Stories from the Field

2018 Southern California Student of the Year: Elijah Kirkwood

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We are excited to announce our 2018 Southern California Student of the Year, 8th grade student Elijah Kirkwood! Elijah's all-around positive attitude is amplified in the outdoors and infectious to those around him. He participated in two NatureBridge trips in the past two years. Elijah will be honored at our annual Moving Mountains event in Los Angeles.

NatureBridge really impacted my life by giving me more experiences outside. Before, I had never been camping in my life.

Read the rest of Elijah's application essay to learn more about how NatureBridge impacted his life:

My first time going camping is when my school gave me an opportunity. Going to nature really changed my life because now I know I can rely on myself and show my family I am responsible enough to take care of myself. 

Going hiking with my friends without anybody from my family is really impactful because people love to live in the city where they can rely on people. NatureBridge also gave me a chance to get closer to my friends and I had trust with them. I relied on them to survive the wilderness with me. 

When you are at NatureBridge you don’t have anybody to rely on but yourself and the people who you are with.

One challenge that I faced was traveling to the top part of the a mountain to see the world more. I reached the top of the mountain and was able to breathe the air and I felt special. I felt peaceful.                                   

This impacted me because my school gave me an opportunity to go camping out of the city. Going out of the city and going to see the world more was good and healthy for me, so I believe if people could go to NatureBridge it would be a good experience for anybody.

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