The Adventure Of A Lifetime

Poverty is a bear. Its impact on students is both obvious and subtle. The effects of food scarcity, housing instability, and insufficient access to medical and dental care are clear...Poverty also brings an increased exposure to violence, which further shapes student behavior directly and indirectly in complicated and often counter-productive ways. Another characteristic of poverty is living under constant stress, which research is beginning to show has a wide range of negative cognitive, physical, emotional, and mental health effects.

~ Dr. Robert Balfanz, Overcoming The Poverty Challenge


By providing scholarships to local youth living below the poverty line — scholarships to participate in outdoor education and adventure-based wilderness expeditions — The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) interrupts multiple negative impacts and inserts positive and productive impressions to a very high-risk population right here in Wilmington nd the surrounding communities. 

Dropout rates of students who come from low-income families are seven times higher than those from families above the poverty line. The latest figures for North Carolina alone indicate that 16,804 students dropped out of school in 2009-2010. And according to the latest Census Bureau data available, at least 6,300 youth under the age of 18 in New Hanover County fall below the federal poverty line. Even closer to home, in March 2014, 48% of the student body enrolled in New Hanover Public Schools received free or reduced lunch. 

Presently there are more than 700 local kids who qualify as homeless (as defined by the McKinney Vento Act) in New Hanover County.

Poverty and dropout rates are inextricably linked. Children living in poverty have a higher number of absenteeism or leave school all together. 

NCOAE — which I am proud to be affiliated with — offers open enrollment and custom outdoor expeditions that have been shown to have a positive impact on participants’ critical thinking, interpersonal relationships, and civic and environmental responsibility… all of which helps our local kids excel academically and become great local citizens.

The students that apply for NCOAE scholarships are actively looking for change and are also looking for the adventure of a lifetime. In order to continue to offer these scholarships and leverage funds from other supporters, NCOAE needs to raise $12,000 by June 1, 2015. I myself have committed an initial contribution of $300.00 to the cause, and I invite to you do the same.  I will also continue to make contributions to this cause over the next few months because I see how much of a difference this program makes.

NCOAE is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, so all donations are considered charitable and are therefore tax deductible.

You can learn more about this great local organization and the wonderful kids they serve by visiting But if you have any questions, just give me a call. I serve on the organization’s Board of Directors and have agreed to lead the charge on rising the $12k by June 1.

*The students seen in this video are not necessary scholarship recipients.


  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 64 mos
  • Marisa Donlin 
    • $25 
    • 65 mos
  • Johnny Adair 
    • $25 
    • 65 mos
  • Mary Anne Russo 
    • $15 
    • 66 mos
  • Mikal Belicove 
    • $100 
    • 66 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Troy Williamson 
Wilmington, NC
Zac Adair 
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