My name is Bryce Marmolijo and I am from Ojai, California. Sadly, this will be my third and final year of attending The Link School. I have been so extremely grateful for all of the opportunities that I have been given to grow and learn in ways I never would have imagined. When I first arrived at Link I was extremely shy; I wouldn’t really do much of anything. Now I find myself taking more opportunities to do new and interesting things. It’s quite difficult for me to comprehend how much I have changed in the past few years.
Out of all my time here at Link, I think one of the best things that I have learned is just how to be more open about things. I had never really been open about things, so that led to bad communication skills. Through good guidance from close friends and staff members, I have been able to get past that barrier of shyness and proceed to figure out who I am. The community changes each year, but when your closest friends leave, you get even more opportunities to make more of those close relationships. I think that is one of the best things that Link has to offer, making bonds that are stronger than most, and that last for as long as they do.
If I had not made the choice to come to this school while standing on the side of a mountain, I don’t think that I would be in a very good place at this time. I am very thankful for this opportunity that I was given to spend the majority of my high school time. The experiences that I have been given are priceless, and I will never forget them or the people I met here. Link holds many great memories for me.
Hi, my name is Brian Burr. I was born in Colombia and I was adopted 8 years ago. I lived in New Jersey with my two dads and my brother, who also came to Link this year. My family has moved to LA, California which I’m really excited about. This is my 4th year at The Link School and I have loved every moment I have been here because of the people I have met. I have learned to love them and I would trust them with my life.
I do many things here such as mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, and snowboarding. This year we went biking in Utah, which was so much fun. We also went on a river trip where we learned how to save people by taking a Swiftwater Rescue course. I also really like how we have classes outside and on trips where we get to see the things we have been learning in class. This year, we went to Colombia for our international trip and I got to show my friends the town where I grew up and all the kinds of fruits, places, and foods, that I loved when I lived there.
Link has 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, especially when I’m climbing because sometimes it’s really scary to be so high. Not a bad scared but a good scared. I also loved the people who work here. They have taken me places I only dreamt of, and they have expanded my horizons and given me so much confidence to do so many things.
This year I learned how to take care of some of my fears that I had. I did this by pushing myself. I learned that there are many people I can rely on, and they want to help me with every step. Link has given me the opportunity to try so many things and if I didn’t like it there where so many others to try.
I’m so happy that I choose to come here because it has opened so many doors for my future. I met people that I will always want to be close to. Thank you so, so, so much for giving me the opportunity to come to Link.
My name is Avery Holshouser. I am a senior here at The Link School. I am from Seattle, Washington, but I am originally from Newport Beach, California. I have moved many times around the country, and have met very different people. I have three incredible siblings. One is in Scotland for university, and the two others are back at home. My mother, Desmond Holiday, is the most influential person in my life and the reason I am here at Link today.
Earlier this year I sort of began to realize how blessed the Link community was, but I didn’t yet understand its depth. In the beginning I enjoyed almost only the academics, but slowly, as I became closer with my peers, I started to enjoy every activity because of the people. I have always been a person that cares a lot for the people around me, but Link is different. With just under a year of being here, the Link community is family to me. Never have I been completely surrounded by purely loving people. The support in this community is unreal. Even if it’s not 100% obvious all the time, every single person in this community appreciates and loves the others. To be a part of something that beautiful is worth the temporary goodbye to your other family members.
To be a part of this community makes every hard thing seem easy and every chore worth it. The staff are always there for the students. Whether it’s to give great movie recommendations, rescue you in a kayak through a rapid, save you delicious leftovers, sit with you on your bathroom while you’re sick, let you break into their Lucky Charm stash, or help you through really tough times, staff is always there. How can a student see that and not learn from it? I’ve learned what a good leader is by watching the people in this community. James is the greatest role model for not only students, but staff. Seeing a man motivated by love and always working to spread that is incredible. He’s constantly doing his best for improvement. He does things like personally asking the students how they would improve the school and still makes time for baking post-finals cookies. I have learned so much from him and I know other students have as well.
There really are so many things I have learned this year. I’ve learned how to push myself. I pushed myself to come to Link because I knew I was missing something. And yes, learning how to stay organized, and do all these crazy activities was useful, but not as useful as the learning about love. Having spiritual prep every morning was insightful, and important. But actually seeing and feeling the methods of love working every day in front of me was the most significant. It would be hard for me to move on next year and not want to demonstrate everything I have learned from the Link community. I’ve learned to act on love with kindness.
My name is Santiago Doutrich. This year was my second year at Link and I am now currently a junior. Throughout my whole life, I’ve been traveling to different countries due to my dad’s job. Currently, my family is in Abu Dhabi. I have visited them last winter break but I don’t really consider myself from there. 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.
Since coming here, I have really been enthusiastic about biking, skiing, and especially climbing. Every Monday we have the opportunity to do some sort of outdoor activity. At first, we did biking when the weather permitted it. This is very beneficial since I have loved mountain biking ever since I did the biking program at Adventure Unlimited Ranches and it is a very active sport that really pushes me in my athletics but especially in trusting my skill.
When I first came to Link, skiing wasn’t really one of my favorite activities but as time passed I have learned to really enjoy the rush and excitement that the activity gives me. It is a really great time to be with my friends as we challenge the slopes together. Finally, my favorite activity at Link has been climbing. Like Skiing, climbing was an activity that wasn’t very fun for me at first and I didn’t really like it. Somehow, that idea changed in my mind and I have ended up loving the sport. I see climbing as this art of perfection to complete the route without falling and it really makes me enjoy the experience. I love climbing with my friends because we all work together to figure out how to achieve the task ahead. With climbing, I have also taken the time to work on my lead climbing which is much scarier, but in my opinion, really fun. Academic wise, I have decided to take two extra classes to challenge myself academically. The classes have made my schedule busy but I really love the books that I have been reading in my independent English class.
Link has really developed into an important piece of my life. This past year I felt like I really got close with the community since I spent the whole year at the school. As of now, Link means family to me. It is hard to be far away from my actual family but I always feel like I have my own place in the Link community. I am really grateful for the skills that the school has given me, but I’m especially grateful for the people. I have been able to experience what Link has to give.
My name is Joseph Burr and I am 16 years old. I was adopted from Colombia and now I live in California. I am a freshman and it is my first year at The Link School. My big brother also goes to this school and his name is Brian. I love to play basketball and have been able to do that here with Bobby. At The Link School, I have been climbing, skiing and also to Utah for mountain biking and Swiftwater Rescue training. This semester I have been in Ceramics class with Bryce. We also got to go to Colombia.
I am grateful for my parents and for my brother because they are the best I can ask for and they helped me to get here. I’m also grateful for the teachers for pushing me past the limits I thought I had. What I enjoy about Link is how everyone is so nice to each other and how I am grateful for everyone in this school for how they help me.
Link means to me that you can learned things that others teachers did not explain well and how everyone can help you with things that you are having trouble with, and I am really grateful for everyone who gave me an opportunity here and helped me with my schoolwork, which was very difficult before.
Thank you – Joe
My Name is Becky and I was born in South Africa but moved to Australia. I came to Link at the start of my grade 10 year. I really appreciate the natural environment and living in it, and I love all animals very much. I love learning new things and growing by experiences and challenges.
My mother has always helped me through my life to stick with playing the viola as well and now I am pretty good at playing and have succeeded in my exams on viola too. This is one challenge in my life that has helped me grow. I always try to give my best at everything I do and I never give up on something.
I have found myself sticking with Spanish and being very excited to learn new things this year. I really appreciate all of the learning we do here at Link and am grateful for the experiences on trips I have gone through. I believe Link has really helped me grow as a student and as a person.
This year I’ve learnt many skills for biking, kayaking, rock climbing, snowboarding, rappelling, and many more skills. At link I have had so many opportunities to express my curiosity and positive mindset in so many different ways, for example this week I spontaneously learnt how to hard-shell kayak for the first time in my life on our Desolation Canyon river trip. Even though the situation probably may have seemed inconvenient for me to kayak on our trip without ever having done that before, the staff allowed me to express my curiosity in giving it a go and enjoying it very much.
I don’t know how to express in words how much Link has showed me and how greatly I have benefited from the community I live with here. I have made unforgettable friendships with everyone and experienced hard and fun times with everyone. I feel like a sister to everyone and they feel like my family. I never would have thought of how touched my life would be at the start of this year. I really feel accepted, appreciated and loved at Link, and for that I am very grateful.
I really appreciate your sponsorships for Link that enabled me to become the strong, persistent and caring person I am today. Although I am still working on becoming an even better person than I am now, the amazing opportunity that you have given me means more to me than you can ever imagine, so thank you so much.
My name is Eric Trevor-Roberts and I am from St. Louis, Missouri. Before I came to The Link School, I was active in my Boy Scout Troop. While I was in the troop, I was able to grow as a Christian Scientist because we were all Christian Scientists. I was able to learn many life lessons and skills that are very valuable to me and I still use them every day. While I was in my Troop in St. Louis, I was able to be a staff member of the Boy Scouts of America National Youth Leadership Training. While teaching this course I was able to further develop my leadership skills, which has helped me a lot. I also was able to attend the 2017 National Scout Jamboree. This is an experience that I will never forget because I was able to meet fellow Scouts from my area, and from around the country. One day I want to go and be a Troop leader for a National or World Scout Jamboree.
The past two years I have been enjoying mountain biking, kayaking, group games, and rowing the oar boat. I was also able to snowboard which is something that I have always wanted to do, and being here at Link made that possible. I was also able to learn how to operate Link’s backhoe, which I enjoyed a lot. The group games have been a fun way to bond with each other and being competitive. This year I have taken Pre-Calc, English, Science, Spanish, US foreign policy in Latin America, American Government, and Spiritual Lit. I have enjoyed these classes as I have been able to gain a deeper understanding in each of these subjects.
As I am finishing my last year at Link, I am reflecting on all of the opportunities and growth that Link has given me. I have been able to further understand who I am as a person, improve upon my skills and become a better friend. I also learned while being here at Link that we are a family that supports each other even when the times are hard. I found that this was very impactful because when you are in a close community you know about what each person does, who annoys you, and what has been impactful to you. I am realizing that I am going to deeply miss this community and thank you so much for giving me the opportunity for me to experience this.
My name is Kelvin, I’m 18, this is my senior year, and this is also my 4th year here at Link. I live in Michigan, in a town called Three Oaks. Before I came to Link I like building with the toys I have at home and still have. I like to build cars, trucks, and planes out of my Legos, and I still do. I often go mountain biking on local trails, trails that are within a 45-minute drive. I also go sailing on Lake Michigan with a Hobie Catamaran my grandpa owns.
What have I been doing here at Link? I enjoy all of the activities here; mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, snowboarding, ice climbing, boot hockey, and more. My favorite outdoor activity is mountain biking. I bought a mountain bike from the local bike shop in Buena Vista. I’ve been learning lots of skills with mountain biking and I’ve been building upon my previous skills. In my academics I’ve been doing really well. I’ve definitely grown since my first year. A class that has stood out to me is the Monday night class second semester. The class is Spiritual Literature. I feel like I have grown a lot in my spiritual understanding in that class. I have had really good and fun teachers here all four years at The Link School.
Being here at Link means a lot to me. The experiences I get to have here are one of a kind. The experiences here have shaped who I am now. I feel like it is a big privilege to come to Link, and I realize it so much more than I did in my past years. If it weren’t for the staff here this school wouldn’t be the same. All of the staff here gives lots of support to all of the students; they all want everyone to succeed in their classes and in life. When I graduate at the end of this school year I would not be able to do it without sponsors like you and everyone at Link. I will miss everyone.
Thank you – Kelvin
My name is Grace Benson. This year I am a junior at Link. I have grown up in Buena Vista and first came to Link for my freshmen year. I am so grateful that I have been able to attend Link and participate in activities that I would not have the chance to otherwise. This is my third year at Link, and I have grown so much by attending school here. I have grown in my appreciation and enjoyment of outdoor sports, and in my ability to succeed at these sports.
Through my three years here, however on and off my attendance was, I have pushed myself to try things that I wouldn’t have been comfortable trying elsewhere and met people that I would never have met if it weren’t for The Link School. I am so grateful to have gotten to attend Link and expand both my outdoor and spiritual understanding. Link has allowed me to feel more comfortable in my ability to step outside of my comfort zone and in myself. While at Link, I have been able to explore different outdoor sports, like rafting and climbing, and strengthen my abilities in these sports. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend Link and continually push myself past my perceived limits, and to grow.