Gratitude – Year 9 – May

Dear Sponsor,

My name is India! I’m originally from Santa Fe New Mexico. I live with my mom Amy and my dog and cat – Dido and Cleo.

Here at Link we’ve been doing so much! It’s been really amazing. I didn’t grow up a Christian Scientist but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to learn and study it.

The academics at Link are really interesting this year and I have had a lot of fun learning. My favorite subjects at the moment are a tie between History and English class, but in all honesty, I enjoy all of them pretty much equally. In English class we just ended on the topics, The Harlem Renaissance and Modernism, which are both really cool and I really enjoyed writing my paper and reading about the Harlem Renaissance. In history we learned about America’s History and Government and we did a big section of this semester on women’s suffrage which I absolutely loved!!!!!

The Link School is really valuable to me in so many ways.  Our programs this year have been unforgettable and have really allowed me to explore my interests and I discovered my love of climbing which I would never have had a chance to experience without Link in my life, I am so unbelievably thankful to be here and to have this community. Thank you.

India

 

Dear Sponsors,

I am Mallory. I am a graduating senior at The Link School. I started out the year wanting to find myself and being at Link has helped me to do that. I have used the experiences I have had here especial the field programs to grow in my understanding of myself and my relationship with my spiritual self. I am so grateful that I was able to be here at Link this year.

This year I loved going to church. At my previous Sunday school, I had a hard time being excited for church. I would wake up and feel like it was just another day. At Link I feel like every time I go to church I am gaining something. My Sunday school teacher has helped me to know that Christian Science can be my own and has helped me to find ways to put it into action in my life. I feel like she has changed my view on the religion as a whole and has really helped me to feel more spiritual. I also loved being on trips that landed on a Sunday. On our first trip we hiked over a pass and had Sunday school by a lake. We chose which class to be in based on the topic being spoken about. I loved this class. We talked so much and I really felt like I was leaning so much about myself.

Link was meaningful for me because it helped me to dive deeper into my spiritual well-being. Before I came here my well-being was something that really concerned me but I never gave much thought as to how my spiritual preparation for the day could affect me. I think that Link has taught me that no matter what I do, taking just 30 minutes in the morning to think by myself whether it be on the bible lesson on what has taken place that week my spiritual prep time is not something I should skimp on, for that I am so grateful.

And it is because of all these beautiful things that I must write to you and express how honored I am that you helped me to achieve all these things through your donation to my Link experience.

Mallory Saylor

 

Dear Donor,

My name is Mathias. I am ending my sophomore year. I am writing to you to thank you for the generous donation you have given to The Link School. I really appreciate the chance to attend The Link School. I am turning 16 this summer and plan on returning next year. During this year, I have had the chance to become grow and prosper as an individual.

This year I have been able to expand my knowledge inside the classroom as well as in the outside world. In Spanish 3, I was able to continue my love for speaking in a different language. In climbing I was able to become stronger in lead climbing and participate in my first multi-pitch climb. In rafting I rowed my first class 3-4 rapids in an inflatable kayak. In Think Tank I have been able to expand on my understanding of the word around me and learn more about how to think through problems. In Algebra 2 I have been able to learn more about math and how different things work.

This year has really been a milestone for me. Last year I got into a lot of things that were bad for my health and for the community around me. The Link School gave me a second chance to show that I had grown over the summer. So, I came back and was able to prosper and be a positive part of the community. Thank you for believing in the vision of The Link School.

With gratitude,

Mathias Fanta

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Grace and I am a freshman here at Link. I’ve lived in Buena Vista since I was eight months old. I live with my parents, Joel and Laurie, our three dogs, Cricket, Marley, and Yoda, and our two goats.

I’ve grown up in a Christian Science household and am so grateful for the opportunity that Link has given me to grow spiritually and gain a better understanding of the religion. I have been able to challenge myself in many ways this year, be it physically or academically. At the beginning of the year, I was terrified of having to go on trips. I wasn’t very strong, physically or spiritually, so it was difficult to push myself in that way. Now that the year is coming to an end, I am confident in my abilities to succeed at whatever we do on trips and support myself spiritually.

I think that my favorite trip that we have gone on this year was the trip to Baja. The trip allowed us to somewhat explore a different culture, push ourselves physically, and grow closer as a community. I have also been able to push myself in academics this year, more so than I have been able to in the past. My favorite subjects are English and History, although I enjoy them all. This semester in English, we learned about Modernism, Realism, Naturalism, and different periods of literature like the Harlem Renaissance. As a final paper, we wrote about what we thought would be considered literature from modern day times in 50 to 100 years. We researched popular books in the past decade, found common themes in literature, and thought about how our culture has influenced the themes that are apparent in today’s literary scene. In History this semester, we studied Mark Twain, Mary Baker Eddy, and Augusta Tabor. We learned about their lives and looked at how their lives were connected, both with each other and national issues. For a final we wrote a first person account of a national event in the 19th century. I chose to write a short diary entry from the perspective of Sarah Emma Edmonds, a female spy and soldier that went undercover as a man during the Civil War. Overall, this year has been a year of challenging myself to be the best that I can be.

I am infinitely grateful for my year at Link. I have learned so much about Christian Science and have challenged myself to succeed more than I thought possible. Thank you.

Grace Benson

 

Dear Sponsors,

I am beyond grateful for what you have put into me being able to attend here at The Link School. Attending Link has changed me to try and with everything to be able to do my best. My as you may know, my first year of high school (at BVHS) was not my best. I wasn’t doing well in school and I went through a lot of hard times with family and friends. At Link, I have learned many valuable lessons that I would like to continue to grow on, I have also done a lot better in school than I ever have in my past years of schooling. I have grown so many strong relationships with my peers that I will always remember and hopefully hold on to for the rest of my life.

Not only have I worked on doing better in school, but I have also been growing in my understanding of Christian Science. As you know, I am kind of new to Christian Science. I have been working on becoming stronger with my love and helping others to discover what living spiritually is truly about. At the beginning of the school year, I didn’t think that I would grow such a huge love for living spiritually and I have been working on leaning more and working through the problems that have come up over the year.

I will never forget my year at Link, and the upcoming years that I have. I cannot express how much gratitude I have for you guys. I have never been happier. I have always seen you guys as the loving and caring people that you are. It means so much to me on what you have done. I cannot wait to see you all again so that I can tell you about the many adventures I have gone over this year.

Thank you for everything,

Beka Petersen

 

Dear Sponsor,

Hi! My name is Imogen, and I have been attending The Link School this year. I’m from England so this was really stepping outside the box for me. I really enjoy things like art and pottery, I made some really fun pottery and painted a lot this year. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the chance to do something like that. I even made a dress! I really loved being able to do something like that freely. I was able to paint or sew, whatever I wanted and it was amazing.

We had so many amazing opportunities at Link, and always it was so fun and well put together. Our trip to Baja was such an amazing experience, to see animals like sea turtles or baby sea lions, things I never thought I would actually see! I guess it all comes down to you really, for helping this school do something so amazing for the students here, to see something we’ve never seen before. So I wanted to say thank you, for making this all possible, for helping us have such an incredible experience this year, it means more than you know.

Thank you,

Imogen

 

Dear sponsor

Hi, my name is Brian Burr. I was born in Colombia and I was adopted six years ago. I am now from New Jersey with my two dads and my brother. This is my second year at The Link School.

I do many things here such as mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, snowboarding. My favorite thing is climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking, this year we went to the ride a 100-mile mountain bike ride on the White Rim Trail in Utah, which it was so much fun. We also went on a rafting trip on Green River. I also really like how we get taught going outside and seeing the things we have been learning in a class and then seen them in our trips.

It’s have been meaningful to me because I met many friends that I’m going to have for life. I have also been using Christian Science to work through challenges.

Love, Brian

 

Hello I am Bryce Marmolijo. I am 16 years old and am a very shy person. I never really knew how to interact with others, so I basically just shut everyone out. I live in Ojai California with my mom, and coming out to the Rockies of Colorado a mile higher than I’m used to definitely took some adjusting. I’ve always liked doing the cool activities that we get to do here at The Link School, but I never was able to do those things where I lived and with the minimal amount of resources we had. So, I learned how do to things in a minimalists way, but coming out here and having access to all of these new things has given me the chance to learn so much more, and expand my views and really fly.

Things here that I have done, like be in these small concentrated classes, have given me the opportunity to actually learn the materials because in public schools where you’re in cramped classes of 35 its very hard to get a 1 on 1 interaction with your teacher when you don’t understand something. This last field program that we had really made me happy because of the sheer beauty of the river. It showed me how much more there is to the world.

On a spiritual level I most certainly have grown. I have always gone to Sunday school, but I don’t think I ever took all of it in. Here we are asked to engage more and try to understand what is going on, and I have a much more clear sight of what I should, and need to be doing now.

All of this was extremely meaningful to me because being in this tight community has taught me how to interact with people and not just ignore them because here you can’t just ignore others because you live with them. Also it has given me the chance to experience the world in so many ways, such as all of the trips we go on, and all of the cool interesting things that we learn in the field.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to come out here to this amazing place I get to call home.

Bryce Marmolijo

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Lois. I’m a graduating student this year, and have spent five of my six semesters of high school at Link, and loved every one of them. Originally from Illinois, I’ve fallen in love with the mountains and canyons of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico in the last three years. The growth I see in myself when I think about the kid I was when I came here, and who I am now, is amazing. I’ve become an outgoing, confident young woman with a passion for learning, helping others, the outdoors, and theater (though that part has nothing to do with Link, since we didn’t do many performing arts these last few years). I think the only other thing that should be included in a paragraph telling a little bit about who I am is that I love to laugh, and I’ve laughed more in the last three years than I could ever have imagined possible.

This semester, I showed up just in time to fly to Mexico with some friends from last year, a few fellow students I had met while I was visiting for Thanksgiving, and one total stranger who also happened to be a classmate. Those first few weeks made me realize that being able to become friends with anyone is a valuable skill, and just one of many my time at Link has given me. Along with people skills, I’ve learned practical skills in the outdoor setting. We’ve gone rock climbing, rafting, and backpacking. I’ve talked to teachers about Search and Rescue (SAR) and taken a Swift Water Rescue course. I’ve made mistakes, seen the benefits of SAR training in others, and learned from my mistakes. The most important thing I’ve learned though has been about myself. We were told to write a story about a challenge we overcame in Mexico, but I ended up writing about one I wanted to overcome that I hadn’t even realized was a problem. I began the process of forgiving my older sister for something I’ve been hurting over for the last decade with periodic new additions.

Anyway, I guess the reason I’m writing this the way I am instead of putting empty words on a page like I could to get this over with is because I want to say thank you, but I can’t if I don’t think you know what you’re being thanked for. I’m thanking you for bringing me out of my quiet shell. I’m thanking you for showing me the mountains and canyons. I’m thanking you for giving me the opportunity to see who I can be. I’m thanking you for all the things I’ve learned at Link, the memories I’ve made, the friends I’ve gained, the times I’ve laughed. I’m thanking you for the healings I’ve had, both physically and emotionally. I’m thanking you for making me who I am today by making it possible for me to have been at Link.

I sincerely thank you,

Lois Lynnette McClintick

 

Dear Sponsor

My name is Kelvin. I am a sophomore here at Link. This is the end of my 2nd year here. I am really having fun. I enjoy mountain biking and white water kayaking the most. I also like playing drums to some songs I like.

All of the activities I did this year were really fun. My two most favorite programs I did this year are the White Rim mountain biking trip and the last trip of the year, paddling the Rio Chama in a hard-shell kayak.

I have also grown academically the two years I’ve been here. I am growing to like math a lot more than I was expecting (which is a good thing).

Here at Link I also feel more at home to healing. Everyone is more than willing to help. Every weekday morning we go to group lesson study, which helps me each day thinking of something that won’t let me down.

This school is super helpful in preparing me for my life. Almost every project and activity we do is has a purpose to it. This school has had a very big impact on my life in challenging me and having me grow as a person in almost every way possible.

Kelvin

 

Dear Sponsor

Hello, I’m Eli Abbott and I am 19 years old from Worcester, MA and this is my third year at The Link School and I am senior here at Link. It has been such a blessing being able to be out here, also I love the atmosphere of love and support that is given here

The things that I really enjoyed that I have done here the last three years include all of the field programs, running, and skiing for the first time this year.  On the field programs, I have striven to do the best that I can by helping out with supporting the group and doing the extra things to make the trip goes smoothly.  I love helping out in any way that I can. Academics-wise my goal is to finish as strong as possible, this being my last semester of high school.  I worked very hard to complete my school work to the best of my ability.

Spiritually I have grown to have a better understanding of what is the meaning and purpose in my life and what I can do to make a difference for good through prayer and action.

In the community, the most meaningful thing is that we all have a say in what we want to do and what we want to happen with things involving others in the community.

I love everything that we do here and everything has been meaningful.

The best thing from this year is when I was running the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run Marathon. I was giving people from school updates. I was congratulated by everyone that was still here at school at the finish line. This really made my day. I was able to finish the race, not with the time that I had a goal of 4:45:00, but I was able to finish with a time of 6:17:53. Before this run, the longest run that I have done was 14 miles, so I added an extra 12 miles to my distance. This was a good way to wrap of my school experience and a huge accomplishment.

Thank you so much for supporting me with my journey here at the Link.

Sincerely, Eli

 

Dear Sponsor,

I cannot express enough gratitude for the opportunity to come to The Link School. This has undoubtedly been the best year of my life and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support. I transferred to Link this year for my senior year and I couldn’t have been happier about my decision.

I am from Carmel, Indiana which is just outside of Indianapolis. Growing up I was about everything sports. I was always in season and always trying a different sport. I lived in Germany for three years of my life from 4th grade to 6th grade. I was able to travel to many different countries and have wonderful experiences. I went to high school for three years at a military academy in Indiana. I have also gone to Adventure Unlimited for 10 years and worked there as a CIT last summer.

As I said before, I was extremely satisfied with my choice to come to Link. I always really enjoyed team sports as a kid and at my old school, but I found that I liked the sports at Link better. I now have a passion for rock climbing, trail running, mountain biking, and whitewater kayaking.

I had a great time on all of the program trips we went on this year. There was definitely a lot that I had done before at A/U but I was still opened up to many experiences. These came mostly on the different trips we took. During second semester, the trips were very interesting. We got to go to Baja which was incredible. The Sea kayaking portion was my favorite on that trip. I also really liked being in Spanish class in Baja. We were fully immersed, which improved my Spanish a whole lot. We also got to do a river rescue course and an avalanche course. I enjoyed learning about things that will be helpful to me later in life.

In academics this year I was able to learn in a way that was perfect for me. Being comfortable with my teachers and in an experiential environment I was able to thrive in the classroom. I took Calculus this year which proved to be my hardest course. Even though it was a lot of work, I stuck with the long nights and was able to get a good grade in the class.

I grew an immense amount spiritually this year. On this last river trip I was able to coast in my boat and take in the scenery. I was able to reflect on the whole year and my whole life. It made me grateful for Christian Science. I was grateful that it has been such a significant part of my life. I wouldn’t have been able to do everything I did this year without Christian Science.

This year has allowed me to find my true self. I now know a lot about the person I am and the person I want to be. That wasn’t possible anywhere else. I got the opportunity to explore and reflect. I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity at any other school.

Thank you again for all that you sacrifice to put students through this school.

James

 

Dear sponsor,
Hi my name is Ben. I am in 11th grade, and I’m from Rhode Island. I love to be outside, to fish and play golf. I also love to learn things that I don’t know and The Link School has taught me a lot that I did not know before I came here.

 

There is a lot that I did this year that I would never do at any other school that I’ve been to. We went to the Lost Wonder Hut which is Bobby and Natalie’s cabin in the mountains. We learned procedures that need to be taken when in an avalanche terrain.  We went to Baja, Mexico and practiced speaking Spanish, sea kayaked in the Sea of Cortez around some islands, swam with sea lions, and released sea turtles into the ocean.  After doing all that I did, the thought came into mind that I am the luckiest kid in the world to go to this amazing school, and to have so many people that love me, like my mom, my teachers, and you.

 

I will never forget what Link has done for me and how much I have learned here and how much I will learn next year.

 

The Link School is so meaningful to me because I have learned the meaning of what it is like to grow and what it is like to be prepared for life and how to strive to be a better leader. It is also important to me because it is such a small community and we become so close and do everything together and support each other, and I love that. Also I love that whenever I go on a trip I learn a lot, and that allows me to apply those things to life. In my classes I have learned so much from my teacher and they have been so willing to help and be there for me and that means a lot to me. I hope I can come back next year and show them that I appreciate all that they have done for me and apply that for next year as my way of thanking you and them.

 

Love Ben