Our middle school has taken trips with Shannon and Nicky for a few years. They lead a group of our students on a 3 day/2 night camping adventure. They are able to support those who are new to camping and challenge the pros. The goal for our school is for the students to work together, discover their own strengths and the strengths of others, bond as a class, and to feel proud at the end of the trip that they encountered challenges and succeeded. Shannon and Nicky are kind and sensitive to the students' (and parents') needs. They are able in this short time to get to know the students, provide a variety of activities for them to take on different roles in the camp, have the students reflect on their experiences, and make sure that everyone is well cared for. Every student that has had the pleasure of a camping excursion with Shannon and Nicky has returned happy, excited, and better friends with their classmates. On a practical side, Outside Perspective provides all the expensive items needed for a camping trip- sleeping bags, back packs, etc. I highly recommend Outside Perspectives as a valuable experience for groups.
LeeAnn Harris, Middle School Director - The Ethel Walker School
We from the Youth Excellence Project have been working with Nicky and Shannon from Outside Perspectives for a couple of years now. The Youth Excellence Project is a program for teenage boys who have experienced significant life challenges, loss, or trauma. Many are foster care youth. We work towards helping these youth to experience success, navigate life obstacles, and emerge as adults committed to the betterment of society. Outside Perspectives proved to be the perfect partner in achieving these goals. The amazing women who operate Outside Perspectives wholly embraced our program mission and substantively enhanced our ability to promote resilience and make meaningful change in the lives of youth who have faced adversity. Nicky and Shannon provided two weekend excursions and one epic adventure trip that involved three days of backwoods backpacking in the Bigelow Preserve in Maine and three days canoeing on Flagstaff Lake. Nicky and Shannon went above and beyond to create an experience that will stay with these youth for a lifetime. It was clear how much effort they dedicated to thinking about all of the details of the trip - down to which inspirational quotes they would share during our mealtime circles ("chow circles"). Their passion for this work is abundantly clear. Moreover, they paid careful attention to the safety and well-being of the group -- I felt that they were well prepared for the worst case scenario. We were in very good hands. Finally, their ability to connect with youth, and make them see things from a different perspective, is truly a special skill. We are thrilled that Nicky and Shannon will be taking us out for more outside adventures. If you have any questions about our experience - or would like additional stories from our trips, please do not hesitate to contact us, with instructions on how to do this on our website or on our Facebook page.
Damion Grasso, PhD - The CT Youth Excellence Project
"In order to confront the many life challenges facing our inner-city kids, they need to make a difficult and long-term commitment to success. COBA helps them to succeed as boxers by building character, self-esteem, humility, and work ethic over a long period of time. When they succeed in the ring, which like life is never easy, they build their mind, body, and soul. Something they can carry with them beyond the ring and into their lives.
When you take those same urban youth out of their familiar concrete jungles and place them in the wilderness, completely out of there comfort zone, they quickly realize that they have to work together as a team in order to succeed. That they must look out for each other as their team is only as strong and safe as it’s weakest link. The self-discovery, appreciation for their peers, and life learning is profound, life-changing and enduring; and occurs in only three days!!!
What we strive to instill in our kids to help nurture them into “Champions of Life” over a long period of time at COBA, we can achieve or bolster in three to five days with Outside Perspectives. This is why we cherish our relationship with O.P. and raise funds every year to give our Kids this transformative experience!!!
Johnny "Coach" Callas, MSW - Charter Oak Boxing Academy (COBA)