Riverdale students have been going to New Orleans for more than 10 years to help with rebuilding neighborhoods ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. In June, they helped to clean up a community center. Photo by Michael Flanagan.
At the heart of Riverdale's mission statement is the goal to "change our world for the good." Sometimes we initiate change, and sometimes our lives change unexpectedly, testing our resilience.
Riverdale students learn to be comfortable with the idea of change and their own abilities to support others, face challenges, and navigate new situations. Through Riverdale's relationship with other schools, organizations, and communities nationwide, students learn that they are part of a larger world, and that they can work alongside others to make a difference.
Beginning in the Lower School, students are introduced to character strengths that emphasize optimism, curiosity, and adaptability. As students move through the school, they become active participants in their school community. Through service-learning experiences, student-led activities, trips, speakers, and independent study and research projects, students are encouraged to think about change as an opportunity, and to develop a sense of purpose that will guide their education and life choices.
Students also learn about how individuals and communities rebuild after suffering sudden losses. Riverdale students have been going to New Orleans every year for a decade to work alongside community groups that continue to rebuild neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In April, a group went to Detroit to learn about the complex social and economic forces at work as the city tries to rebuild its economy and improve municipal services and advocacy groups fight for the needs of the poor. In 2014, students went to Christchurch, New Zealand, and learned how that city is recovering from devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
To learn more about how Riverdale educates changemakers, and the changemakers in our own community, go to the following stories:
- One Small Square at Wave Hill
- Embrace Ambition
- Changemakers in NOLA
- Jolli Humanitarian Award recipient: Lenni Benson, founder of Safe Passage Project
- Community Cubed: Art on the Lawn
- A Visit to the BSCAH's Urban Farm
- The New Orleans Experience
- Kennedy Odede: With Hope, Everything Is Possible
- Seniors Recognized By Nothing But Nets
- Changemaker: Seventh Grader Creates Emotions Board
- Humanitarian Award Winner Fights Hunger
- Riverdale Students Host Safe Passage
- Changemaker in Malawi
- Global Learning: Empowering Volunteers in New Zealand
- Randolph to Graduates: You Can Make Change Happen