Congratulations to our graduating class of 2018, soon to be the class of 2022! We know you all have worked extremely hard and are excited (and probably a bit nervous!) about the opportunities ahead.
The college application process is a challenging one. Some even construe it as broken, where teenagers with impeccable credentials, who have done everything “right” in high school, are routinely rejected or waitlisted by elite colleges. It’s not because they aren’t qualified to attend; it’s because there’s limited space available, and students have to fill a very specific mold and demonstrate the “appropriate level of interest” in order to be admitted.
Instead of celebrating these amazing teenagers, colleges are telling them they’re not good or doing enough. We would expect that despite our students’ success, they have almost certainly faced some rejection through this process. We hope no one takes it personally and that everyone has used their resilience gained at Adventure Treks to keep everything in perspective. If you weren’t accepted into your first-choice school for this fall, please know that you will thrive at any one of hundreds of wonderful universities. As Frank Brunei says in his great book, “Where you go is not who you will be.”
Regardless of this process, we are always impressed (but never surprised) at the remarkable schools that our Adventure Treks students will soon be attending. We feel privileged and grateful to have been a topic of many of your college essays. We believe that admissions officers appreciate the Adventure Treks experience because of how well it reflects on the character and community-mindedness that our students bring to campus.
Here’s an excerpt from former student Eli Burk’s acceptance letter from the University of Rochester: “For a major research university to thrive with just 5,300 undergraduates, each student has to make a personal and immediate contribution to campus life. The counselors recommended you for admission because of the lessons you learned from your experience climbing Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier. The committee and I are confident you will both stand out and grow stronger as part of the Rochester family.”
Or this nice quip from Lewis and Clark: “P.S. Your experience with Adventure Treks has prepared you nicely for our college outdoor program!”
More than reputation, we noticed that you all have chosen schools that are a good fit for your personalities, abilities, and interests. We’d like to emphasize again that what you will take away from your higher educational experience has little to do with the prestige or rank of a given college, and everything to do with the mindset and attitude with which you approach your collegiate career. Success in college is about the effort poured into the experience, your desire to fuel your passions, the relationships formed with new friends and faculty, and your ability to thrive in new and sometimes ambiguous situations. Having succeeded through outdoor challenges “in the middle of nowhere,” we all know that it’s what you bring to your future community that will define your college experience.
At a time when only 58 percent of students at four-year universities graduate within six years, we’re proud that the graduation rate of Adventure Treks students remains consistent at 98 percent! We believe the resilience, social confidence, and community mindset skills you’ve strengthened through your Adventure Treks experiences will allow you to navigate challenges in college seamlessly.
Below are where our high school graduates are headed for fall of 2018!
- Kevin Juneau, Colorado School of Mines
- Lola Motley, Bowdoin College
- Carly Brown, Dartmouth College
- Lila Watts, Dartmouth College
- Hannah Dubinski, University of Chicago
- Keegan Sweeney, American University
- Peter Benedict, Elon University
- Harry Sultan, Dartmouth College
- Jo de la Bruyere, Princeton University
- Cole Estrada, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Edward Estrada, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Blake Todor, Duke University
- Lily Kafka, Cornell University
- Eli Kline, Duke University
- Mitch Gustafson, Florida Atlantic University
- James Hill, Ohio University
- Eoin Schnell, gap year then Oberlin College
- Megan Klee, Thrive School
- Ezra Seegull, University of Michigan
- Alex Gaines, North Carolina State University
- Samantha Pancoe, University of Pennsylvania
- CJ Lavoie, gap year
- Elizabeth Paul, Rhodes College
- Jeremy Bers, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Tom Weimer, Indiana University
- Max Albers, University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Audrey Dockendorf, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Emma Cleveland, Washington and Lee University
- Ben Bragg, Washington and Lee University
- Josh Webb, Skidmore College
- Bill Zach, George Mason University
- Griffin Rocco, University of Colorado Boulder
- Alex Nichols, University of Colorado Boulder
- Ally Krause, St. Lawrence University
- Jack Evans, University of Vermont
- Lauren Salzman, Yale University
- Ben Whorf, Wake Forest University
- Addison Bent, Middlebury College
- Lena Hoplamazian, Princeton University
- River Friedman, The Cooper Union
- Charlotte Butcher, Dickinson College
- Alex Lopez, Bard College or Wesleyan College
- Julian Lopez, gap year then Trinity College
- Caroline Kimble, St. Olaf College
- Sophie Shack, University of Pittsburgh
- Jason Provanzano, Binghamton University
- Grace Beneke, Skidmore College
- Robert Evans, Indiana University
- Thayne Covert, University of Portland
- Huston Hamlin, North Carolina State University
- Madison Bain, Western Carolina University
- Jackson Megar, University of Massachusetts Amherst
- Jeri Stoller, Colgate University
- Megan King, California State University Maritime Academy
- Sebastian Capeans, Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo
If we missed you, please tell us where you are heading so we can add you to this list and put you in touch with Adventure Treks students already at your new school!
Congratulations again from all of us at Adventure Treks!