The Areté Experience is really about being around a peer group that explores their sense of self and develops an ability to be open to possibilities and creativity and by doing so they foster a solution focused approach to living their life. The learning process at Areté is primarily experiential in nature and involves low and high challenge courses, though the curriculum is designed to be challenge by choice. Returning participants are eligible to experience mentorship roles.
Being self-motivated, self-assured, confident and happy are descriptions of a product that can't be purchased instead they are a result of process that we call Areté. So come and experience Areté!
Areté gave me an important connection outside of the popularity jungles of public school. It is hard to answer the question of 'long term impact'. I honestly do not have contact with anybody else who participated in the program, which is partially if not fully my fault (that is not to say that after Areté all contact was immediately lost, but through the college years as everybody drifted contact slowly degraded). But I look back on the experience fondly. I still have my Areté journals. I am sure that the experience shaped who I have become. But I can't explicitly state Areté did this for me' or Areté did that for me. I suppose Areté helped me understand that I was holding back from forming relationships with my peers, because I perceived myself as 'unpopular' and did not believe kids my age would want to associate with me. Now that sounds more desperate than it was and I knew we were just kids and we would 'grow out' of that popularity mindset. But Areté helped me realize (again, this is in hindsight, I don't think I totally understood this at the time) that I was just as much a participant in the popularity contest world of high school that I hated, because I was playing my part of unpopular kid. And I was waiting for everybody else to 'grow up' and then approach me. It helped me grow out of that fear of rejection and start trying to make friends with people. I have no doubt Areté helped give me the confidence in my social self to try to meet new people and not fear their rejection. And all those new relationships and experiences build on each other to make me who I am today. So Areté was an essential piece of that foundation that helped me grow a bit out of teenage adolescence and into young adulthood.