Newsletter Spring/Summer 2021
Dear Link Family,
We stared this year at Link with a pretty simple goal- to get to graduation – We made it! I am so grateful.
These past weeks, I have been thinking about this year and about how it is not the lack of the presentation of error/ fear that matters, but how we handle it. There is no denying that this has been a tough year- that there have been challenges and things have worked to take our peace. There were times this year when it looked like things might fall apart. There were times when it all seemed too much.
The students gave up things this year that were really important to them- time with their families, time at home away from school, alone time, going to town. They gave up some of the freedoms that make it easier to feel fresh, and motivated, and present.
It was never a given that we would have the opportunity to be in person the entire year. Each week, each expedition that we were able to take, every milestone we passed, we treated as an opportunity- as a time to be grateful- knowing how few students got to be together in person- and how very few got to go on trips and live a normal life this year.
One of our students shared an astute insight into a story from the Bible, and this insight to me, sums up the year. The story was about the wealthy man who asked Jesus how he could obtain eternal life. The student in our lesson study group pointed out that the question was inherently selfish – but that Jesus’ answer was just the opposite. Jesus told the man that he must turn outward- he needed to love the Lord his God with all his heart… and to love his neighbor as himself. What an inspiration- what an observation- that the solution to what we feel we need- is to turn from self and towards others- to offer love to our neighbor. This is what this year has been- finding good in serving this community and finding love in loving.
We have seen what these students are capable of doing this year. We have seen them lean on each other, we have seen them lean on God. We know the incredible and limitless heights that they can reach. We have seen these students move through the year with grace and courage- courage rooted in deep things. We have seen this in them over and over. Now is their opportunity to make a difference in the broader world- where their grace and their courage, their desire to serve is so greatly needed.
Thank you so much for your loving support of our school!
“Have you ever . . .”
This year’s students used “Have you ever . . .” as a writing prompt to describe their unique experience at The Link School. These fun sentences give you a quick glimpse into what it’s like to be a student at Link. Enjoy!
Have you ever sat with your entire school watching the sunrise in revered silence?
Have you ever danced around your school until you started to feel dizzy?
Have you ever made a single line drawing of the immense landscape surrounding you?
Have you ever sat and written poetry inspired by the red rock towers looming over you?
Have you ever felt eager to push yourself in an activity with only the goal of improving your mind?
Have you ever gotten to ride a roan mare with the wind raging all around you?
Have you ever ice climbed while it was 10 degrees below, with the frigid wind blowing?
Have you ever sat around a campfire in Moab talking with your whole school community which also feels like your family?
Have you ever studied the lesson in Chief Cochise’s Stronghold, then climbed the rock that hid him from his persecutors?
Have you ever stopped during a class break to have a snowball fight?
Have you ever spent Christmas with all your classmates?
Have you ever talked to your science teacher about the stars while looking up at them?
Letters of Gratitude from our Students:
Link seems like it was made for me. The academic structure has led me to graduate with honors and learn about topics I never knew I was passionate about. I never thought either of these things were possible. In my time at public school I was struggling with classes, social relationships, and everything in between. I never saw myself graduating, and didn’t think it was possible to accomplish what I wanted to. I was losing my passion for life at an alarming rate, and heading down a path that gave me little hope for my future. In my time here that has all changed. Without Link I can’t imagine what I would be doing right now. The friendships I’ve gained here inspire me to be a better person, and I hope to keep them throughout my whole life. I have found leadership within myself. I have gained so much as a person from being here, and I feel a calling to pay it forward every day. This has by far been the best year of my life and I can’t express how grateful I am to have been able to do the things we have done this year. I am truly confident that no amount of money could ever buy me a more rewarding and magical year. Along with this, I have never believed in myself academically more than I do now. I have had straight A’s nearly all year, and this makes me proud of myself each day. This in no way means academics have suddenly became easy, in fact far from it. I felt dumb too many times to count this year, but with a little persistence I have overcame nearly every difficulty that has come my way with grace and poise. If someone would have told me three years ago what I would accomplish this year I would have laughed in their face, but now nothing seems out of reach. I am looking into colleges, and I’m excited to continue my career of learning. Link is the Holy Grail of support and opportunities, and I would never have imagined I’d be able to see and accomplish what I have. The staff’s selflessness inspires me every day, and I’ve grown a relationship with each of them. The best feeling in the world is being able to consider your Residential Staff, Teachers, and Administrators your friends, and even your family. This place means the world to me and it has taught me how to work hard, how to let go of the negativity within myself, how to push myself past what I think is possible, and how to wake up and be a better person than I was the day before.
Thank you so much for making this experience possible.
With much gratitude,
Now when it comes to academics, I’m not the best around, nor will I ever be. But I feel like ever since I came here my academic ability has improved drastically. The teachers are kind, they listen, they help, and they are very open. In previous years I’ve been very lackluster, but it seems now that I actually care about my academics. They teach in a way I get, it’s refreshing. The community, oh my lord the community, I love it. Every single bit of it I love, there can be days where we can have the most serious conversations, and then there are days where we screw around and just have fun. This group of people all have something to give. There is so much I could say about the people here but it’s just so hard to put into words. This year has been my best in a long time. When I came here I was very closed off. I didn’t want people to know who I was, what made me tick, what happened in my past, so I only told the surface level. As the year went on, I let the frozen barrier melt a little and let myself get to know other people a little more. I made friends and finally felt a little accepted. It’s been hard but I’ve been trying to be myself more often, and this place is the best place for me to have started. This place, what makes it so meaningful for me is the people. A building without residents is just a building. The people living here is what makes this place feel so accepting, the people is what makes this place wonderful, and just going here makes me happy.
Link has been significant and impactful in my life. I have pushed myself spiritually, mentally, and physically. This has led to substantial growth. I appreciate all of the staff and students as well. They all mean a lot to me. The people and activities held within this year have changed my life substantially, and I appreciate it. None of this would have been possible without you, and for that, I thank you.
Link is meaningful to me. All of it. In its rarest form. Link has taught me how to be compassionate and tough, how to learn from situations, that it is fine to fail as long as you get back up, to appreciate the little things, and be curious about all aspects of life whether that is a different culture, language, or activity. Link has taught me what home and safety feels like and what genuine people feel like. I am so grateful that Link proved my cynical view of life wrong. This life is something to be enjoyed and cherished. It has also taught me that this good that I have been exposed to cannot come through humans, but a higher power. I’m not sure what that is but I am more than ready to explore that. The Love that you receive from the staff and students is a feeling unlike any I have every felt. I am grateful for every part of this place.
Thank you for helping to make this amazing school possible.
Student Enrollment Fall 2021
Are you a student who is ready for a new and engaging approach to education? Are you seeking a high school experience where you can develop yourself and give of yourself more fully?
The Link School is enrolling just this kind of student and is currently accepting applications for the fall 2021 class. Send us an email at email@example.com for more information or go to the enrollment page on our website www.thelinkschool.org.
Please pass the word along to students you know who you feel would be a good fit with The Link School.
Our primary financial goal right now is to raise the funds to be able to operate next year and to help student’s with tuition assistance. Our aim this year is to raise $210,000 in financial assistance funds for students and families in need.
We are building our endowment and your support is greatly appreciated. We have a plan and a goal that we would love to share with you. If you are interested in supporting us in this way, please contact James. We are deeply grateful for your support.
Giving information is on our website (www.thelinkschool.org) and we would greatly appreciate your help.
Donations can be accepted as a prayer, a check, or an online donation (see the Donate Now link below).
James, our Executive Director, would love to hear from you. Please feel free to reach out to him with any questions you have or to offer your support. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!