What Students Say

2009 Rolling Academy, Miquel Noriega

“When I signed up for Rolling Academy, all I knew was we were going to be away from home for eleven days with out cell phones, I-pods or electronics of any kind. I also knew while on this trip we were going to learn about the Rolling Academy six guiding principles: Community, Communication, Service, Environmental Awareness, Craftsmanship and Leadership. Rolling Academy is defined “To challenge tomorrows leaders through discovery, personal growth, perspective and opportunity.” I strongly believe Rolling Academy did just that and more.

Some of the things that started us on the course of discovery were the unknown places that the academy took us. It expanded our comfort zones way beyond the world we know in Boone. We gained first hand experience in things like coal mining, fighting for nature, rock climbing, working with Amish dairy cows, discovering the fast life of NYC, being on a Coast Guard boat and doing community service at Glen Echo Park. The discovery of these things ties in with personal growth, growing in knowledge and experience. Through climbing, I challenged myself physically and mentally which in the end has made me stronger. When it comes to perspective, the Rolling Academy gave us two sides of every story. It contrasted  the slower paced lives of the Amish with the endless fast life of NYC. We also got a chance to see what other people were doping to make the world a better place life NOAA and the Coast Guard working together.

The Rolling Academy opened opportunities to see the world beyond. I would have never though I would have found myself in any of these situations, but Rolling Academy put us there and made it possible. It opened opportunities that make us more capable of being better leaders of the future.”

2008 Rolling Academy, Camille Zimmerman

“The Rolling Academy has introduced me to many diverse cultures I had never expected to find in America. And meeting the people from these places has shown me humanity in the fisherman and the environmentalist, the wood worker and the Harvard professor. All of these people had extraordinary intelligence and abilities along with a willingness to share their lives and their beliefs with us. Through their friendship and hospitality, I have been taught the lessons of passion, understanding, integrity and curiosity. Witnessing the abrupt and dramatic changes to the lives of fisherman due to the government regulations has proven that nothing is ever black and white. Issues must be explored to be understood. Earl Meredith, an employee of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association as well as our Gloucester tour guide, would continuously speak to us about the need for a life long curiosity and encourage us to explore as many placed, cultures and situations as we could.

We spent two days with Professor Ted Hollingworth at Emerson College in Boston discussing not only problem solving techniques, but also his past careers and education. He conveyed a sense of absolute pride and enjoyment of his job, feelings I can only hope to mirror in my own life.

The community living at the Volentown Peace Trust chose to live below the poverty line to avoid paying war taxes and to live in a simple sustainable environment. Their integrity and willingness to stick to their beliefs showed me a determination that will maintain its inspiration of the rest of my life.

Due to the attention and lessons of the mentors and friends we have met on this trip, I have developed as both a leader and a member of my community.”

2007 Rolling Academy,  Jessica Kennedy

The Rolling Academy helped me in many ways before I came to college, but as a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill, I have
discovered even more positive influences the experience had on my life. One of the most important skills I gained from Rolling Academy was a better understanding of how to easily interact with others. I work for the campus newspaper The Daily Tar Heel and have applied my understanding of interactions each time I receive a photo assignment. Because of Rolling Academy, it is easier and more comfortable to work with the reporters (who are strangers) I am paired with each week. I go into each assignment with an open mind and a wiliness to make compromises for the good of the newspaper. “

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    Presentations of Learning

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    Each expedition concludes with a dinner and presentation for parents, community members and friends. Students work in small groups during the Rolling Academy to complete a photography slide show, video documentary and as individuals deliver speeches documenting their personal learning. The symposium is completely student directed and organized.
    Students reflecting on their last morning. Assateague National Seashore, Maryland


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