The Walden Project-NY: Year Two

The Walden Project - New York is a full-time "high school in the woods." Students spend a year stepping back from society to consider the same three questions that guided Henry David Thoreau's sojourn to Walden Pond: What is my relationship to myself?, What is my relationship to my culture?, and What is my relationship to the natural world?.  This is an opportunity for our students to leave the usual pressures of high school to explore who they are and what really matters in life. Some of our students struggled in school and desperately needed an alternative; others were doing fine in the conventional setting, but were searching for a deeper learning experience than what school could offer.

The Walden Project began in Vermont in the year 2000, and has since been praised by NPR News as one of the most innovative high schools in the country. For twenty years, their results have shown that students who attend The Walden Project are 30-50% more likely to attend college after graduation than their peers from the same high school. Additionally, almost 100% of alumni state that The Walden Project had a positive impact on their lives and provided an educational opportunity they could not have had in the classroom.

The Walden Project-New York began in 2018. In its first year, all of its students report having had a positive experience in the program. Some students are going on to public high school, others are joining the workforce, and some are going to college next year. One student (who had previously dropped out of high school) earned a nearly full scholarship to their first-choice private college based on their success at The Walden Project last year. This student will be the first in their family to attend college, too!

The Walden Project is committed to giving back financial aid to every family who qualifies so that we will never reject a student based on their family's finances. Last year, more than 75% of our students qualified for some level of financial aid. The Walden Project-New York is an independent program; we are not affiliated with any larger funding organization. The financial aid we give back is simply from staff members who are willing to take less.

As this is a radical and experimental school, we rely heavily of community support to keep our program going. We already have more students signed up this school year than last year and we expect our pattern of success to grow steadily in the years to come. Nevertheless, beginning anything new is especially difficult in the first few years.

A donation to this fundraiser helps to ensure this program can continue to thrive in this region, providing a one-of-a-kind educational experience for teenagers to deeply connect with the natural world and their communities, and that The Walden Project will always be accessible to families from all income levels.

We are so grateful for the help we received in our first year and hope you will be willing to make our second year just as successful!

Thank you all for helping us to realize this incredible dream!

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 13 mos
  • C Baker 
    • $20 
    • 13 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 13 mos
  • Christy Dryden 
    • $50 
    • 13 mos
  • Kristin Reisch 
    • $25 
    • 13 mos
See all

Organizer

Andy Webster 
Organizer
Naples, NY
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