When my parents first suggested that I participate in a Peak Year program, I thought they were nuts. I had never heard of anything like it before and felt as if they were shipping me off to some place for troubled kids...I could not have been more wrong. My time in New York City with the collective of mentors on my team reshaped the way I view and interact with the world.

Peak Year offers engagement with the entirety of the self, an exploration of the individual, separate from the pressures so often met within the confines of schools and families. That is to say, each subject offered to you directly relates to the acceleration of the individual, based on your interests. My mentors not only engaged with me as a peer but also took each emotion or experience I had and empathized completely, oftentimes also guiding it into a productive means of expression. In addition, the mentors showered me with information and opportunities which ultimately led me to discovering interests that I had never fully acknowledged in myself before.

I found true freedom through singing and reengaged with music in a way I had found difficult before. I no longer was afraid of “failing” because I wasn't being judged or graded for it! My mentor Rick and I wrote and recorded music together which was not only freeing but absolutely crucial to my growth as a singer and as a member of the creative community. In addition to my work with Rick, my work with Caitlin led me to my love of jazz singing. Both Caitlin and Rick provided safe spaces for exploration and creation. For this I cannot thank them enough.

I also was extremely blessed to be exposed to yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness which completely changed me as a person. I had been so overly emotional my entire life and never knew how to engage with those emotions in a healthy way but through my work with these mentors I learned to assimilate the skills from these disciplines into my experience of self.

I feel absolutely blessed to have had the opportunity to attend Peak Year and would recommend it to any person considering it. I continue to have relationships with my mentors at Peak Year and cannot imagine my life without my time there.