No adjective can express how Antarctica really is. I believe this because “awesome” would be no where near describing what I saw, smelled, tasted, touched and felt. Being able to sit on top of a snow covered mountain and not worry about a thing in the world is the true beauty of this place. On December 31, 2004, I returned home to New York City with daily journals, knowledge, photographs, new friends, memories, and most importantly; a different me. This adventure exposed me to an entirely new world of being, surrounded by freezing water and mile-high icebergs, seeing killer whales hunting seals, and getting a sense of the most natural environment possible. As I leaf through my memories from these two weeks, I realize just how lucky I am to have had this experience at such an early stage in my life. I know I will take this journey and the spirit of peace and knowledge on all my next significant adventures.
Yesenia Esguerra – student on Antarctic Expedition 2004
I want to thank you for organizing this expedition, having all the explorers and researchers on your staff to educate the students, and your dedication to giving all the students this very unique experience. The expedition was very organized, the students were able to do daily landings on the continent, experience the history, life and environment first hand, and everyone came home safe. You have my utmost respect for dedicating your life to these expeditions, so others are able to enjoy this unique experience and knowledge of traveling to Antarctica!
David Hughes – father of student on Antarctic Expedition 2004
Thank you for such a fabulous expedition – Antarctica 2004. I admire you for getting everything ready on time, and for the hard work that it took to make this trip the success that it was! For me, visiting Antarctica has been an extremely valuable learning experience, as well as a time where I have made so many wonderful memories and so many great friends! Having now seen both the Arctic and the Antarctic, I have been inspired to teach people in my own community about climate change and global warming and how it is affecting the Polar Regions. I am determined to make a difference and hopefully inform people how to live more sustainable lifestyles so that we can preserve the Polar environments as they should stay. I have had the time of my life, and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to experience what very few students get to experience in their lifetime. I would like to honestly thank you for changing my life, altering my career path, and even changing the way that I do things throughout my daily life. These are truly incredible opportunities and they have moulded who I am today, and will continue to shape who I will be in the future.
Kelsi Prince – student on Antarctic Expedition 2004
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of the one tenth of one percent who actually gets to see Antarctica. This trip has changed my life in such a positive way. I am more aware of the environmental problems, such as greenhouse gases and commercial fishing, and also more aware of steps that we can take to help reduce these problems. But most of all, I have a better understanding of a continent practically untouched by humans. By sharing your passion for Antarctica with me, you have helped me to fall in love with the most amazing place on the planet, and I look forward to continuing to grow, learn and change as a result of this experience.
Sarah Nuernberger – student on Antarctic Expedition 2003
After this trip, my daughter shows us that the experience with you was a life-changing one. It seems that an important part of her future is going to be closely related with Antarctica. We are so proud and happy that my English hasn’t enough words to thank you for the incredible experience you have put in the hands and minds of our daughter, and of course in all the other participants. How proud you must be to help our world in this way!! Hundreds of young Ambassadors that can help to change the way most of the people relate with nature and wildlife…
Mirta Rosas – mother of student on Antarctic Expedition 2003
I cannot thank you enough for showing me the most spectacular place on earthy at such a pivotal point in my life.
Sonya Bell – student on Antarctic Expedition 2002
You and all your staff created a moving, magical experience that moved my daughter so profoundly it has given her not only direction for her career but strength and commitment to reach for the stars. From an educator’s point of view the quality of your trip shines through from the initial organization to pre-trip learning units to the holistic experiences that involved mentors in diverse fields- the power of the Antarctic itself and all its inhabitants – the radio call – the FUN! – the respect – the emotional connections to the wonderful support and follow-up through e-mails, the video, newsletter and the letter they wrote to themselves – FIRST CLASS examples of education for sustainability. You’ve captured it all. Thanks for all your hard work.
Liza Ireland – mother of student on Antarctic Expedition 2002
I can say with the utmost certainty that it was a life-changing experience. I congratulate you on having established such an exceptional youth organization, one that offers opportunities to students from all walks of life to encounter and truly appreciate Earth’s last great wild place. In retrospect, I feel that I myself have become much more environmentally conscious and a better world citizen directly as a result of having been a part of the 2002 Antarctic Expedition. I also came away with lasting friendships with students from around the world and a mutual understanding of the beauty and fragility of the Antarctic. I urge you to continue inspiring in youth a lasting respect for our planet and our duty to protect it.
Henk Venter – student on Antarctic Expedition 2002
Dear SOI friends, I am the parent of a student who recently returned from your expedition to Antarctica. Please forgive that it has taken 2 months to write and say thank you. My son, Jake, left on a school expedition to the Pacific Northwest days after returning with you. My conversations with him since that time have convinced me that this expedition to Antarctica left an impression that will affect him through his life. Jake gained immensely from his association with all of you. I, too, have learned so much about the reasons to protect Antarctica. Thanks to all of you for your excellent planning, caring ways, and positive teen-friendly approach to learning. I am impressed and grateful for all that you are doing for young people through these exciting and mind-broadening expeditions. Please feel free to offer my name and address and phone number to parents who want a reference. Keep up the wonderful work!
Nancy Maguire – Mother
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for the interest and foresight that you had to develop Students on Ice, and provide our son with the exceptional opportunity of visiting and learning about both Antarctica and the Arctic in these past 8 months. Your enthusiasm, commitment and energy in developing Students on Ice is not only making a difference in the individual lives and potential of many young adults, but it is contributing to the increased awareness and impact that these young people are having, and will have, regarding the many environmental issues that we must surely address in the very near future. We will not list the many different and tangible benefits that these experiences have had for Scott, nor go into detail about the less measurable aspects of personal growth, development, and change that we have witnessed. Or go into detail about the significant university scholarship Scott received for an essay that he wrote about the expedition to Antarctica. Suffice to say that these experiences, along with yourselves and the many people involved in these expeditions, have contributed greatly to his future, and to his educational and career goals in the field of geography and environmental science. Simply put...THANK YOU!
Mr. and Mrs. Duncan – Parents
Your organization and on-board educators have the power to unlock many of the secrets concerning our world’s past and future. I urge you to continue on your path to provide students with these inspiring educational opportunities.
The Hon. John Manley – Former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
There was a certain self-confidence, a certain poise, a certain sense of satisfied accomplishment when my daughter returned.
Mrs. Michaels – Parent
I believe the Students on Ice expedition is a unique and extraordinary adventure for students. I only wish I could have had such an opportunity myself when I was in high school!
Dr. Mario Molina – Nobel Prize winner, MIT
Your organization has become a pioneering force in educating today's youth about the environment.
United States Senator Charles E. Schumer
In its conception, the expedition was ambitious; in its execution, it was inspirational!
Mike Ross and Rosanna Stall – Parents
The Polar Regions have risen to the top of environmental concerns. Endowed especially in the high arctic, with unique and newly endangered life forms; holding a large fraction of Earth’s fresh water; and subject to exceptionally rapid climate change, these remote parts of the world have a great importance for the generations immediately ahead. I'm glad that Students on Ice is leading in the kind of environmental education most needed.
Dr. Edward O. Wilson – Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
I know that both my student and teacher’s lives are forever enriched.
Jan Wilson – Principal, David Thompson Secondary School