Over the past two summers, The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) has received a total of nearly $9,000 from Island Women, Inc., a group of savvy, talented and passionate women who live in nearby Pleasure Island, N.C. Island Women is a not-for-profit organization that’s on a mission to enhance the quality of life on Pleasure Island, which is located just five minutes south of NCOAE’s headquarters facilities in Wilmington.
The generous donation (totaling $8,874) was designated by the local group to be used in NCOAE’s not-for-profit subsidiary, Education Without Walls — an outdoor- and adventure-based program that provides academic and life skill guidance for high school kids living at or below the Federal Poverty Level. The end goal of our program is to motivate and support low-income students in identifying and achieving their potential.
Among many other commitments, Island Women promotes education, cultural expression, and mentoring among women. In our case, Island Women’s members were interested in our Education Without Walls program after NCOAE Co-Founder Celine Adair was invited to address the organization in the summer of 2016.
Celine described how the majority of our Education Without Walls participants have not led easy lives, with few coming home each night to both biological parents. Many live with single mothers or fathers, while others live with a grandparent, an older brother or sister, or are being cared for by foster parents.
Many have even experienced the loss of family members to suicide, drugs, incarceration, and despair. Of course, many of those who are in charge of these youngsters suffer their own issues and tragedies, making them unable to provide even the briefest respite or relief from the poverty these youngsters experience on a daily basis. Most of these kids tell us they have never enjoyed so much as a family “road trip” or a weekend camping adventure.
And that’s where Education Without Walls comes into focus, by providing effective personal and academic growth experiences through outdoor education. In short, professionally managed and guided outdoor & experiential education experiences have been proven to mitigate a multitude of negative impacts and instead, provide positive and productive impressions to high risk youngsters.
As a result of that chat before a group of 50 to 60 ladies that summer day in 2016, Island Women voted to support our Education Without Walls program in both 2017 and 2018.
Over the past two years, local middle and high school students have enjoyed summer adventures that go far beyond their expectations, and it’s all made possible in part because of the generous grants from Island Women.
We are so fortunate that Island Women’s members chose to focus some of their efforts on local kids and education, as doing so has made a world of difference through the offering of life-changing outdoor experiences for youth who often them the most.
If you would like to learn more about Island Woman, visit their website at IslandWomen.org.
If you would like to support the next generation of talented and promising youth from low income families in identifying and achieving their potential, then please contact our Co-founder and Director of Operations, Celine Adair at our national headquarters (910-399-8090) or drop her note by email using celine at ncoae dot org. Education Without Walls teens participate in multi-day adventures that introduced them to kayaking on the Cape Fear River, surfing at Carolina Beach, rock climbing in Pilot Mountain State Park, mountaineering in Pisgah National Forest, backpacking in Uwharrie National Forest and paddling along the French Broad River.