As a student, Katie Powers ’09 took part in St. Lawrence’s Adirondack Semester. She says the experience “has had a profound influence on my life since leaving St. Lawrence.
“The Semester is the preeminent example of excellence in place-based education,” Katie says. “The combination of rigorous academics, tactile learning and community-building is paramount to our generation's ability to work toward a smarter future. I believe very strongly that we can't do that work, or do it well, without an appreciation for and understanding of our place."
Katie lives in Waterville, Vt., where she runs a small, diverse organic farm with classmate Jacob Keszey. “We sell vegetables and eggs and raise pork, chicken and beef and do our best to take care of a beautiful piece of land,” she says. She also works at a restaurant that obtains most of its food locally, while Jacob works for an organic vegetable seed company. Katie writes about farming at kitchendoorblog.com.
“It was the concept of balancing wilderness and civilization that had the most profound influence on me,” Katie says. "We listened to the call of loons in the morning and drove Suburbans to town in the afternoon. As frustrating as that juxtaposition was, it gave us a reality check. The Adirondack Semester articulated the idea of a working compromise between what is ideal and what is realistic, and that is a tool which has become invaluable to my everyday experience as well as my vision for the future.”