In Her Own Words: CRMS Community, Faculty Help Tashi Jackson ’22 Grow in Self-Discovery

by Tim O'Keefe

Last June, Tashi Jackson graduated after four years at Colorado Rocky Mountain School. In her final year at CRMS, she and her teachers say that she came alive with growth and self-discovery. This summer she shared, in her own words, some reflections on her time at CRMS and the impact the school and donors like you had on her.

As you reflect on your time at CRMS, what moments stand out as pivotal or profound to you?

This is such a loaded question that I struggle to begin to specify a specific moment that stood out to me. Everyday at CRMS was a profound experience in its own way. Special little moments made my high school experience very worthwhile — the beautiful morning stroll to my first class, learning from exceptionally passionate teachers, being in the presence of many good human beings, having access to organic food grown right in the CRMS garden, and the emphasis on experiential learning inside and outside the classroom.  

My experience at CRMS was the polar opposite of my previous school: the classes are small and intimate, its more heavily focused on promoting exercise in the outdoors, and it provides such an immersive experience to higher education. Of course, I can’t emphasis enough how profound and memorable my experience was at CRMS. I felt like I was apart of a very special community that offered me the most wonderful and unique high school experience. 

If I were to distinguish my most noteworthy experiences, they would all be centered in the outdoors. Having access to such prestigious landscapes in the Rocky Mountains, CRMS lives and breathes the outdoors. the trips are incredible because students are taken to such expansive environments that demand exploration. While on these trips Ive come to learn to appreciate every moment that I get on this beautiful Earth. CRMS has shifted my perspective on outdoor lifestyles forever and now wherever I go, I feel a heightened appreciation for nature more than ever. 

How have you changed and/or grown as a result of being at CRMS?

Starting at the beginning of my freshman year, I was a nervous wreck who found CRMS to be unconventional and foreign to anything I had ever experienced before. At first I felt a bit lost in this unfamiliar community and unsure about my place in it. But as I pushed myself more and more out of my comfort zone I made space for more self discovery and more profound experiences that CRMS had to offer. 

I feel that I’ve grown so much since my first wilderness trip and I thank CRMS for fueling its students with a zest for adventure and positive risk taking mindsets. Students learn to develop skills in active participation, accountability, and the constant pursuit of personal development. 

I’ve become so invested in the schools leading commitment to inclusion, responsibility, and engagement that I plan to uphold these traits wherever I end up.

Who played a critical role in that growth? How did they impact you?

A combination of the whole CRMS community aided in my growth. A few notable faculty have left imprints on my journey and I will be forever thankful for these incredibly dedicated and supportive mentors: 

Lynn Pullford, my photography teacher, was always a beam of light for me and continually showed those around her that she cared and supported them wholeheartedly. She inspires me to be the best version of myself and to lead with love and kindness. 

My senior year I partook in a Geopolitical class and I was given the opportunity to deeply question undeniable indignities in the political landscape with an emphasis in empathy. A.O. Forbes was a wonder to behold and everyday I felt honored to be in his soft and adoring presence. He was my reminder that every individual has the power to shape their landscape and promote a better world.   

Thanks to Noah Sakamoto, I have gained a lot of experience in the visual arts and have learned dope skills like the recreational art form of skateboarding. He has guided me and every other student of his to reach for our fullest potentials within our artistic endeavors. He has been the most influential art teacher I’ve had so far and I will always be appreciative of his sage art teacher advice. 

What’s the biggest “thing” you’ll take away from CRMS?

My biggest take away is that a supportive community is crucial to thriving in life. Making people feel welcome and accepted is my top priority because everyone deserves to be heard. So what I’ll take away is to keep a sense of open mindedness in all types of unfamiliar terrain and concentrate my energy on emulating the values of this school. 

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Alumni, Community

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