People often ask how Give Something Back selects the high schools and community partners it works with. Channel View High School in Rockaway, New York, has a special approach to blending academic work with a practice of investigating real world problems.

Channel View is one of 13 schools nationwide that is a part of the Outward Bound Network designed to provide experience-based outdoor learning. The mission of Channel View High School is “to graduate well-educated, involved citizens who have a love for learning that enables them to embrace their future with confidence, community, acceptance, and competence, using the lifelong strategies that they acquire at our school.”

Channel View teachers believe that success in life is not only determined by a student’s academic abilities but also by character, determination, optimism and self-awareness. The staff build on such skills at the annual weeklong camping trip required for all incoming freshman. Throughout the week, students engage in group activities focused on group problem solving, which in turn helps build a strong community in school and out.

At Channel View, character and community service rank right alongside academic achievement. Roughly 45% of the student population and their families lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Following the devastating effects of Sandy, teachers worked to craft their teaching plans around events impacting the students’ lives and their surrounding community, intending to help scholars understand the power and relevance of both academics and community service.

Principal of Channel View high school, Denise Harper- Richardson, explained that the staff works to combine outdoor activity with problem solving—encouraging a welcoming peer environment to students from a variety of economic backgrounds.

“We do this by not only accepting the highest performing students but also those with the highest potential so we can make high performing students,” Harper-Richardson says.

The staff at Channel View is determined to get students to and through college, devoting much of their curriculum to test preparation and advanced placement classes, emphasizing the importance of a higher education. Currently, there are four Give Back scholars attending Channel View that are on track to graduate high school and pursue and achieve a college degree in four years, debt free.

“We create not only good students but also good people,” Principal Harper-Richardson says of students at Channel View. Give Back is honored to partner with a program with a genuine dedication to both academic preparation and character-building initiatives.

To learn more about the Outward Bound Network, visit their site