SAYA Youth Scale Walls and Fears through Rock Climbing


Each year SAYA's Young Women's Leadership program at the Elmhurst Center participates in indoor rock climbing at The Cliffs in Long Island City. The purpose of this trip is to develop confidence, trust-building and teamwork skills by working through a series of challenging activities: belayed rock climbing on high walls, bouldering (climbing lower walls without a harness), and crate climbing (stacking and climbing crates to get as high as they can). 

During this year's trip, peers supported each other verbally and emotionally as each youth faced her fears and took small steps towards overcoming the challenges. Each year, youth find that in the span of just two hours of rock climbing, they feel more confident and able to work through uncertainty and fear. This is an important and transferable skill that they can utilize in order to overcome academic, personal and professional challenges. Here is what some of them had to say:


"Rock climbing was a really great experience. It helped me look at life differently. I realized that you should try things that seem crazy and even very scary. Reaching the top was such an amazing feeling. I would definitely go again." --Sanjana, Grade 11

"The rock climbing trip was one that I highly enjoyed. I really loved the crate exercise. It was very fun and I enjoyed seeing that I could climb high. I also enjoyed this trip because it provided the Young Women's Leadership group with many skills such as being able to trust yourself and others. This trip was a great experience for me and my fellow peers." --Shraddha, Grade 11

"The rock climbing trip was really intense. As I walked inside, I saw so many people climbing so high, and I started freaking out. At first, I was scared to climb the walls, but slowly I started getting the hang of it. I felt so confident after climbing the rock walls. It was a memorable experience which helped me to boost my confidence." --Melissa, Grade 11