Ingenuity Year: Climate Change in Coastal Maine.
A Gap Year Program for Students With Learning Differences
Seeking students who:
- Want to discover themselves and the world around them.
- Are curious about the world and their place in it.
- Enjoy getting their hands dirty.
- Are ready to spark their joy and find their passion.
Ingenuity Year is a gap semester program based in Coastal Maine and developed for students who want to take their learning out of the classroom and engage with the world. It’s for students who want to understand who they are as learners and as humans, and who want to use that understanding to learn better.
- We engage with real challenges facing real communities and strive to understand how climate change is impacting all aspects of life in Maine.
- We work with executive functioning coaches to explore who we are as learners and humans and to develop strategies that work.
- We spark joy and discover our passions, learning how to let go of the voices telling us what we “should be doing.”
- We transition into independence and adulthood by knowing ourselves and the world more deeply.
Our programming was specifically built with students with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning differences in mind. However, Ingenuity Year welcomes any student who is interested in understanding who they are as a learner and in developing rewarding ways to continue their educational growth.
We invite you to smell the ocean air. Feel the wind against your cheeks. Hear the creak of the boat as you pull in the lobster pot off the coast of Maine. This is how we learn. The world is our teacher. Learn differently.
Dates: Fall 2023
Length: 10 weeks
Group: 15 coed students (ages 17-21)
For students with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning differences and any student who wants to understand who they are as a learner.
Dr. Erin Garcia, Director of Ingenuity Year
Erin, who earned her Doctor of Education degree from East Tennessee State University, brings over a decade of experience to the role. She has worked in secondary and postsecondary education and served as an educational consultant for educational programming. Her areas of expertise include experiential learning, international education, student retention, and program management. She began her work by managing community engagement opportunities for high school seniors who needed to fulfill internship requirements toward capstone projects.
Erin’s love for international education stirred from her own experiences growing up abroad in Southeast Asia with her family. This experience allowed her to learn new cultures, overcome obstacles through grit and determination, and develop a passion for international learning from a young age. It was this experience that fostered her dissertation topic, which focused on students who self-design their own gap year and how these experiences created meaning and helped students shape their own self-authorship.
Before joining Forman, Erin’s efforts in the classroom focused on working with underrepresented student populations with a variety of interests in developing their executive functioning skills to further develop students’ personal and professional interests. She also consulted for various for-profit and higher educational institutions, which, combined with her teaching experiences, gave her a deep knowledge of the holistic needs for student success, especially regarding real-world application of newly acquired skillsets.