Great Story: Perseverance

West Side Middle School Children Kayaking

by Lauren “Noodle” Barber

“Last year I was in the back of the group, but this year, I’M IN THE FRONT!” a student kayaking close on my tail exclaimed as he zipped through the water with a big smile on his face. “That’s amazing!” I replied, “Maybe you can share what you learned with other students who may be having some difficulty.” He stopped paddling glanced over his shoulder, and off he went to encourage others to not give up.

This student, smaller than most of the other students, was given the option of taking out one of our mini-kayaks, in which he gladly rose to the opportunity. He was amazed at how quickly he moved through the water and felt proud of himself for not falling behind.

At NESS we encourage students to persevere, to not give up despite the difficulty of achieving success. We work hard at finding and providing the right resources for our students to feel confident in the skills they are learning. We were able to identify that a lighter kayak/paddle would help set this student up for success. With his new gear and his willingness to not give up, he was able to develop the confidence to zoom around and become a leader.