Reaching New Heights

Metro is always challenging the students to reach new heights, but never quite this literally.

On April 7, 2015, the Metro Achievement Center’s College Orientation Program (COP) traveled to Wisconsin to visit the Center for Organizational Advancement for a leadership workshop featuring a ropes course. “I wanted the students to get a break from the city, while also growing in leadership skills and teamwork,” said the COP director Christina Villa.

Nineteen students participated in the workshop. With a combination of both low ropes and high ropes challenge courses and problem solving activities, the students learned the importance of communication, teamwork, and trust.

“A big part of the workshop was the goal-setting at the beginning of the day. The students expressed their desire to grow as a team, learn how to communicate better, and try things outside of their comfort zone,” said Lucia Neugebauer the COP assistant director. Throughout the day they were reminded of these goals and worked to succeed in them.

"We decided we wanted to make sure that we always finish what we started," said Amanda Davis, an 11th grader at Metro. This goal was particularly challenging as the students participated in activities such as balancing a seesaw with their entire team and completing an obstacle course many feet above the ground. These activities also helped the girls to rethink how to communicate with one another and lead a team. "I learned that as a leader you cannot just do what you want; you need to hear what others have to say and take it into consideration," said Davis.

The Center for Organizational Advancement provides development programs for all different age groups with a “learning by doing” mentality. Through their series of ropes courses and problem solving activities, teams learn to communicate with one another more effectively and to work together.

Christina Villa hopes to establish this leadership workshop as an annual event for her program.