5 Reasons to Take a Gap Year

May 3, 2023

A gap year, as defined by Gap Year Association, is a semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and prior to career or post-secondary education, in order to deepen one’s practical, professional, and personal awareness.

Ingenuity Year’s programming combines the advantages of a traditional gap year with additional elements that are especially beneficial for students with learning differences, such as dyslexia and ADHD. The program offers executive function coaching, practice for self-advocacy, and a focus on building independence.

Continue reading for five reasons to explore Ingenuity Year as your gap year program. 

  1. Make a Positive Impact: The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the rest of the ocean. Through the lens of climate change, Ingenuity Year students work throughout coastal Maine to study and collect data in areas such as the lobster and fishing industries. Students pair with educational and non-profit organizations to focus on the most pertinent areas of study, which helps to continue to foster and strengthen the relationships throughout these communities.

  2. Improve Academics: Support during a gap year is pivotal to students from any background as they embark on a new and different experience. Ingenuity Year introduces students to assistive technologies, such as Don Johnston, Gleen, and Pomodoro, at the beginning of the program. Students learn which assistive technology is best for their individual learning styles. Executive function coaches also work with students to create individual plans, utilizing tactics and techniques that are most helpful for their growth.

  3. Learn Something New: It is pertinent for students to step outside of their comfort zones, especially in the areas of personal development and interests. Ingenuity Year implements experiential learning methodology to connect students with real communities, study new topics in-depth, self-reflect through individual growth opportunities, and build relationships with program leaders and other gappers. With their newfound personal growth, students are readily open to new opportunities, ideas, and experiences as they reintegrate back into their daily lives.

  4. Gain Valuable Skills: Throughout independent and guided journeys, gap year students self-reflect through grit, determination, overcoming obstacles, and personal accountability. Ingenuity Year utilizes working with real-world organizations, capstone projects, student-led expeditions, and conducting research over a 10-week period to prepare students for the challenges that being in a new job or college environment would bring. Students not only learn social and interpersonal skills but they acquire a vast array of job-related skills, such as leadership, team building, problem-solving, critical thinking, global awareness, and 21st-century skills.

  5. Discover New Interests: Gap-year programming often focuses on providing students with opportunities to explore new areas of interest, build new relationships, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Ingenuity Year focuses on providing students who have learning differences with an individualized, custom approach that is enhanced beyond the traditional gap year experience. Thus, individual student development and personal growth are designed into every facet of our 10-week programming.

To learn more about Ingenuity Year and how you can join our exciting gap year program, click here

Written by: Dr. Erin Garcia, Director of Ingenuity Year 

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