|3 Jan 2023
Arcadia students will soon get into nature to get outside of their comfort zone following receipt of a two-year grant of $75,000 to create a partnership with Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) as part of a new leadership program.
The foundation wishes to remain anonymous but has a strong philanthropic advocate at Arcadia, which led to this support for the University. Through this relationship, the foundation expressed an interest in seeing Arcadia student participation in POBS. Arcadia’s Civic and Global Engagement was the best choice to oversee the program. Alison LaLond Wyant, EdD, Executive Director of Civic and Global Engagement, is always looking for ways to expand student access to opportunities outside of the classroom. “In this department, we want students to explore the off-campus world and to bring their own lived experiences to bear on their education at Arcadia.”
However, LaLond Wyant first had some research to do. “Before we proceeded to grant submission for this two-year $75,000 grant,” she recalls, “we wanted to make sure that POBS’ mission and values aligned with Arcadia. Sure enough, they do.”
POBS is a non-profit experiential education organization that since 1992 has, “…delivered challenging outdoor learning programs that embrace Outward Bound's mission of changing lives through challenge and discovery.”
Participation in POBS means overcoming outdoor trials to grow in problem solving, teamwork, and leadership development. POSB states that, “By conquering their own challenges, participants discover their true potential and realize they are capable of more than they ever imagined.”
The foundation was also interested in students building relationships across lines of difference that would influence their development as leaders. This is exactly what Arcadia seeks to provide to all students. “This grant allows us to build upon something we already do instead of creating a new leadership program,” LaLond Wyant said. “We knew this program could fit into the existing Arcadia student experience where it would be a great addition to START.”
START (Students Taking Active Responsibility Together), is a pre-orientation (i.e., pre-Welcome Week) student experience for some first-year students to find others with similar interests and goals, expand their global mindset, and explore the local communities of Glenside and Philadelphia.
Arcadia will launch a POBS pilot program in spring 2023 to determine best practices, but the framework is already in place. “POBS will be built into the START framework and expand on it,” LaLond Wyant said. “This grant helps us do more with START beyond the beginning of the student-experience, and helps the students build those deeper relationships.”
LaLond Wyant is quick to express her gratitude to the foundation for seeing the possibilities for this exciting addition to the Arcadia student experience. “We are so thankful for the opportunity to expand our current offerings to help students build their leadership capacity and forge relationships across lines of difference.”
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