Last week, our new First Ascent Scholars traveled to the Gates of Lodore on the Green River. Students and leaders camped for three nights off the river, rafting throughout the day, and hiking to waterfalls and scenic lookouts. They saw eagles, big horn sheep, beavers and other animals as they bonded and built community. Group discussions centered around the book “The Social Change Model” as leaders focused activities and observations of the day on awareness of ourselves, those around us, and the importance of society and community from an ecological awareness of the river.
“The river rafting trip was a lot deeper than just traveling down the Green River. It was an opportunity to build relationships with our peers as well as some mentors. For some of us, it was also an opportunity to try something new and out of our comfort zone, which is what college will be to many of us,” said freshman Yuliza Padilla. “Similar to starting our journey down the river, we will also be starting our journeys through college. This trip was a good glimpse into what that will look like.”
Other students Laurent Ntakarutimana and Luiz Ramirez mirrored these sentiments of getting closer to their “First Ascent Family” and also spoke of the ecological aspect of “leave no trace.”
Each year, the First Ascent Scholars provides this experience to first-year students as both an orientation, an introduction to BUS 3800, and a positive jumping-off point into their college experience.
The First Ascent Scholars Program cultivates, encourages and enables academically focused students with significant financial need to attend the Eccles School and connect with the University of Utah, local and global community while reaching their full academic potential. For more information, visit Eccles.Link/first-ascent.