Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Find your grit

Entrepreneurs explain the process of peer influence through Wild Gift


By JENNIFER LIEBRUM
Express Staff Writer

    To be a peer among peers is to forge ahead, because of, or, in spite of, the support of one’s own peer group.
    Extraordinary things have resulted from the union of those with brilliant ideas in search of a foothold and those who went before. It’s the basis for the local nonprofit group Wild Gift.
    Wild Gift already uses the elements of sun and earth to foster passion, and now they are offering the general public a chance to experience the fruits of their labor. “True Grit: The Wild Gift Experience” will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. at the Community School auditorium in Sun Valley.
    Attendees will hear from two Wild Gift fellows, Viraj Puri, founder of Gotham Greens, and Amy Freeman, co-founder and director of development for The Wilderness Classroom.
    After being selected by Wild Gift for their extraordinary leadership skills,  the pair were taken on a wilderness trip,  given start-up capital and expert mentorship to accelerate their better-world ideas.
    Puri and Freeman will share their entrepreneurial success stories with the community, explaining how with remarkable grit and more, both have taken the “road less traveled” to create a better world. The audience will learn how they turned their passion into reality, and how the Wild Gift experience helped them find their own resilience to meet the many challenges they encountered along the way.
    Community School staff and Wild Gift will then discuss the concept of “true grit” and how to nurture these traits in our educational systems?
    A raffle will be held to help raise funds for the Wild Gift fellowship program. Prizes include three days/two nights lodging at a beautiful mountain cabin 20 minutes from Sun Valley. Raffle tickets are $10 each or $25 for three.
    General admission is $10 in advance/$15 at the door, and $5 for kids under 18. Tickets are available at Backwoods, Big Belly Deli and The Grinder.
    Puri’s project Gotham Greens is a New York City-based urban agriculture company growing produce in state-of-the-art rooftop greenhouses in Brooklyn, N.Y., using clean, renewable energy. He has developed and managed start-up enterprises in New York City, Ladakh, India, and Malawi, Africa, focusing on green building, renewable energy and environmental design. His written work has appeared in several books and publications including “100% Renewable—Energy Autonomy in Action” and the “U.N. Academic Journal.”
    Freeman’s project The Wilderness Classroom is a series of online learning adventures that allow students to interact with expedition members through an integrated curriculum. From 2010-2013, Freeman embarked on the North American Odyssey, an 11,700-mile journey across North America by dogsled, canoe and kayak. Throughout her journey, 2,200 teachers and 80,000 students worldwide were encouraged to protect North America’s waterways and wild lands.




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