News Releases

Yellowstone expedition will open eyes, open doors for 10 Cincinnati teens

Cincinnati, July 11, 2013 –  Ten high school juniors will soon be winging their way West for the trip of their young lives–an expedition to Yellowstone National Park.  The students are high school juniors who participate in programs at the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center,   which uses the arts and other programs to help at-risk students stay in school, graduate and launch careers.
      The students were selected for the week-long trip via a rigorous process that included a five-page application, written essays, and a review of the students’ records for dependability, commitment and teamwork. They had to commit to two months of preparation starting with a mandatory parent meeting, hikes, a Skype meeting with the Yellowstone Foundation, and an outfitting session for equipment and clothing to meet the needs of challenging environments. 
      The Yellowstone experience will include hiking, preparing healthy meals and team-building. The students will study geology, wildlife management, and  proper nutrition for active lifestyles.  They’ll take advantage of their time in one of the most beautiful places in the world to hone their photography skills. They’ll keep journals with drawings and personal observations, and will summarize trip highlights in a daily blog.
     For one of the team-building exercises, the CATC students will share the task of hiking up one of the steepest terrains at Yellowstone, carrying 15-pound ceramic egg, engraved with their names and created by CATC ceramic instructor Jamie Rahe.
     CATC plans to measure the impact that this type of opportunity can have on future academic and behavioral performance. “We already know that the vast majority of students who participate in our programs will graduate,” said CATC CEO Clara Martin.  “We chose high school juniors for this trip to see how much impact we can have when we raise the bar with an opportunity like this.” All of the students committed to returning to CATC for their senior year. 
Based on performance and demonstration of leadership skills during the Yellowstone expedition, up to two CATC students might be selected to return to Yellowstone next year as ambassadors for another group of students. 
     “The Park Journeys program is designed to cultivate curiosity and inquiry by challenging students to see themselves and the world around them through a different lens,” said Park Journeys CEO Michelle Parolini. “What an amazing world we would live in if our kids were unafraid to take risks that challenge their boundaries!”
     The trip is made possible through a partnership among Park Journeys, Yellowstone Park Foundation, Yellowstone Association and the National Parks Service. Park Journeys is a youth development organization that is currently working with the National Center for Arts and Technology and its affiliated centers such as CATC. 
     About the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center
The Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center (CATC) is a non-profit (501c3) entity which, in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), uses the arts and other programs to keep at-risk students in school, enabling them to graduate, and preparing them for success in life. CATC is patterned after the highly successful Manchester Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh, and is a model for national replication of programs that use the arts to help children succeed. For more information about CATC, to donate or to sponsor a child, people are invited to visit https://cincinnatiartsandtechnologycenter.org/ or call (513) 562-5500. 
     About Park Journeys
Park Journeys is a non-profit youth development organization whose mission is to educate, energize, and empower urban and rural youth through an immersion in its core concepts of wellness, arts & technology and civic engagement centered on direct experience in America’s National Parks. For more information about Park Journeys, or to donate toward a future trip, please contact Michelle Parolini at (412) 310-8234.
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