Our community partner, ArchWay invited neighborhood youth to cool off on a rafting adventure down the Ocoee River. The group spent the whole day together July 8. Our neighbor Gail Mitchell McKeel recruited the majority of the ten young participants for the excursion, who ranged in age from 14-19.

The excited group took off from Glass Street at 7am via the shuttle van provided by Groome Me, transportation. Alli Dozet and Anthony Frederick of Magic Markers Film Camp came along to film using waterproof GoPro cameras. Michele Peterson, ArchWay’s sponsor, provided PennStation sandwiches for the group. During the pre-rafting volleyball game and picnic, Peterson coached each team about how they’re all team players, and the importance of working together for a common goal.

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Nikki Lewis, who came along for the trip said that even though they had never experienced anything like the rafting trip before the kids were excited rather than scared. She admits that she was even a little bit nervous when their raft took an unfavorable route through a large rapid, going directly over a rock they were meant to steer around. Carlos Hampton came along as a partner with Peterson at ArchWay, and said the river experience provided the ideal metaphor for entrepreneurship being a mix of smooth and rough waters, and when rocks are in the way, you have to flow around them. “The kids experienced something totally different that day,” Hampton recalls, “that was the point: to keep widening their perspective on the world– show them a variety of options.”

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Returned to Glass Street by 5:30 PM, where they gathered at the ArchWay building to debrief and announce the upcoming project (scheduled for this Thurs, Aug. 11) working with Ms. Barbara Davis of Koch’s Bakery, where participants will get the chance to name and market a new variety of donut.

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