Friday, December 20, 2019

Katahdin talks series reaches high altitudes

The Katahdin Program, an alternative program which features therapeutic adventure components for high school students in RSU14 launched its “Katahdin Talks” series this week with the incredible story of Bill Yeo’s climb of Mount Everest. Yeo is from Durham, ME.

Yeo shared with students all about his journey to get to Mount Everest, his experience on the mountain, why he chose not to go to the final summit, and so much more. Yeo engaged students with his stories of adventure in the mountains, but also spoke to the life skills and mentality that every student can strive to take with them on any adventure they choose.

Bill Yeo sharing his experiences with the students
After hearing from Yeo, students had an opportunity to ask questions and a couple were even able to sit down with him for a recorded session about his experience.

In response to a question regarding how he dealt with the danger of climbing Mount Everest, Bill Yeo shared that “The more often you are exposed to risky environments, the more conditioned you are to those environments”. He also stated how this can be dangerous, because “you don’t think things seem dangerous”.

When asked about how to follow in his footsteps, Yeo simply said, “Start setting some goals.” He followed that up with encouraging students to ask, “what are the steps I need to take on the way to that goal?”

Yeo encouraged the students who attended not to be dissuaded from pursuing their goals and passions, but to work hard for them, saying, “If you have the desire to do something, you can do anything you want to do.”

Katahdin Talks is a series presented by the Katahdin Program that brings in speakers with a variety of experiences to share with high school students, both those in the Katahdin Program as well as in Windham High School.

When asked why he created the Katahdin Talks series, Dr. Rod Nadeau, Katahdin Adventure Based Counselor, RSU14 said, “It's essentially our version of TED talks - A time and place for intellectual sparks to fly as we learn about new topics of interest.  The mission of Katahdin Talks is to help generate intellectual curiosity and enrich our academics by providing a time and place for students and staff to expand our learning through lecture and dialogue.  Although we've invited some well-known folks, my hope is staff and students will also volunteer as guest speakers to enhance our learning community.”

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