At end of each summer academy session, we ask our young participants to share how they feel about the academy and what they have learned. Their feedback has been insightful, inspiring, and encouraging. It confirms that high-quality Support, Opportunities, And Rapport (SOAR) make a huge difference. Here are some of our teens’ responses, in their own words.

What did you learn that will help you the most next year?
  • Learn to love myself.
  • That you are never alone and there is always a way to survive and be very successful.
  • That even if you don’t see some interest in some things you should not just back away from it, give it a try.
  • English and Math classes and stress relievers.
  • The college info we got. And, how to give feedback.
  • Planning and working as a team. Thinking outside the box.
Why would you recommend that other foster youth attend the SOAR summer academy?
  • Because it is an inspiring academy.
  • Because it’s very fun, and you don’t have to worry about feeling different.
  • To join, because they will conquer their fears, meet more foster kids.
  • It can open doors for them and us.
  • It really changed my life. It will really change your life.
What was the best part of the week’s program for you? What made it “the best” for you?
  • Meeting new people I hope I will be very good friends with.
  • Being with all my friends and laughing. Being able to express yourself anyway.
  • Sailing today because it was really fun capsizing (purposely) – laughing.
  • My favorite part of SOAR was when we went to the ropes course. That was the best part because you could face your fears and it was really fun.
  • To be able to come and see my family again.
Where did the summer academy exceed your expectations?
  • In having fun and meeting new people.
  • The dorms, food, and activities.
  • I never thought that I would get an early college experience so early and go so high in a tree.
  • The summer academy exceeded by windsurfing, and all sorts of other activities. It was totally unexpected, and I like that.
  • I would have to say the classes were pretty cool.