dear Sponsors, December 18, 2019

Thank you so much for your donations for us to have the opportunity to come and experience what Link is like. 

My name is Hayley Preston, I’m a sophomore this year and I live in Missouri. Before I came to Link, I went to a public school in Missouri with a couple thousand students. While there I realized I didn’t try that hard in school, and only looked forward to lunch and sports after school. So, when my family mentioned coming to Link, we scheduled a visit for me to see what it was like up here. I loved visiting the school and experiencing and applied to come the following year.

One of the best things about coming to Link is the academics are very engaging and enjoyable. Since coming here, I have found that English and Science are more intriguing and I look forward to those classes now. Also, I enjoy the challenge in Math and Science, with their challenging homework that confuses me. I also enjoy science projects and the labs we do in class. 

After that, some of the many activities I love being able to do here are climbing, biking and riding. Earlier in the year, some of us got the opportunity to go riding with Lach and Linda down at A/U for a little more than a month. I learned more in that short time than I had before, and I got to experience what a barrel race was like and enjoyed watching others race.

I feel like the best trip that we’ve been on so far has been the biking trip. The trip was challenging and was a new experience that pushed me in different ways like overcoming old fears, and just learning how to be more patient with myself and others. 

Climbing has also been very exciting because I’ve learned new techniques and crack climbing, but most importantly I have improved since the beginning of the year. 

Finally, being here meant a new start and a new chance. Being here currently is allowing me a chance to grow in different ways like expanding my view of how school has been previously to how it is now. I love how close everyone here becomes, and that everyone is supportive and tries to help each other in any way possible. 

Sincerely,

Hayley Preston

 


Dear Sponsor, 

My name is Lowry Miller, and this is my first year at Link. I came from Upstate New York from a small town called King Ferry. I moved out of a 600-kid school (k-12th grade) so I have always been in a small school. I lived with my family and sister who has graduated college and now lives in England. My favorite things to do back home are ride horses and run. 

Link was such a big change in setting, people, and way of thought. Those are the parts of Link I value the most. At my old school there was a lack of activities because it was such a small school, but here at Link it seems there are endless possibilities. The teachers at my old school also didn’t care half as much as the teachers do at Link. Every single teacher at Link makes me strive to do my best, and that is not because I want to please them it’s because when I give effort there is always a positive result. The teachers here are more supportive than any previous teacher I have ever had, that’s mostly because we build this insane bond that is full of honesty, love, and trust. 

Activities here are different than at any other school. I like to think the only one holding me back from doing my best is me. That’s what I love most about this school…the challenge. That means challenging mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Just this semester this school has taught me how to be a stronger person. If I had to choose a specific activity that has built me more than anything I would say that would be climbing. Climbing has helped me find my inner strength more than anything. The satisfaction of finding your way up a 600’ tower is a feeling like no other, and that feeling is freedom. 

If someone were to ask me what Link means to me I would say it means change. At home I got used to a constant unhappiness and tension with the people I lived with. The people here have given me the complete opposite of that. They have showed me that it is possible to get along and work together to figure problems out. It is also a change in lifestyle for me. I lost many people and things very dear to me back at home. Link and the people here have taught me that I do not need to carry that weight around, and can start with a clean slate. Link brought out a wisdom that was buried deep within me, one that I hadn’t touched in a while. I was falling into the very basic lifestyle of a teenager back at home: going shopping, spending less time with family, and valuing the little things less and less. There was an immediate shift in that mindset for me. I’m held accountable for everything I do, because the community here is dependant on everyone. We all care about each other, which is another amazing part about this place. There is not one person that doesn’t have something amazing to offer. Link was a new start, I was starting to lose what I value and who I was. The people and challenges have guided me back to finding the missing pieces of myself and for that I am eternally grateful. I honestly don’t know where I would be without this school. Now I’m giving my eternal gratitude to you as the people who make this change possible. Thank for allowing me to start with a clean slate. 

Thanks again,

Lowry Morgen Miller

 


Dear Sponsor,

Hello, my name is Sophia Green. I am from Santa Cruz. My passions growing up have been riding horses, reading books, and music. Before coming to Link I was working at two different barns, teaching lessons at one and working under a hunter/jumper/equestrian trainer as her working student. I was riding and working 5-6 days a week. My world revolved around horses and work. When I was working and riding almost every day I was enrolled in independent studies and took a math course at my community college. Every summer for the past 9 years I have attended A/U, and for the past three years I have been enrolled in the polocrosse program. Horseback riding has always been a strong influencer in my life and I very much enjoy learning new disciplines. This last summer I was playing in B grade (as I also was the previous summer) and I won best player of B grade (A grade is the highest level you can play and B grade is right underneath it). I wish I could play it more than one month out of the year.  I also enjoy jumping (which I was doing at home) and barrel racing (which I also did in the summer and what I did here at Link). I really wish to learn more and reach my full potential. One of my goals in riding is to learn how to trick ride. 

When I came to Link, I was getting to ride a few times a week and that was amazing and a big joy of mine to get to ride with Lach outside of summer camp. But that soon came to an end (in mid November), and it didn’t feel as heartbreaking as I thought it would. This change of thought was because of all the new activities and opportunities that Link gives. Before link I had never mountain biked, kayaked, and I had climbed and snowboarded very little (I had gone snowboarding once before coming here). Link has made it possible for me to push my comfort zone and learn many new things; all these new amazing and fun activities that I can learn and grow from are just incredible. It has been an amazing transition for me to expand my horizons and become a more versatile person. I have loved crack climbing and snowboarding and look forward to learning more and improving my craft. 

Before coming to Link I was enrolled in public high school my Freshman year with 1500 other students, and then enrolled in independent studies for my Sophomore year. Neither worked for me. I despised the social atmosphere of public school and the complete lack of support and drive that was supplied in independent studies. The only class that worked for me was the math class I took at my community college. That class I looked forward to, and before that, I rarely looked forward to a class ever. I enjoyed the structure and maturity, which the college course supplied and both high school environments did not. Link provides an atmosphere that works especially well for me. 

Link is the best decision I have made so far in my life. It is allowing me to develop into the person I want to, and allows development without judgment. Only love and support. The community atmosphere between adults and students is amazing and harmonious. This community is allowing me to be myself and gain confidence in myself. Back home, confidence was a very hard concept for me to wrap my head around and embrace. But here, it is natural.

My best friend from growing up left me for drugs and alcohol in middle school. I have been very skeptical to trust since then. I have not let myself be close to another since then because I fear being hurt again. But since coming to Link I have found a group of friends and a best friend. And for that, along with all the amazing activities, trips, and opportunities Link provides, I am forever grateful. Thank you for making this possible. It means the world to me. Thank you.

 


Dear Sponsors,

My name is Joseph Burr, I am 17 years old I come from Los Angeles I was born in Colombia. I lived a poor neighborhood. I did not go to school in that time, but in 2011, I got adopted by a beautiful family in New Jersey. There names are Chandler Burr and Noe Gill vale. I did not speak English at all but my Dad’s taught my brother and me how to speak English. When I learned how to speak English it was in 3rd grade and I keep on studying it. When I finished 8th grade, I did not what to go to the High school In New Jersey because there were some annoying people there and the teachers will not help me as well as the Link school has this past year.  

What I really like most about Link is how the teachers are trying to help you as much as possible and not to let me fail their classes and I like the activities here at the link because we do not have to stay indoors and keep doing work we just what to go outside and have a little bit of fun. And the academics here at Link are good because I have amazing teachers and good helpers at link that help me with homework and tests, I like going climbing and doing mountain biking 

The link means that this is your family for the year and you will love them as much as you can and also it means that you can trust people here and they can help you three things here at the link school the link symbol it means that everything is connected to you and other people and ever lasting symbol, 

The link school is the best thing that ever happened to me because if nobody told me about this place I will be going to a bad high school in New Jersey. The thing I value here at the link is my teachers because they helped me through things that I never in my life accomplished and then also never quit in whatever you are doing in school and out of school. 

                                                                   From Joseph

  


Dear Sponsor,

My name is Raiden Petersen I am 14 years old and a little about me is that I love hiking, biking, football, and snowboarding. This letter is a thank you for sponsoring the school and helping the school. I am a pretty big person. I’m 6’2 and weigh about 190lbs. Most of the time people think I am 16 or 17 when they first see me. I’m the only freshmen here but that is okay it is nice to talk to people that are older than me because I sometimes don’t talk and don’t start the conservation so it is nice to have people that would start the conservation even though I might not talk to them when I meet them for the first time. 

I am a freshman here like I said earlier and I am in Algebra 1 and while I am doing that, in my spare time I do a Geometry course online and while I am not doing that I like to see what people are doing and know what might be happing. Back to academics, my favorite subject would be science. I have always wanted to know more about science at a young age, but I was always interested in the science of space mostly because of my grandpa always talking about it with me and telling me all these interesting facts about it. That is a big part of the online geometry course, I want to get to calculus in my senior year so I can study astrophysics in college. The activities here are amazing, they really do challenge you to push your physical limits with stuff like climbing. Climbing is interesting for me because I am terrified of heights. It has always been like that whenever I do something with heights my knees start to shake and I start to lose my balance and a whole bunch of other things that make it worse, but Link has helped me with that and pushes me to do more and more, and with that, I have been able to go into higher places without freaking out. I would also like to say the trips are amazing. I love that we can go to places where most schools might not go and even some adults but they are an experience to have and I would like to go back to them in the future to do it again.

What Link means to me is that you can push yourself harder, you can push yourself to new boundaries and the hands-on learning when we go on trips is a new thing that we can see and see it in action in the real world other than in a classroom with a lecture type thing going on. What I am trying to say is that I value this school because of the way of learning and the different activities that we do on a daily bases. Thank you, really for sponsoring us and making this school possible. 

Sincerely,

Raiden 

 


Dear Sponsor,

My name is Santiago Doutrich. This year is my third year at Link and I am currently a senior. Throughout my whole life, I’ve been traveling to different countries due to my dad’s job. Currently, my family is in Abu Dhabi, which has made it a little hard to be close to them but Link allows me to have a close community here. All of my life I have been very active but Link truly introduced me to the new activities in the outdoors. I consider Link as one of my homes and I am very thankful to be here. Before coming to Link my grades were averaging at B’s and now they’ve moved up to A’s.

Ever since I started attending Link, my interest in rock climbing has been really big. I really enjoy the technical and puzzle-like aspects that the sport provides, as well as a general sense of fitness. In rock climbing, I have pushed myself through lead climbing, and trying harder routes that really push me mentally and physically. In particular, I really enjoy multi-pitch climbing because I love the views and satisfaction of getting to the top of a cliff or tower. Recently, I have also grown an interest in Skiing, as it has helped me get my mind off the stressful things going on. With skiing, I have expanded my skills to jumps, backcountry, and trees. Skiing is an activity that really brings fluidity and excitement at the same time, which is what I like about the sport. This year, I joined Link’s mountain biking team and, I enjoyed the amount of biking we did. It was really fun to travel to different parts of Colorado and ride its trails. For me, biking is my chance to experience adrenaline and excitement. I really enjoy the fact that biking is a sub-conscience activity where I might be going down a super, rocky, and technical hill but my body already knows what I am doing and it just feels natural. As I said in the first part of my letter, the people at Link are very special to me. They truly make a huge impact on the dynamics of the community and I don’t think that all my activities would be as fun without them.
This being my third year at Link, the school has really become my home. I always feel comfortable in its environment since I have begun to understand the deeper picture of the community. To me, this community is close-knit (obviously), which means that everyone matters. One person’s attitudes could change the whole dynamic of the school since everyone would notice. One grows so close to the people around them that they end up becoming their second family. In families, everyone understands and cares for the other members, which creates this sense of unity. Link will always have a special place in my heart and I will always go back to the great values that this school has taught me. I really thank you guys for making it possible for me to attend this place, for my friends, and for the teenagers attending in the future, because this school really changes everyone in their own unique way.

With gratitude,

Santiago

 


Dear Sponsor,

My name is Rian Strange and I am from Louisville, Kentucky. I’ve been going to public school since I was in elementary school and came from a high school of over 1,000 kids. I’ve been playing cello since 6th grade and I love writing and drawing. I’m currently working on a mural here at Link, and a book of poetry that I hope to have published in the next couple months. I’ve been going to A/U since I was 8 and that’s how I learned about Link.

There are so many things I enjoy doing at Link. I love the variety of group games we play on Tuesdays, from ultimate frisbee, to boot hockey, to Daniel ball, they are all awesome. I especially love climbing on Mondays in the rock gym over at A/U. I’m currently working on lead climbing and belaying and I hope to get certified soon. I really enjoy the options we are given on Saturdays to go climbing, or sledding, etc. The staff are so supportive, it is really amazing. I always feel comfortable talking to them, especially if I’m struggling with anything. They all have a great sense of humor and I love laughing with them on a daily basis. Spiritual prep time on Thursdays and Fridays is one of my favorite times of the week. I love having that spiritual time to write and reflect. I also really enjoy going into town for church on Wednesdays. It’s really inspiring to hear other people’s healings, and it makes me think of some I’ve experienced. 

Link means so much to me. It is a place for growth and healing, and to discover myself. It gives me a chance to make mistakes and learn from them. This is a place where I have constant support and where I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. I have met so many new amazing people here and gotten closer or reacquainted with old friends. I value the support I get here, and the atmosphere I get to surround myself with everyday. It is really amazing that there is a school like this, with people who care so much. Plus it’s in the most beautiful place possible. The sunrises and sunsets are truly amazing out here and you never get those in Kentucky. I especially value all of the opportunities presented to us out here. The opportunity to grow spiritually, physically, and mentally is something I never got at home, but it’s something I get here. 

Thank you so much for everything you do for me and for this school.

Sincerely, 

Rian Strange

 


Dear Sponsor,

Hi, my name is Steven Plantinga, I am from the Denver metro area and I live with my mom. I came from a high school of about two thousand people and have really appreciated the opportunity to come to Link and grow as a person. So, thank you so much for financially making that possible! Some of the many things I enjoy doing here are snowboarding, climbing, mountain biking and hanging out with my friends. The trips are also such a cool, special and unique experience to be able to do, they are amazing and awesome. So far my favorite one has been the mountain biking trip.

This year I have also learned so much in school. My favorite things that I have learned about are climate change, current events, women’s leadership, Spanish and growing as writer. It is amazing that I am finally being educated on topics such as climate change and current events. All of the staff here are such wonderful, hardworking, caring, loving, creative people and I have enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them. I really like the students here, especially the boys, we all get along really well and hang out all together. 

Another really cool experience I have gotten to have is just living in the mountains, it is so beautiful and amazing up here because of the amount of things there is to do that you can’t really do in the city. My favorite thing to do up here is definitely go snowboarding, it gives me a feeling like nothing else can and I am looking forward to keep improving my skills in it. One of my fondest memories here has been from last weekend when my friends Will, Santiago, and I built a snowboard jump behind the school on a Saturday morning and just had a blast riding and sending it. Another great memory I have was just pushing myself on the mountain biking trip and getting so much better at it, as well seeing all of the jaw dropping views on Kokopelli’s trail in Utah. The thing that has been best about the Link school for me has been becoming a better, more socially aware person. I just feel happier and more alive here than I ever have. To me Link has just been a place to have so many cool experiences, get to know new and different people than I normally would and find my identity as a person. The busy schedule has been so good for me and has helped me procrastinate less and do more, because you only get to live life once (Yolo). I have really loved and appreciated being here, thank you so much for making this school possible.   

Sincerely, Steven Plantinga

 


Dear sponsor,

My name is Grace Benson and I am a senior at Link this year! I am originally from BV and this is my fourth year at Link. This semester has been wonderful! All of the field expeditions have been incredibly informative. I’ve learned so much about how to live in and love the outdoors and am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to attend Link. My favorite expeditions while at Link have been the river trips. I have really enjoyed learning more about the river and how to maneuver it. The experiences that I have had at Link are one of a kind and I am so thankful that I have been able to take part in them.

Signed,

Grace Benson

 


Dear Sponsors,

Hello, my name is Victoria. I am from Dresden, Germany. At home, I like to walk my two dogs, Murmel and Balu. Well, technically they are not even my dogs. They are my Neighbors dogs, but sometimes I forget that because I spend so much time with them. Back at home, I saw them almost every day. I spend hours walking them next to the river Elbe or the woods where I live, I played with them, we had several sleepovers and I even swim with them in a lake in Dresden. I also have my best friend back home. When I decided to come here we knew we would horribly miss each other but I still wanted to come. 

The first time I heard about Christian Science was one month before I came to America. And you probably wonder how I found out about The Link School. A parent from my old kindergarten is CS. His name is Rick and he introduced me and my mom to CS. But before that happened I already had plans to come to the United States and do high school here. A lot of Germans do that after they graduate in 10th grade. But that is so expensive so that my family couldn’t affort it. We were looking for so many different scholarships but I was too late. I had to wait until next year. But then Rick told me about this organization called Pyramide e.v. He said I can ask them about Christian Science Schools in the U.S. because you usually get financial aid. So I texted them and they told me about two Schools:

  1. Principia
  2. The Link School

I looked at both the websites and I immediately knew that I wanted to apply for The Link School. I learned eventually that James was Rick’s cousin. I had to apply for a Visa and all that stuff, but now I am here. But I wouldn’t be without your help. I can’t tell you, how grateful I am.

Here at Link, I love the strict schedule. Sometimes it is stressful to get all my homework done but it feels good to do something all day long. There is no time to be lazy. I love all the trips. My favorite trip so far was probably the canoeing/kayaking trip. I enjoyed being near the water for about a week. I loved the beautiful campsites we had. It was a good time to find myself again because there were not many distractions. It was very silent. I also enjoy skiing with Bobby. It is so much fun to learn from him. Before Link, I have skied once, but that was 7 years ago. I love all the kind people. Everyone loves each other and treats others well. I love the daily spiritual studies. I learn a lot from that. I want to share a Healing with you that I had yesterday: We were doing the Snowshoe benchmark. So we went up the hill at the backside of the school. On the way down I was running but then I fell and I hit my knee right on a sharp, outstanding rock. I immediately started crying because it hurt a lot. When I calmed down I said to Ben: “My knees are very sensitive.” Back at school, I realized that this is not true. This is a belief that I tell myself. My knees are not sensitive. This is unreality.

Link means freedom to me. I can be myself and my character develops every day. It is a place where I learn about myself and how to live and communicate well with others. Link is my second family and my second home. 

Thank you so much for making this precious and beautiful place possible. I am forever grateful and I wish I could spend my whole life here.

 

Victoria Geyer 


Thank you, all.