welcome letter from explo's board of trustees

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March, 2008

 On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Exploration Summer Programs, I want to welcome you to the new Explo alumni website. To all former students and staff, their families, sponsors, and friends, I extend an enthusiastic invitation to you to reconnect and stay connected with the large, worldwide Explo family.

My own connection with Explo goes back to the summers of 1980 and 1981 when I worked at the Senior Program (then on the campus of Wellesley College) as a “Head of House,” and the summer of 1982 when I was the first Dean of Students of the Intermediate Program at Wellesley College. Who knew my son Jared would be back on the same campus as a student in the Intermediate Program just a quick 22 years later? Now I find myself serving as a trustee—chair of the board, no less. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity, as I did, to play a critical role in taking a well-structured and well-staffed organization – one that is fulfilling an important societal mission very well – to the next level? It has been and is an incredible challenge, but it is oh so rewarding.

Please indulge me while I offer just a few words about Jared’s experience at Explo. Jared always has been a bright, confident, engaging, inquisitive, and fun loving kid. Explo took good and made it better. Jared returned to his family after participating in the Intermediate Program noticeably more mature and well rounded. Many things could have accounted for that, but I think the most important are the safe environment Explo provided for him to explore subjects that he had not encountered at home; the friendly and caring staff and students from different backgrounds who he befriended; the opportunities to – or, perhaps better said, the requirement that he – continually make difficult choices when confronted with a myriad of very good competing options; the experience of being in a new part of the country on terms other than his parents'; and the development of important life skills – such as doing laundry, managing money, and making dietary choices – that will serve him well in college and beyond. Explo provides that perfect opportunity for young people to grow up while they are still fully engaged in the important enterprise of being kids. The end product of this rich experience for Jared was palpable: maturity. That maturity was even more evident when he returned from a summer stint at the Senior Program on the campus of Yale University.

Over thirty years in operation, Explo is the authentic academic enrichment summer program for students in grades 4 through 12. All of us who work on its behalf share a sincere commitment to continually improving and stewarding Explo into the deep future. I hope that you will explore the new alumni site, Exploration’s main web site, and the summer sites, as you relive your own memories of Explo. I guarantee that you will find Explo to be the kind of community to which you will want to remain connected. Please rejoin the team as we think, plan, and pursue the journey that is Exploration. The fun awaits.

Go Explo!

Wendall A. Mitchell, a.k.a. Dell
Chair
Board of Trustees
Exploration Summer Programs

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