Leadership Alum Takes on the River!
We’re always proud to hear about our Outward Bound Costa Rica alumni and their amazing accomplishments. We’re especially excited that we recently had the opportunity to catch up with Kyle Juszczyk, an alum of our 2011 Spring Leadership Semester course. Although the youngest participant in his course, Kyle has wasted no time getting involved in the outdoor industry. He worked as a Professional River Guide in Colorado this past summer!
Kyle was a high school junior looking into where to apply for college. He decided it would be best to look into leadership programs to better prepare himself for the application process and in doing so found our Leadership Semester course here in Costa Rica! “It looked like the perfect program,” he told us when asked why he picked this course. He was most excited about surfing and scuba diving…the idea of spending 65 days in Costa Rica was an added bonus!
Upon his arrival, Kyle was homesick for “about five hours” but soon after started bonding with his group. At 17 years old, he was the youngest participant on course, and it was his first time away from home for an extended period of time. He told us that being with older course mates helped him mature and develop a “different outlook on life”.
It was also Kyle’s first time attempting any of the adventure activities that we do here during our Leadership course. He was immediately drawn toward all water-based activities, including rafting, surfing, scuba diving and the course’s Lifeguard Certification training portion.
What is he up to now?
Kyle is attending Western State Colorado University, an institution we partner with to offer academic credit to our Semester students. Kyle spent this past summer working as a Professional River Guide for Wilderness Aware Rafting based in Buena Vista, Colorado. The interview and training with WA was “intense”, as Kyle put it. Kyle and the rest of the training class spent four to five weeks, including nearly 200 hours on the river, in order to prep themselves for the season.
“Leadership is a great, thorough introduction into working and participating in the outdoor industry.”
Our Leadership Semester course helped Kyle develop a passion for whitewater rafting, and his experience demonstrated his commitment and dedication to working in the outdoors during his job search. He emphasized that our course gave him a huge leg up in the interview and training process with Wilderness Aware Rafting. “The experience helped me stand out in training,” he added. In addition to the experience he gained by running rivers here in Costa Rica, the Leadership course mentally prepared him for the intensity of WA’s training process, “They knew I wouldn’t drop out because of my background,” he stated.
Upon asking if he would recommend our Leadership course, Kyle immediately responded “Absolutely”. He explained that the experience not only gave him vital certifications to become a professional in the outdoor industry (“The Wilderness First Responder certification helped me understand how things can go wrong and how to prepare…[and] helped me get my job”) but also a customer’s perspective on the guided outdoor experience: “I know how to treat my customers based on what I did on course”.
Felicidades, Kyle! We’re extremely proud of all his amazing accomplishments so far.
Inspired to join us for Leadership this semester? Enroll here!