Road School 2017

$6,177 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 62 people in 20 months
UPDATE:  Through incredible generosity, we have a van, a laptop, a plan and are ready to hit the road!  We need to raise $1300 more dollars to make this plan a reality.  Thank you for your generous donation and all your well wishes and blessings.  
This Spring, my son announced that he had two life goals: quitting school and living in a van.  His love of learning has been with him from infancy, but ever since 6th grade, he’s slowly and progressively been losing interest in school. Over the past four years, I’ve watched the light go out of his eyes while in the traditional educational system.

By April, things had spiraled rapidly downward; my son was depressed, uninspired and feeling powerless to change his life.  Uncharacteristically, he wasn’t getting up in the morning, he was isolating from friends and was refusing to go to school.  I had no idea what to do or how to help him.  Finally, at a crisis point, Harlan opened up to me.  What I heard more than anything was that he really and truly doesn’t want to go back to school and wants to “drop out”.

As I listened to him, I had an “Aha!” moment.  What if we “Dropped In” and hit the road?  What if we took this Fall Semester of 2017 and he got to live and learn in real time, in the real world, seeing life through the eyes of a traveler?  As a mother, I knew I needed to act quickly to come up with a creative solution that might serve to inspire my son into not giving up.  Since nothing traditional has worked (and we’ve tried it all), I wanted to come up with an out-of-the-box learning opportunity that would spark his innate curiosity.   

Without knowing exactly how I could pull it off, I proposed the idea of living on the road this Fall to Harlan.   Almost instantly, like pumping a bicycle tire with air, I watched him come back to life.  He became motivated and finished 9th grade.  He joined a gym and is working out daily.  He’s working with an inspiring mentor who is teaching him about meditation and healthy living.  We’re training for our first Sprint Triathlon in October.  He has a summer job and is saving money for the trip.  We’re working with an educational consultant to design a personalized curriculum for Harlan while on the road.  Our plan is to travel from Vancouver down to Baja from late August through December.

Since I have announced our decision to hit the road this August, miracles are happening.  People are reaching out with places to stay, well wishers are offering words of support, and we are packing up and moving out of our home on July 31!    Finances are an issue.  I’m a single mom navigating work, life, and parenting two teenagers, the oldest of which is heading off to college in September. 

I am asking for $1,300 to help with our costs this Fall.  

Donations will go toward:

Online Educational Consultant
School Supplies
Educational Experiences (e.g. Museums, State Parks)

Gas $$

NOTE:  5% of what we receive in donations will go to Pacific Sands Academy , a program that offers an accredited, interest-led, passion-driven independent studies program for teens and adults.  This money will help families afford an alternative choice for children who may be struggling with the traditional educational system.

I’m a grief counselor.  I work with people who have lost a loved one and are navigating life without the person they love.  I have teenagers.  I know angst.  I have lost family members to suicide.  I have close relatives that struggle with clinical depression.  I know life is short.  And mysterious and powerful and awe-inspiring.  I know that I love my son with all my heart and will do anything within my power - anything - to help him get the light back in his beautiful brown eyes.  And yes, that means even asking for money, something I've been raised never to do.

They say it takes a village and I am humbly thanking you for being part of ours.  Bless your generous hearts!
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Hello dear supporters and angels who made Road School 2017 possible. This is my last update as I go to close our Go Fund Me. This is not a plea for money. This is a "Thank You!" for giving my son and I the gift of time. Time to be together, time to be away, time to enjoy the moment without a pressing schedule, time to be alive and on an adventure.

Last year at this exact time, my son was struggling to find reasons for hope and barely making it to school. I was beside myself with concern and fear.

This year Harlan is back in school (at a small, alternative high school in Boulder), getting all A's and enthusiastic about his music - he is now playing guitar, bass, drums and recently has taken up piano. He is driving a VW van and I can't help but flash back to our months behind the wheel, navigating the road and all the invitations along the way to choose our course.

Eleven days after I returned our Sprinter van in Seattle, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It was quite a shock. One of the things that flashed through my mind when I heard the news was how glad I was that I had been able to spend the past three months with my son. We never actually ever know how much time we have, do we? The other thing I thought was how grateful I am to have this solid, mature relationship with my son now. I had to let him know the news and he was concerned and supportive - in a way that gave me a window into how he will be as an adult. Somebody to lean on in a crisis.

In January I underwent surgery and am now cancer free - it has felt like a miraculous journey from start to finish. I am here in California regaining my strength and taking it day by day. Harlan is with his father this semester and thriving in CO.

These pictures are from my vist last month. Thank you all for making a difference in our life - not just my son's, but mine. I am forever grateful. L'Chaim! (To Life!)
Harlan driving his own van!
Beautiful Boulder Day
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Here's a bonus blog post Thank you for helping to make this journey possible. With love and gratitude. https://roadschool2017.com/
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Here's our Weeks 7, 8 &9 update! Thank you for helping to make this journey possible. With love and gratitude. https://roadschool2017.com/
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Here's our week 6 update. Thank you for helping to make this journey possible. With love and gratitude. https://roadschool2017.com/
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$6,177 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 62 people in 20 months
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