REACH is an experiential education program for motivated high school students from California’s Santa Barbara County that prepares them to take control of their future. REACH (which stands for Resilience, Education, Adventure, Community and Health) works to prepare students for lives of purposeful action, continuous learning, and the courageous pursuit of opportunity.
Students are accepted during their sophomore year in high school and remain in the program for 4 years, generally through their second year of post-secondary education. Students begin their program by participating in a summer of outdoor adventure education, full of activities such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing or canoeing. Then, during the school year, students participate in programming that focuses on skill building opportunities for high school and post secondary education, career exploration, outdoor adventure education, personal development, food and financial literacy, and community involvement.
By participating in this program, students commit to themselves, their families and REACH that they are willing to put in the time and energy to explore their potential and strive to achieve their goals.
- We believe that if young people are given the opportunity to try new things in a supportive group environment, great lessons can be learned. It is our role to connect students with such opportunities, but it is the students’ responsibility to seize the opportunity and to make the most of it.
- We believe that supporting students to explore new ideas, skills and environments will strengthen their character and their ability to overcome life’s challenges.
- We believe that students will rise to meet high standards.
- We believe that students learn best through experience, by trying out new skills for themselves. We call this Experiential Education.
- We value open and honest communication.
- We believe that focused time together creates important bonds of friendship, connection and learning.
- We operate as a team, with parents/guardians, counselors and teachers, to support students through the transition into adulthood.
- We believe it is important for students to make commitments and stick to them. We are willing to invest significant amounts of time, knowledge and resources into each of our students. In return, we expect students to give back to others, make the world a better place in their own way, and always give their best.