A North Carolina television news station has run a colorful three-minute segment called “Extraordinary People,” that highlights our very own co-founder and executive director, Zac Adair (video footage from the segment appears at the end of today’s post).
Daniel Seamans, evening anchor correspondent for WWAY TV3, put the cameras on Zac and The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education in the Extraordinary Person of the Week portion of the network affiliate’s evening news. WWAY TV3 is the ABC, CBS and CW-affiliated television station in Wilmington, owned by Morris Network, Inc.
Entitled “Blind Ambition,” the veteran correspondent interviewed Zac as well as a half-dozen students in our Education Without Walls (EWW) program, NCOAE’s year-round adventure education program for highly motivated and ambitious youth who have significant financial needs.
The news station called the segment ‘Blind Ambition” because Zac lost the majority of his sight when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car back in 2003. The accident did little to slow this veteran surfer, whitewater rafting guide, rock climber, and outdoor program visionary and business manager. Today he is totally blind in one eye and has less than 2 percent vision remaining in his other eye.
Nonetheless, on a near-daily basis, you can find Zac in the surfline or halfway up a steep cliffside trail, all the while serving as the administrative head and leader of one of the nation’s most promising young and AEE-accredited outdoor education organizations.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, the idea behind Education Without Walls is to foster growth and development of youth living at or below the Federal Poverty Line. We do that by fostering curiosity, facilitating critical thinking initiatives and, of course, creating lifelong memories through outdoor and experiential education.
Utilizing the wilderness as a classroom, participating students take part in monthly two- to four-day outdoor education expeditions with the option of a multi-week summer expedition. These adventures include such activities as rock climbing, surfing, mountaineering, backpacking and sea kayaking.
The six students highlighted in the television segment alongside Zac and NCOAE’s co-founder Celine Adair, are among 10 students participating in a three-week trip of a lifetime in Alaska this summer. Zac tells the camera that these kids are going to land in Anchorage, get on a bush flight, and head deep into the backcountry where they will be dropped off with NCOAE’s wilderness instructors. Three weeks later, the plane will return to bring them back to civilization.
While on their Alaskan adventure, the students will clear trails, remove bear fences, and clean up a mining site alongside a team of National Park Services (NPS) personnel, including an NPS archaeologist.
To view the news segment and hear Zac and his students describe their experiences, please watch the video below: