Outward Bound Atlanta and North Carolina Outward Bound recently co-hosted “An Extraordinary Evening with Outward Bound” reception at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation headquarters in Atlanta for local stakeholders and supporters. The evening was marked by moving presentations from a parent, a student and a school administrator, all of whom have seen and felt the power of Outward Bound programs. More than 100 key stakeholders gathered to learn more about Outward Bound’s impact in this region. Carolyn Wood and her son, Grady High student Daniel Wilco, made a joint presentation to share the impact of Outward Bound programming from the perspective of a student and parent. Jeffrey Brown Jr., a senior at The New Schools at Carver, has been involved with OB for the past three years. Due to Brown’s outstanding leadership, he won a wilderness scholarship for a 21-day course in the North Carolina mountains this past summer. (See related story here.)
Brown told the audience that OB has helped him succeed in life. Dr. Darian Jones, principal at The New Schools at Carver, made a powerful statement on how OB has helped him transform the culture of his entire school. Dr. Jones stated, “I would like to let you know I am extremely biased because in five and a half years over 400 students and every staff has been through OB programming and it has enabled us to quickly and intentionally transform our students and staff.”
City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, a longtime supporter of Outward Bound Atlanta, opened the event and welcomed attendees on behalf of Mayor Kasim Reed and the council. The reception marked the first of a series of “One School” weekend activities, co-hosted by North Carolina Outward Bound and Outward Bound Atlanta. The weekend concluded with a Blue Peter Tailgate Party outside the Georgia Dome where the Atlanta Falcons played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Approximately 60 supporters joined Outward Bound in cheering the Falcons on to victory. The Falcons are donating a portion of proceeds purchased from the game’s group ticket sales to Outward Bound Atlanta programs.
“We are so pleased with the momentum this past weekend generated for both our parent organization in North Carolina Outward Bound and of course Outward Bound Atlanta,” said OBA Advisory Board Chair David Sibilsky, who is Georgia-Pacific’s senior director of national distribution sales. “We serve students of all ages whether it is through professional development programs for businesses or school-based programs.”
Key attendees included Jim Kennedy, Bernadette Carter Jones, James Dalton, Rufus Dalton, Thomas and Elizabeth Pritchard, John Turner, executive director of the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism; Charmaine Ward, director of community affairs for Georgia-Pacific; Danny Shoy, program director of the East Lake Foundation; Doug Blackmon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
“We truly are grateful for the enormous support we received from the metro Atlanta community this past weekend,” said Ron Skeete, Executive Director of Outward Bound Atlanta. “And we continue to see the long-lasting, positive effects OBA has on the lives of thousands of young people as well as professionals throughout the city and region.”