We started the new year off right at Berkeley Ironworks by hosting The Reset Foundation. Nearly 90% of a child’s academic attainment can be predicted by that of their parents’, and the cycle of poverty, incarceration, and unemployment can plague entire generations. The Reset Foundation aims to break that cycle by giving promising low-income young people the opportunities they deserve through a chance to live on their campuses and focus on academics, career development, and healthy living.
While rock climbing is by no means a critical resource, it is but one of many activities often unavailable to those afflicted by poverty; it is part of our mission to change that and make our sport and its mental, physical, and emotional benefits accessible to all. We were proud to have The Reset Foundation visit us at Ironworks this month and do our part to provide opportunities to their students.
All the students needed were some basic safety skills, and, after learning the knots and how to belay, each one took to climbing naturally. It was a blast getting a chance to see them try and excel at something new. We caught up with Jessica, the foundation’s Academics and Program Oversight manager, who sent us a testimonial about their time at the gym:
None of our students had any previous experience with climbing, and a few of them went into our first session with doubts about how they would like it. They were immediately hooked. Our instructors Josh and Emily walked them through the process of tying knots, learning how to belay, and the basics of climbing with patience, humor, and enthusiasm. When the guys actually had the chance to climb for the first time, they loved it. All of them—even those with a serious fear of heights—made it to the top of the wall. One of my favorite moments was seeing one of our students who tends to struggle with learning tasks work patiently until he got the hang of the knots and then become the first to scale the wall, all with a huge smile on his face. Thank you for providing our students with access to new skills and experiences and for giving us the opportunity to build some more joy into our week!
We were also thrilled to get feedback from the students themselves, who all seemed eager to return:
- I appreciate the class. I really enjoyed the climbing. Josh was good at instructing us, and Emily was really helpful. I can’t wait to go back. It’s a wonderful change of scenery. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I am looking forward to going back.
- I’m so excited to be having this opportunity to be in the vicinity. I enjoyed the greeting and Josh is a very good person. I would love to have him as my rock climbing mentor. I feel that this can change my hobby experiences. I can’t wait to come back and seeing the warm smiles and meeting new people that are willing to help me succeed in life. Such a wonderful scenery. Thank you for the acceptance.
- I appreciate you allowing us to come to the gym/warehouse to go rock climbing. I’m looking forward to coming more often because it was better than I expected and I got over my fear of heights. The change of venue was beautiful and something I’ll tell my family all about. Once again, thank you for the opportunity!
- I appreciate that you let us in your gym. I had a ball when I was there! And I look forward to revisiting this week.
- Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate and learn something new. I appreciate you a lot for helping out young souls and providing us an outlet, a coping tool, and thank you for being a great person.
Thank you for joining us for such a great day of climbing, Reset Foundation! We hope to see you all at the gym again soon.
If you’d like to get involved with our outreach programs or learn about opportunities for your own organization, contact Berkeley Ironworks at (510) 981-9900.