Adventure-Based GAP YEAR for Young Adults with Learning & Attention Issues
WHY GAP YEAR?
According to the Gap Year Association, Gap Year participants indicate that their experience helped them develop as a person, allowed them time to reflect, increased their maturity, increased their self-confidence, and helped them learn to interact with others.*
After completing high school, an accomplishment that for some students has been filled with challenges, the idea of taking on another two to four years of school or committing to a specific career path can be overwhelming. On top of that, students with learning challenges may be dealing with delayed maturity, poor executive functioning skills, and a lack of independence needed to successfully venture out on their own. A gap year provides time for young adults to gain life experiences, become more aware of their personal strengths, and focus on setting goals for their future. *Based on the 2015 National Alumni Survey with the Institute for Survey Research, Temple University, and the GYA Research Committee.
BENEFITS OF TAKING A GAP YEAR Clarify career interests & goals Renew passion for academic coursework & learning Gain a sense of maturity & confidence Discover interests & passions, prior to committing to college or a job
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS of the GAP YEAR at SOAR Develop executive functioning skills Create systems for success based on challenges associated with ADHD or LD Learning from a group of similar peers Direct mentoring through high staff to participant ratio SOARWY.ORG | 828-456-3435
Improving job prospects by gaining practical workplace experience
The GAP Year at SOAR is designed for young adults, ages 18-24, experiencing a diagnosis of ADHD, LD, High Functioning ASD, and/or generally struggling with executive functioning. All Gappers have graduated from High School or obtained their GED, and some have attempted college and discovered they are not prepared. Ideal candidates are ready to leave home and are willing to try something new, but they often lack the skills or motivation to function independently. While participants may be reluctant about this new transition, they must want to be part of the program for it to be a beneficial and successful experience.
Quick Facts Dubois, WY Ages
18-24 20% Have Some College Experience 8 Months 48% Pursue Higher Education Post Gap Year SOARWY.ORG | 828-456-3435
Based on 2014-2016 participants.
Gappers participate in a flexible schedule of over 40 life skills classes. Topics are structured around The Life Success Attributes which have been developed and researched by the Frostig Center as key factors in success for young adults with learning & attention challenges. Skills gained include self-awareness, identifying strengths, executive functioning, budgeting, healthy eating/cooking, and many more. Life skills classes provide participants with resources to fall back on as they meet challenges beyond SOAR. Skills are then practiced throughout the program in a format that speaks to their learning style and needs.
LIFE at EAGLE VIEW RANCH Situated on 53 acres at an elevation of 8,000 feet, Eagle View Ranch is tucked into the mountainside of the Wind River Range, overlooking the DuNoir Valley and the Absaroka Mountains that stretch into Yellowstone. Participants share a bedroom and bathroom with 1-2 roommates and share common areas with the entire group. This setting allows Gappers to experience real-life responsibilities in a real-life settingâ€”interacting with peers, cooking meals, doing laundry, and organizing their space.
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Experiential Learning Expedition planning taps into the world of Executive Functioning. Gappers are responsible for researching travel destinations and developing the schedule. They then make phone calls, set up reservations, work with a budget, and plan the gear and food needed for the expeditions.
Participants decide and plan where their expeditions will take them. This gives them ownership of the experience and makes each year new and unique. The destinations are open to much of the western United States and also include one international trip in the spring. The group will have the opportunity to explore local areas such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Thermopolis hot springs, and Sinks Canyon. Previous participants have adventured through the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, the desert southwest, and the awe inspiring Rocky Mountains. Activities have included rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, hiking, caving, snorkeling, surfing, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL During the spring Semester, Gappers say goodbye to the western US and head to Central America for their international trip. International travel allows participants to see the world from another perspective, making it a staple of the gap year experience. Gappers spend two weeks exploring and adventuring in Belize or Costa Rica. During this time, they are exposed to different cultures, new routines, and a different way of living life. These travels are some of the most memorable and beneficial experiences that will impact their lives moving forward. SOARWY.ORG | 828-456-3435
Gappers participate in a volunteer internship in an area they are interested in pursuing or a topic they are passionate about. They are responsible for seeking out these opportunities, setting up interviews, and securing the position. Each participant will walk away with a performance review and a potential reference. These experiences give participants the chance to develop new workplace skills, gain on the job experience, and grow both personally and professionally. Previous placements have been the Absaroka Tannery, the Boys and Girls Club, the National Big Horn Sheep Center, the Dubois Museum, Warm Valley Lodge Assisted Living Facility, and the Dubois Fish Hatchery.
TESTIMONIALS “The Gap Year at SOAR made me more confident. It makes you realize what you can do. It makes you realize you are stronger than you think and your abilities as a person are stronger than you believe. It gives you a chance to try new things you may not get to do in your lifetime.” —Daniel, 2016-2017
SOARWY.ORG | 828-456-3435
“I chose to participate in a gap year because I realized that I needed to learn how to live independently and not always have to rely on my parents. I decided that doing a gap year would help. Thanks to this decision, I am now in better shape to further my horizons...I am much better at dealing with every day struggles than I was before the gap year program.” —Emily, 2015-2016
All Gappers will enroll in three college courses through Central Wyoming College. These courses include Workforce Readiness, Student Success, and Personal Finance, totaling four credit hours over two semesters. A major goal of these classes is to allow Gappers to become more familiar with the college setting should that be something they want to pursue in the future. While on expeditions, Gappers will also visit colleges to learn more about the admissions process and what accommodations are available for students with learning challenges.
HOW TO APPLY APPLICATION PROCESS: 1. Call us at 828-456-3435 We look forward to learning more about your family and helping you decide if SOAR is the best fit. 2. Apply online at soarwy.org A $100 application fee is required. You will be asked to submit any recent assessments. 3. Plan a visit We love for families to visit our program prior to attending. We do understand this is not always possible, so we will arrange a phone conversation with your family and our Program Director if you are unable to visit in person.
GENERAL PROGRAM DATES:
Specific start and end dates change each year and can be found online, but the program generally runs from Early September through Late April.
SOARWY.ORG | 828-456-3435
Contact us at 828-456-3435 to learn more.
SOAR is an accredited summer camp, boarding school, and gap year program serving youth & young adults with learning & attention issues in locations across the country. Created in 1977 by an adult with learning disabilities, SOAR provides fun and successful experiences so that participants may gain a greater awareness of their own strengths and build self-confidence. Campers, Students, and Gappers are challenged in a variety of adventure activities and stretched beyond their comfort zone with lessons learned from these experiences related back to other aspects of their lives. Through these incredible outdoor adventures, participants make new friendships, build self-confidence, and develop life skills. Join us on the journey to success!
OTHER SOAR PROGRAMS
FEATURED in OUTSIDE MAGAZINE
SOAR offers adventure-based summer camps for youth & young adults ages 8-24. With courses in NC, WY, FL, CA, NY, and Internationally, campers build friendships, increase self-confidence, and develop life skills through incredible outdoor adventures. Our summer camps are accredited by the American Camp Association. Learn more at soarnc.org/soar-courses
The Academy at SOAR is an accredited boarding school for grades 7-12 that offers a unique combination of academics, adventure, and life skills development to help prepare students academically, socially, and emotionally for adulthood.
â€œADHD is Fuel for Adventureâ€?
Learn more at soarnc.org/academy
Read the full article at outsideonline.com/adhd SOARNC.ORG SOARWY.ORG || 828-456-3435 828-456-3435
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