Refocusing for new year

Refocusing, This New Year Marks Another Switchback

As I’ve reflected on this past year, our students’ paths to progress have reminded me of the approach to the world famous hike, Angels Landing, in Zion National Park. It’s called Walter’s Wiggles.

Enjoying the view on top of Angel's Landing at Zion National Park
Enjoying the view on top of Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park

Going straight up the clifflike approach to Angels landing would be treacherous and intense. Personal safety equipment including ropes and harnesses would be required even for highly experienced hikers, and even then, ascension would be exhausting. So, in order to help all hikers safely reach the top on their own, the park service cut Walter’s Wiggles into the mountainside.

This series of 15 switchbacks corrects and re-corrects hikers’ lateral direction back and forth across the cliffside in order to maintain a manageable grade and ultimately bring them to their vertical destination. It’s a slow and steady way to hike, but it eliminates dangerous falls and helps hikers get to the top safely without mountaineering know-how.

This is what TFL has consistently offered our students over the last year: accommodation and direction.

We have broken down the intense climb of reaching independence, and multiplied it into many smaller, more manageable paths. Each time your students’ paths changed direction this year, they rose a little higher up the mountain. Kudos to them! Great work!

This new year marks another switchback, one of refocusing.

Letting life, emotions, and other external circumstances direct their choices and habits has been a common and painful pattern for our students. They often find themselves choosing the path of least resistance and having fewer opportunities as a result. Eventually they get stuck, and some sort of intervention is needed. For many of them, that process was a key factor in your decision to help them find independence at TechieForLife. For us, that’s why we make consistent adjustments to our individualized approaches. The big adjustment this year is living on purpose.

Consistently and purposefully choosing what they will accomplish in a day, how they will grow, and what habits they will form is a key part of success for our students and a requirement for independent living.

To help them reach that milestone, we’re introducing the following:

  • Morning Connections
  • Schedule Improvements
  • Monthly Themes
  • Enhanced Mentoring
  • Revised Electronics Policy

We are excited about 2019! We look forward to hiking up more switchbacks this year as our students press towards greater heights. The best part of Angels Landing is getting to the top. We’re confident that our students will discover the same thing about reaching independence.

-Cam Sherman, TFL Program Director

Experience Kanarra Creek

Experience Kanarra Creek Through Our Student’s Eyes

Kanarra creek is an invitation to witness the wonders of creation.

Carved into the red rock of the desert mesa, one cannot help but intuit they stand in the narrow aisle of a vast house of worship.

Beneath your feet run the baptismal waters of the creek itself, above your head for tens of feet is the twisting walls of the canyon, carved into creamy undulations and myriad pockets, dips, nooks, and crannies.

All around you are parishioners of every shape and size.

Humans from all over flock to hear the water’s gospel, and trees hand out green pamphlets that tickle as you walk past the crowds of shade trees.

If can approach with an open heart and open mind it’s not just a short day hike, it’s an experience.

— Grady, TFL Student

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Canyoneering at Yankee Doodle Canyon

Unforgettable Canyoneering in Yankee Doodle Canyon

The canyoneering trip was an experience I’ll never forget.

It was an optional activity that me, Dallin, and Grady went on with Cam in Yankee Doodle canyon.

Once we started, it was impossible to climb back out the way we started, so we got to really push our limits.

There was hiking, climbing, rappelling, chimney-crawling through slot canyons, wading, and even some swimming.

The canyon was beautiful, and there were lots of purple flowers blooming.

It was warm outside, but the water was freezing cold.

I was exhausted physically and emotionally by the end, but it felt great to have accomplished it.

—Amber, TFL Student

 

  

 

Hiking at Snow Canyon Lava Tubes

Hiking in Snow Canyon’s Lava Tubes With Flashlights

In a place called Snow Canyon, near St George, there is a really cool hike that takes you to some lava
tubes.

This is the hike we went on at some point in March.

The tubes are set into the ground(of course) and go pretty deep into the earth.

If you want to explore them, you do need a flashlight and a good sense of where you are because,

according to some people, they go in all sorts of directions.

I don’t really  if that is true, but it keeps me from hiking too deep into the caves formed by the tubes.

–Lee, TFL student

Hike

TechieForLife Student’s Experience With The Chuckwalla Trail Hike

 

A TechieForLife student’s experience with the Chuchwalla trail hike:

At the beginning of enrolling to TFL, I thought I would like to hike.

Months later, I didn’t like it because some terrains are too high for me that require an old rope to hold on, or to climb; wrong clothing to wear, especially anything made out of cotton; and careless people who forgot to remind everyone to apply sunscreen.

But the Chuckwalla was a fine hike. There some huge steps, but I went over them.

At the end, we see a whole view of a neighborhood.

While I was going back, I saw Cam and Dallin trying to climb up a boulder with no equipment. It made me cringe when they did that because they’re close to a cliff.

I’ve already been to this trail last year, but it was worth it. -Dave TFL student