Gratitude – Year 11 – Christmas

Dear sponsor,

I have been a student here at Link since my sophomore year. My name is Beka Petersen and I have lived here in Buena Vista for most of my life, but coming to Link, I have learned so much about myself that I have not 20180902_103912seen before. I have always been a person that has enjoyed outside activities, especially participating in anything sport related. Even though I did not grow up doing well with my academics, Link has shown me how important it is and has taught me to enjoy learning instead of always seeing it as something forced upon me. I am truly grateful for all of the teaching moments I’ve had at Link.

Having been here for three years, I keep thinking I will know what to expect from Link. But I don’t at all. Every year, it brings me closer to a new friend, shows me how teachers are always willing to help the students, and new activities that I have never tried before or have even thought about. This year is my senior year, my final year to put in everything that I can to help and to enjoy being here before I head off to my next chapter in life. Though there have been struggles with that, it shows me that I have people here that care for me and want to help me. Unlike most people that you ask about their high school years and they reply, “I don’t remember much,” I know that this will not be the case with any student here. I have seen every person grow in such an outstanding way. We are all stepping outside our comfort levels whether it be in either academics or with an activity.

Link has been a huge stepping stone in helping me to grow up and being able to use Christian Science in my everyday routine. Looking back at everything that I have done, there are things I could never picture myself being able to do, but has also taught me to care for others. I think that this is an important step going into life, being able to care for strangers, even, and to go into life with an open mind. With these two things, I have met staff and peers that have helped me through all of my problems this year and have guided me through those moments with Christian Science. With having an open mind, I do not ever like turning down a challenge or a new adventure that Link has to offer me. As well as with academics, this has helped me to seek further achievements and push myself. I could never be able to put into perfect wording how amazed I am at how a high school could be possibly the biggest turning point in a teenager’s life. I have seen this with others as well as myself.

Thank you greatly,

Beka Petersen

 

IMG_0781Dear Sponsor,

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, 6 in total, 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.

I have been kept very busy at this crazy school! Academic wise, I have been thriving. Being in small classes, with relevant content is much easier for me than being in 60 people classes learning how to regurgitate an outdated textbook. I have all A’s as of right now and plan on maintaining these grades. I am also taking Honors Algebra 2, and Honors English. All of my teachers here are very supportive and passionate about their subjects. There are also many opportunities here at Link to discover one’s own passion. There are so many trips, events, and activities that the staff take time out of their day to support. At the beginning of this year I absolutely hated biking, until I found myself biking Slickrock with students here and absolutely loving it. Without being challenged by incredible leaders like James and Bobby, I would have never discovered this liking for biking! Everyday there is something planned for the purpose of fun.

Spiritually, this has been an adventure for me. Before Link I had little to no experience with Christian Science. Learning a great new perspective has been an interesting journey. I came into this school with an open mind and have learned to think of things a little differently.

One thing about me that has not changed, and probably never will, is my passion and commitment to art. Here at Link, I’ve decided to revolve my Senior Project around that and am going to create a mural to live on at Link.

Being here at Link has meant a lot to me. Having so many people genuinely believe in me has given me an incredible amount of hope for myself and for everyone else being cared for at this school. Without this opportunity I might have been locking myself in some Mercer Island room with my self-deprecating thoughts, instead of deciding to adventure and find myself a little more. I am incredibly grateful for living and learning with such amazing people like Natalie, it seems like she is made out of pure sunshine and intelligence. Bobby, is the most wise and peaceful man I have ever met. Ben is always great to be around with his overflowing positivity and appreciation. Emily keeps me going! James is the most reliable and also the greatest man I have ever met. Every staff member here is great in their own way. I am very lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.

Thank you for your support!

Avery

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Andrew Staley. I grew up in California for my first 12 years. A few years back, I moved to Illinois to attend Principia for a year and a half. I then moved back to California for the rest of my ninth-grade year. IMG_0783This is when I decided to move to Colorado to attend The Link School where I can grow and learn much more about the outdoors.

At The Link School, we have traveled to many places to learn in the outdoors. We have biked, skied, and climbed indoors and outdoors.  Most of the activities have pushed me to grow outside of my comfort zone.

I enjoy being here because you can express freedom and happiness. I get so much individual support from my teachers, and this is something I’ve never experienced. They have helped me be a better student and grow each day. I love the kindness that is given back to us and the helping community.

With sincere gratitude,

Andrew Staley

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Leif, I am from Missouri, and I live on a farm with eight dogs.

I grew up in the Ozarks playing in the forest, climbing trees, hunting, and working with horses. I lived with my mom and dad. My older brothers and sisters would come to the farm from time to time to visit. I grew up IMG_4222not having too much schooling, although I did homeschool for a while.  Then I tried out Principia around 4th and 5th grade. I went back to homeschooling but that wasn’t working out so I thought The Link School would be a good and new way to learn.

I’ve learned new skills at Link like how to be a student in general and how to be a better leader and succeed in the “real world.” I have learned a lot from the programs like biking, climbing, and backpacking, and we do Science and English on shorter week long trips. When we go on abroad trips we might have a bigger variety of classes. We learn a ton about Christian Science, we listen to stories and every Monday Bobby teaches us and guides us through the lesson. Thursdays we do our own lesson study where we might read from the lesson or write in our jurnal. For academics, we learn with other age groups instead of being in a public school where we would only be with our own age group. We have six classes which all usually take about an hour a day. I’ve never done high school math and in one semester I went from a 5th to an 8th grade level.

I’m very grateful for the different learning ways. This is a big reason I wanted to join the school. I can’t get over the beautiful trips that we get to go on and all of them having their own “theme” like a biking trip or a rafting trip or maybe a climbing or hiking trip.

Thank you again, Leif Arthur

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Santiago Doutrich. I came to Link midway through my sophomore year and I am now a Junior. My family has been with the Foreign Service for all of my life which means I travel a lot. Currently, my familyIMG_3346 is living in Abu Dhabi and they came from the Latin American country of Nicaragua. I haven’t visited my family in Abu Dhabi yet, so I don’t really consider myself from there. All of my life I have been very active in sports 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. My grades have improved a lot since being here. Before I was averaging B’s and now they’ve moved up to A’s. I have decided to take two extra classes to challenge myself.  I also would like to graduate a semester early because a desire for independence has been creeping up for me for years now.

Here at Link, I have many options on what to do. 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. This was very fun since I have loved mountain biking ever since I did the biking program at Adventure Unlimited Ranches. Biking is a very active sport that really pushed me in my athletics but especially in my trust. When there is enough snow in the mountains, we have the chance to leave school early on Fridays and ski for the rest of the day. Until coming to Link, skiing wasn’t really one of my favorite activities but since coming here, I have enjoyed the rush and excitement that the activity gives to me. It is a really great time to be with my friends and challenge the slopes together. My favorite activity at Link has been climbing. At first, climbing was an activity that wasn’t very fun to me and I didn’t really like it. Somehow, that idea changed in my mind and now I love the sport. I view it as this art of perfection to complete the route without falling and it really makes me love it. I love climbing with my friends because we all work together to figure out how to achieve a really difficult task. With climbing, I have also taken the time to work on my lead climbing, which is much scarier but, in my opinion, really fun.

Link has truly changed me. It has allowed me to become a different person and has introduced me to new activities that I have absolutely fallen in love with. At Link, I have met people that I hope I can remember forever. The friends I have made here have been some of the best parts of my time here, though it has not been a full year yet. The teachers are very supportive and engaging since they always take their time to make you happy. I really just love how much Link has made a home for me that I know I can always come back to. I really am thankful for the chance I have been given to come here. Thank you all.

With gratitude,

Santiago

 

Dear Sponsor,

My name is Kelvin, I’m 18, I’m a senior, and this is my 4th year here at Link. I live in Michigan in a town called Three Oaks. Before I came to Link I liked building with Legos. I like to build cars, trucks, and planes out IMG_5969of my Legos at home. I often go mountain biking on local 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? 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 recently 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. My favorite class this year is Math class. I have a really good and fun teacher this year as well.

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 so much more than 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 want everyone to succeed in their classes and in life.

Kelvin

 

Dear sponsor,

Hi, my name is Brian Burr. I was born in Colombia and I was adopted seven years ago. I lived in  New Jersey with my two dads and my brother, but this year my family has moved to California. I’m really excited to go IMG_9984and see them. This is my 4th year at The Link School and I have loved every moment I have been here because I have met people that I have learned to love and I would trust them with my life.

I do many things here such as mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, and snowboarding. My favorite things are climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking. This year we went biking in Utah, which was so much fun. We also went on a river trip where we learn how to save people. I also really like how we get taught by going outside and seeing the things we have been learning in class and then see them on our trips. This year, we are going to Colombia for our international trip and I can’t wait to show my friends the town where I grew up and to get to show them all the kinds of fruits, places, foods, that I loved when I lived there.

It has been meaningful to me because I met many friends that I’m going to have for the rest of my life. I have also been using Christian Science to work through challenges especially when I’m climbing because sometimes it is really scary to be so high up. It is not a bad scared, but a good scared. I also love the people who work here at school. They take me places I only dream of and they have expanded my horizons.  They also have given me such confidence to do so many things. Thank you so, so, so much for giving me the opportunity to come here.

Love, Brian Burr

 

Dear Sponsor,

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 IMG_0831name 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 and skiing. We also went to Utah for mountain biking and Swiftwater Rescue training. This semester I have been in ceramics class with Bryce. We also have been preparing to go to Colombia. In the Spring, I will be exploring becoming a chef.

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.

Thank you so much for helping me be here too,  Joseph Burr

 

Dear Sponsor,

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 IMG_1602were 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 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.

I am a Senior this year at Link, and I am very grateful for everything that we are able to do. This year, I have been learning how to weld because this has always interested me. I have gotten a lot better than when I first started. I am also working on restoring a 1985 Toyota 4Runner. I am still trying to determine if rebuilding the engine or replacing the engine would be best. This semester I have been taking Spanish (I did take this last year but I didn’t fully understand what was taught), English, Integrated Science, Precalc, and US foreign policy in Latin America. I have been enjoying these classes and I have been learning a lot from each one. I have also been able to spiritually grow as a person during Sunday School and during the morning lesson studies.

Being able to be at Link for a second year has meant a lot because I have been able to continue my growth on life skills, deepening my understanding of spirituality, and growing as a person. I am grateful to have the opportunity to come to Link and to learn and to try new things that I wouldn’t have back in St. Louis. Thank you for helping me grow as a person and for helping me develop new skills.

Sincerely,  Eric Trevor-Roberts

 

Dear Sponsor,

I am Bryce Marmolijo from Ojai, California. This will be my third and final year at Link.  I came from a pretty regular high school, (after jumping around from several different schools) but things weren’t working out IMG_1597too well in several ways. I was not motivated to do anything there, and everything seemed so repetitive that I lost interest. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to go to a school that was in a completely different area than I had ever been, in a different state, and with fewer than 20 people, I was definitely a bit hesitant, but the idea of going somewhere so outlandish and new overcame that nervousness. Within a week, I was out here in beautiful Colorado. It was a little worrying that all the activities that I liked and were used too, like surfing, bodyboarding, and skating were gone, but I soon learned that I would get sucked into many more fun activities.

My favorite things here at Link are definitely the activities that we get to do, especially snowboarding and mountain biking. One common thing that all (or most) the activities out here offer is that opportunity to go get lost on purpose, go get lost in thought or soul, but being able to really live in nature. It offers a great thinking place to sort issues out, take a break, or to do it just to do it. But it’s exactly what I needed – a place to let my mind rest, because living in the city that’s not even that big, things are always moving and it’s always bustling.  The move out here was a great change of pace for me.

Something else I really enjoy are the international trips we get to go on. Even if they don’t go the smoothest in traveling there (in the last 2 years we have had significant flight schedule challenges), the experience is always worth the wait. Being able to be embraced by the culture of a place you don’t completely know is so thrilling and adventurous. I enjoy those trips so much that I want to go travel somewhere even further than South America after I graduate. It sort of lit this hidden passion to go somewhere where you don’t always know what’s going to happen.

Being able to come back here to Link for my last year of high school is an amazing opportunity and I’ll try my best to make the most of it, even when times are low. It’s especially at those times when we’re at our low, when we are able to grow the most. I think that’s what I’m most grateful for here at Link. The community that we build is definitely not a perfect one by any means, but we are always here for each other when we need it. The future does seem daunting, but with all the support we have here I’m sure I’ll be fine and go in a good direction.

With gratitude, Bryce Marmolijo – Aloha

 

Dear Sponsor,

My Name is Becky and I was born in South Africa but moved to Australia right after I was born. I began school here at the start of this year in grade 10. I love Animals and being outdoors. I have two cats that I love veryIMG_0923 much and rode horses back in Australia. I’m learning to be an artist and love to make things with my hands. My mother has always helped me through my life to stick with playing the viola, and now I am pretty good at playing and have succeeded in my exams on viola too.

At Link I have been learning a lot in my academics, especially in Science and in Spanish.  I really am enjoying expanding my knowledge on all the challenging factors of speaking Spanish and learning so many things like the parts of birds and volcanoes and even El Niño. At link I have had so many opportunities to express my curiosity and positive mindset in so many different activities and adventures. I’ve learned how to snowboard, and how to rock climb better, even how to climb ice for the first time. Link has enabled me to see so many different, beautiful views, and animals, and mountains, and fields – it’s just amazing what is out there.

I recently had an accident horseback riding when I fell of my horse twice in a row. It was very painful, and I was scared that I was seriously injured.  As soon as I told the staff, they all surrounded me with love and spiritual guidance. I was so relieved to know that I wasn’t going through this alone. I prayed with the practitioner of the month who helped me get the right mindset about having a healing. Link teaches me in all ways how to include God in my day and I truly think this has helped me with healing from this injury.

The project opportunities at link are never ending. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but when I got here I immediately found two amazing things that I could do in my project time. Ride beautiful horses and learn the guitar. It’s so much fun and has given me skill in riding that I never thought I would ever get to have. And it has made me grow stronger in my spiritual understanding.

I am grateful for the activities that we experience here, learning so many new skills. It is so enjoyable being in the community. Having the loving sense that people bring to every moment of the day is really inspiring.

I really appreciate your sponsorships for Link to enable me to experience all these wonderful things in my life. I love this opportunity that you have given me and my peers to be able to truly express ourselves. It means more than you can ever imagine to me, so thank you.

Sincerely, Becky