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Impact Grants

The ARCC Gap experience is best told through our past students and their parents. We receive countless emails, letters, and phone calls from students and parents telling us about their incredible ARCC experience; each one represents a student whose life has changed by traveling with ARCC. We are thrilled to share their comments.

“What can I say… she had a blast; a highlight of her life. She loved the intellectual aspects, the food, and the people.”

— Parent of Alana A., Framingham, MA

“Hayes has nothing but positive reviews for his experience on his trip. Besides the tremendous opportunity to see new countries and experience those cultures, the leadership and direction he received from his instructors were second to none. He was also lucky enough to be with a cohort of peers that bonded really well and whom he enjoyed traveling with. I speak for all of us when I say that the program was a tremendous success and will provide a lifetime of memories for Hayes. From top to bottom we appreciate everyone in the ARCC organization.”

— Parent of Hayes N., San Rafael, CA, College of Marin ’23

“Frances’ experience was life-changing and life-affirming. She came home more confident in her decision making, has a new understanding that a test at school doesn’t define her, has a better understanding of the world, shows interest in the bigger world around her, has no regrets deferring to college for a year to have had this experience, and lastly has a bigger appreciation for her family.”

— Parent of Frances M., Greenville, SC, George Washington University ’24

“This semester has been overwhelmingly positive. Our boy has grown. It’s a good value. And it will enhance his college studies and life tremendously. One of the most impactful things for Aaron was the deep focus on building community in the ARCC program. His instructors were simply amazing and Aaron particularly was touched by Ethan’s mentorship and leadership in the program. Aaron also mentioned that all participants became real friends with each other and there was a total absence of cliques. The variety of activities the group engaged in throughout the program was also commendable – from service to cultural to historical to conservation work, etc. There was also a solid level of communication and attentiveness to safety so we felt confident in Aaron’s wellness and safety throughout.”

— Parent of Aaron T., New Rochelle, NY, University of Miami ’24

“Being in this environment, away from college, he was clear-headed and focused and he has brought that home with him. He has said that he knows he doesn’t need to impress anyone to be friends and that people like him for who he is.”

— Parent of Preston P., Spring Lake, NJ, George Washington ’23

“I, like many, was very impacted by this semester. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about all the adventures I experienced through the ARCC Program. I was so inspired by my gap year that I am currently studying ecotourism with a concentration in natural resource tourism at Colorado State.”

— Ava C., Bloomington, IN, Colorado State University ’23

“Drew needed this. This experience helped reground him. He has his enthusiasm and zest back and an intellectual curiosity toward things.”

— Parent of Drew B., Wheaton, IL, Chapman ’23

“Lindsey had a wonderful gap experience! It was everything she wanted and more. By her third week, she was already saying that she learned more in her three weeks with the program than she learned in all her years of formal schooling. She loved each experience, made some wonderful lifetime friends, and had experiences that helped her grow and experience things that will be forever a part of her.”

— Parent of Lindsey G., Armonk, NY, Elon ’24

“This experience for Hayden was life-changing. My observation is that Hayden is a more communicative and responsible person than when he left. He has always had a sense of adventure and this experience fulfilled that for sure. This experience outside of a normal classroom was perfect for where he was in his life. This semester had a perfect blend of work, education, collaboration, and fun. Thanks for the experience!”

— Parent of Hayden S., Corte Madera, CA

“Hannah came home exuberant and so delighted that she has another “family” of friends around the country. It opened her eyes to see beyond what she had previously.”

— Parent of Hannah F., Fairfield, CT, Keene State College ’23

“Harrison LOVED this gap experience. It embodied so many of his passions…Nature, water, wildlife, the great outdoors…coupled with good and like-minded people at the same point in life’s journey. It allowed him to flourish and grow and most importantly, LIVE FULLY during these times. Taking a gap year was not part of Harrison’s original plan. Covid caused him to rethink this and we are so incredibly grateful that he had the opportunity to be part of this amazing program. He loved the balance between service work and adventure. And we all loved Spanish School. He’s also made lifelong connections with peers in his group. You all are fantastic.”

— Parent of Harrison R., Atlanta, GA, Purdue ’25

“The best part of the semester for me was the self-growth I had in terms of self-reflection and improved self-awareness. My instructor helped a ton with this and I can not put into words how much I appreciated that.”

— Laurel E.D., South Burlington, VT, Boston University ’26

“Zoe will never forget this semester: the laughter, the breathtaking landscapes, the music, the dancing by the side of the road, the new sense of stewardship for our environment, the goofy inside jokes, and the way she and the others came to trust each other enough to share so much about their lives with each other.”

— Parent of Zoe R., Los Angeles, CA, Stanford University ’26

“ARCC is truly what a gap year is all about. Through highs and lows, friendships and fights, you find yourself. You discover your preferences, passions, and desires for the future.”

— Willow V., Lake Bluff, IL, Georgetown ’25

“If you have any feeling of interest, just do it. My ARCC trip was one of the best experiences of my life and I truly believe I’ve found lifelong friends in a short, unbelievable, special time. Get outside your comfort zone and go for it!”

— Elliot C., Larchmont, NY, University of Vermont ’25

“This ARCC Semester was the best experience of my life. For anyone looking to step out of their comfort zones, learn, meet amazing people and have a blast this is the semester for you. Going into the semester I was expecting to be pushed out of my comfort zone, but it was so much more than that. I grew as a leader through working with other members of the group, learned an abundance of new knowledge about our country and the environment, and fell in love with camping, hiking, and the great outdoors. The entire semester was eye-opening and provided a change that was much needed and desired.”

— Keagan O., West Hartford, CT, Fordham University ’25

“This semester pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I grew up in the comfort of a city, but I wanted a change and a chance to discover something completely new. And that was exactly what I got. This program made me more resilient, happier, and gave me a more holistic and exciting view on life. The past 70 days have given me some of the best memories and friendships of my entire life. And definitely the most laughter. Also, I grew up in a place where America was talked about in terms of its politics and government. This trip made me appreciate the beauty and magic that the natural world of this country has to offer.”

— Iva K., New York, NY, Yale University ’25

“It is absolutely a once in a lifetime experience. You meet amazing people and form such a wonderful community with your group.”

— Jay R., Palo Alto, CA, Scripps College ’25

“One of the most rewarding leaps of faith I’ve taken in my life!”

— Charlie G., Rye, NY, University of Virginia ’25

“ARCC creates an environment where students are able to further develop leadership, responsibility, and trust in an rugged, new, and slightly unusual setting.”

— Becca A., New York, NY, Harvard College ’25

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