AAC Miami’s Palmer Trinity Students Find Their Voice

By Daniela Capistrano, as reported by Leopoldo Llinas, Program Director of Agents of Change | Palmer Trinity School 

The first ever Academy of Agents of Change program in North America recently reached a significant milestone: the 10 students hailing from Palmer Trinity School in Miami, Florida, completed the second module “Finding My Voice,” which provided this newest crop of young leaders with tools for dialogue and communication.

November 6-10, 2014 — Key Largo, Florida

Students traveled five hours by bus to the Canaveral National Seashore in Florida. There, they were greeted by North Carolina Outward Bound instructors and began their adventure.

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The first lesson was about water safety and the basics of canoeing. Students learned about personal flotation devices and the safe way to wear them. Then, instructors explained the different parts of a canoe and a paddle and demonstrated gun whale walking and various paddle strokes.

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Guided by the instructors, students loaded the boats, reviewed paddle strokes and signals and headed to camp, where they set up tents, cooked, and discussed their expectations for the module.

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During the next four days, students took down camp in the morning, prepared meals, participated in group challenges, and navigated to new camp sites.

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Participants began to formulate their own social initiatives while learning important communication skills regarding their interests and listening empathetically to the interests of the other Agents of Change. The Agents of Change took part in several activities aimed at developing communication tools based on empathy and active listening.

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The module was designed to provide tools for dialogue and communication. Instructors encouraged students to find their purpose and align it with existing needs in their surroundings.

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The “Life Stories in the Sand” activity was a perfect opportunity for students to share their personal story. This narrative of past events served for students to find their voice and how to link it back to their community.

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On the last day, students used the newly learned tools to navigate back to base camp.

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This coastal canoeing experience extended into the night and the Agents of Change were rewarded by bioluminescent seas that lit with every stroke of their paddles. At 2:00 am, the group ran 3 miles to reach its final destination.

The module gratified the efforts of the students with spectacular wildlife sightings and moonrises. Daily dolphin and bird sightings, including a roseate spoonbill, made the experience unique.

The Agents of Change learned from each other, worked as a group and grew as human beings.

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About The Academy of Agents of Change

As with our original Galapagos program, The Academy U.S. is designed to uncover the potential of young social entrepreneurs while enabling them to experience personal vision as they become Agents of Change.

Combining Outward Bound and Ashoka’s Youth Venture methodologies, the Academy of Agents of Change program in North America provides scenarios where young individuals develop leadership, personal tools, communication, empathy, and personal development skills. Ultimately, our participants channel their passion into generating important social initiatives that will drive solutions for their communities from the ground up. Learn more here.

Related: The dawn of a new model of change in the sunshine state

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