Silent Adventures Build Self Confidence
A new program of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College is designed to provide a sensitive environment that recognizes deaf culture and maximizes communication to reduce feelings of isolation and sensory deprivation.
The goals of the Silent Adventures program are to support individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in building their self-esteem, self-confidence and developing problem solving, communication and goal-setting skills. The program is slated to begin in June 2009, and reservations will be accepted beginning in January 2009. All college students, and especially incoming freshmen, are eligible to participate.
"This is a brand new program, and we're building support to keep costs low for participating students," said Matt Schmuck, Assistant to Dean for Outdoor Programming and Outreach. "We're hoping to keep the cost per student to about $200."
A highly qualified staff of faculty, sign language interpreters and student leaders from the campus community will challenge and provide support to the participants during a week-long adventure. Participants will learn how to work together, explore their surroundings and discover new ways of tackling problems.
"My goal for the program is to bridge the gap between high school and college and to help students who are deaf or hard of hearing to transition into an environment that is so different from what they're used to," said Stephenie Jaggie, Sign Language Interpreter/Coordinator. "I want to set students up for success in the beginning of their college experience by providing a network of friends and professional support."
Silent Adventures consists of a six-day outdoor recreation experience traveling to many of the best naturalÂ areas in West Virginia including Coopers Rock State Forest, Seneca Rocks, Blackwater Falls, Smoke Hole Caverns and the New River Gorge. Outdoor recreation activities include camping, sleeping outdoors, hiking, rock climbing, caving and whitewater rafting. All activities are beginner friendly and are lead with a strong sense of safety and risk management.
"These outdoor recreation activities are available for everyone and provide beneficial experiences that can build self-esteem and let students know that they can go to college and be successful trying new things.
Around the camp fire, the group will address many issues college students face during their college years, including academic success, social development and promoting healthy life styles.
Participants in the program will also have an opportunity to engage in community service projects such as developing a nature trail, designing a community garden and creating green spaces in the local communities and surrounding areas.
If you would like to support Silent Adventures, please mail a check to the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., 1201 Locust Ave., Fairmont, WV 26554. Please make your check payable to the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., and write "Silent Adventures" in the memo line.
For more information on Silent Adventures, e-mail Silentadventures@fairmontstate.edu or call Stephenie Jaggie at (304) 367-4073v or (304) 367-4072vp or Matthew Schmuck at Â (304) 367-4984.