#7 of “23 Stories of Change” for our City Skyline Challenge!
Megan Ford is originally from Stuart, FL and had the opportunity to participate in an Outward Bound sailing course when she was 16 years old. Fast forward to today and she’s a successful businesswoman at a well known Bay Area company, and she still attributes part of her success to this life-changing experience on course. Here’s her story:
I participated in the Outward Bound Sailing Adventure in South Florida – Intercoastal Waterway. My breakthrough moment in was when I was put in charge of the “sails up” process on Day 2. I’ve sailed most of my life, so this doesn’t sound now like much of an event – but I remember it being very challenging at the time! It was also the first time I’d lead a group of people my age in any type of physically demanding activity… I was not especially good at sports in high school so I was rarely in a leadership role on teams.
Outward Bound gave me confidence that I could play a leadership role outside of the classroom. I liked that I became good at a physical skill that I invested to time to learn, rather than something that relied purely on natural physical talent (which I did not have). This confidence prompted me to sign up for more outdoor adventure trips in college, and it became something that I’ve enjoyed doing throughout my life. I still sail.
It’s been ~20 years since I participated in Outward Bound, and I now run a large business and manage a team of people. I believe the leadership skills I learned in Outward Bound contributed to my early career development, and outside of work to my love of the outdoors. I hope many others kids will have the same opportunity that I did!
You can make an expedition possible for a student by participating in or donating to the City Skyline Challenge!