“Success means different things to different individuals. For some, success equates to dollars and cents, while others measure success in terms of endurance; the measurable amount of effort displaced on one’s journey to an unknown destination. Even if the person has not yet reached the finish line, his or her ability to look back on the distance traveled in many cases is success,” Marc Fusco, Project Pursuit Advisor. Project Pursuit enables its members to better their lives along with the community around them through promoting the importance of academics, self-awareness and collaboration among its participants. Physical and mental challenges allow for members to achieve both individual and communal goals. By developing a healthy mindset, body and attitude, through collaboration, members are able to take pride in their abilities and gain confidence and trust in those around them. Project Pursuit allows for the development of authentic and meaningful relationships among its members and affords them the opportunity to give back to the community in which they reside. The program pushes participants to succeed in all academic and social endeavors. The skills formed here will create life-long learners with an embedded sense of pride, commitment, understanding and community.
Last year’s program participants not only showed an increased level of fitness, but also a greater sense of self-efficacy and involvement in their community. Upon completion of participation in Project Pursuit, participants demonstrated a sense of ownership and responsibility with regards to their health. Project Pursuit participants boosted an astounding average increase of 28.1% in push-ups, 24% in sit-ups and 46.2% in modified pull-ups as well as dropped an overall average of 64 seconds in the mile run. Other Project Pursuit activities included: hiking trips, WSCC Leadership Weekend and the Lincoln Tunnel 5k benefiting the Special Olympics. All of these activities including fitness equipment were funded through the WSCC grant.
This year Project Pursuit participants hope to build on the success of the previous year by incorporating a mentoring component for incoming freshmen. Goals for the 2016-2017 school year include: service learning activities through community service, educating members on nutrition and health wellness, hosting professional speakers to generate interest in diverse career opportunities and gaining a greater knowledge of yoga, stretching, mindfulness and meditation.