The Influence of Alzar School

Alzar School | 09.12.20

What is the influence of the Alzar School semester experience? There are a plethora of metrics we can point to that demonstrate the effects of spending a semester of high school at Alzar School. For example, we know student GPA tends to improve after Alzar School and that student Culminating Leadership Projects serve people in need all across the country. However, it is in our alumni’s stories of transformation that the influence of Alzar School truly shines through. The following are excerpts from several alumni college admissions essays that tell these stories:

Sarah out snowshoeing.

“While I can point on a map and show how many miles I paddled, hiked, or skied, there is no way to quantify just how much I learned. I learned to take my time, to be aware of the present. I learned that Chilean candy is better than anything I have ever eaten. I learned that confidence can enable one to do both the extraordinary and mundane, to traverse a rock face and to talk to someone new. The adventures etched into my mind taught me to trust wherever the road or river may take me, and to meet whatever lies ahead with an open heart and an open mind.”

– Sarah Chang, Spring 2017 alumna

Jack in the Owyhees.

“I left Alzar feeling like an adult. I moved 1400 miles away from home. I met physical, emotional, and academic challenges, and though at times it was hard, I prevailed. For a kid who always wanted to follow his heart and have adventures, I found a way to do that, while handling the responsibilities of a man. My experience at the Alzar School has made my transition from childhood a great adventure.”

– Jack Davine, Spring 2016 alumnus

“My semester away from home has shaped who I am today. I learned to roll a kayak, chop firewood, and live in a small community with twenty-three other students from around the world. But, I also learned how to handle adversity, stress, and challenges. I now speak up in difficult situations, take risks, and embrace challenges all so I may continue to grow into a mature, confident, and successful young adult. I learned to roll myself back up during my semester at Alzar School and it marked my transition into adulthood.”

– Emma Scott Singletary, Fall 2015 alumna

Chay backpacking in Idaho.

“Alzar School forever changed me and allowed me to blossom into the person that I am today. For that, I am eternally grateful that I made the decision to do something that seemed so unlike me, because it turned me into the best version of myself.”

– Chadaeveyia Robinson, Fall 2018 alumna

“Alzar School developed my skills as an outdoors enthusiast, as a communicative and inspiring leader, and as a lifelong student not only in academics but in every aspect of my life. Education and learning does not stop outside of the classroom, it travels with me every step I take in life.”

– Mahaile Hill, Fall 2015 alumna

This is only a small sample of the transformational experiences (and college essay topics) Alzar School has generated. It is through these stories that the influence and mission of Alzar School can be clearly seen — we are changing young lives and building leaders who positively impact the world.