I work for a program located in Maine, but I am not from New England. I’m a southerner, born and raised in North Carolina. In the summer of 2014, I packed up my things (and family) and moved from North Carolina to the White Mountains of New England for the very purpose of working for Summit Achievement as the Admissions Director. It is not uncommon for me to be asked why.
As an outdoor enthusiast, could it be that I wanted to live somewhere that has four real seasons, both Alpine and Nordic skiing, amazing hiking, and beautiful coastline? Well that didn’t hurt. Truthfully, after years of experience working in admissions, I realized that to do my job well and love doing it, the program I represented had to compliment my own passions and beliefs. Due to my personal love of the wilderness along with my background in adventure guiding and working at a therapeutic boarding school, it was very intriguing for me to learn that there was a wilderness therapy program that offered exciting adventure-based expeditions along with a truly individualized and supportive school. Better yet, they were looking for a new Admissions Director. Could that be me?
When you take a job in Admissions, an important question to ask yourself is, “Can I represent this program with integrity, passion and confidence?” I flew to Maine to find out.
When I came to Summit Achievement for the first time, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful setting. I was impressed by the unique hybrid model which offered both school and wilderness, the twenty years of successful programming and outcomes, the compassionate staff, and the commitment of the students. I met staff who had been with the program for over a decade and still loved what they did. Many of the students expressed newfound confidence and a gratitude for the program in which they were participating in. As for other important details, the gear the students were outfitted with was top-notch, the food was tasty and nutritious, the campus was clean and orderly, and the students were clearly well cared for.
It was time to ask the question. Could I represent this program? In the end, my answer was yes.
Making the move to New England certainly came with its own adjustments, yet it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I have the honor of being part of a unique program and a dynamic team. I am also privileged to meet each family I work with in admissions, and witness the results of our program first hand. As a bonus, I get to live in the beautiful White Mountains, where my family and I seek out our own adventures as often as we can.