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ASAP students learn more on trust through field trip to Parkway North

Chris Bass, Staff Writer

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Halfway up, junior Rodney Boyd attempts to clear the rock-climbing wall. Though difficult, the wall was not Boyd’s ultimate test. “Everything else I did was scary, but they were easy,” Boyd said. “Climbing up the tower and looking down at people was by far the scariest thing I did there.”

Members of the African-American Student Acceleration Program (ASAP) participated in a high ropes course at Parkway North High School on Oct 20. The group aims to help young African American students pursue a higher education and as a means of team building. Usual for persuading higher academics to young African Americans, ASAP wanted to build on the new friendships between each other as their was a mixture of veteran and new ASAP members from all grade levels.

“One of the goals was for the group to get a chance to have some community with each other, develop teamwork and rely on each other,” counselor Carly Roach said.

ASAP students, like senior Gabrielle Thompson, got a chance to take the day to connect and build partnerships with other schoolmates that they hardly even knew.

“I recognized some familiar faces, but it was my first time meeting some of them, mainly because they were underclassmen,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day, I think we all bonded and respected one another over the obstacles we faced and overcame.”

The field trip consisted of physical and mental challenges and courses that tested each member’s determination, communication skills and trust. Students on the ground would take part in belaying, which is a rope technique many climbers use so that a falling climber won’t fall very far.

“It felt good to have people relying on me and not be let down,” senior Atajio Ivy said. “This definitely helped us begin to trust each other.”

A handful of students faced another obstacle–the fear of heights. One of the main obstacles that stood in the way of ASAP members was the 35 foot high “Leap of Faith” which had students climb their way up to the top of the pole before jumping off.

“In that moment, during the leap of faith, I don’t think I was prepared for it. If I’d fell, I had thought that no one would catch me,” junior Harmauhny Faulkner said. “I went on and jumped off of everything else with no worries and to me it felt easier to do so.”

The ASAP students managed to cooperate with one another in an effort to achieve the ultimate goal of building a community within their group.

“We were overwhelmed to see all of them in action and how they all stepped up into various roles throughout the day. Some became more of the ‘cheerleaders’, [and] some took the huge leadership roles of the belayers on the ground, then coached others how to do it! Many faced their fears and did things they never thought they’d do,” senior class Principal Dr. Kate Piffel said. “Overall, it was an amazing day, and we will definitely go back.

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ASAP students learn more on trust through field trip to Parkway North