BN360 is spotlighting young professionals whose personal and professional efforts touch our waterfront, one of Buffalo Niagara’s greatest assets. Learn more about their work and come mingle with them at our Anniversary Party on September 17th.
Kate Mini is the Director of Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education Foundation. BUOE was born from a deep passion for experiential education, a form of education dedicated to making connections through interactive experience. I first observed the profound effects of this type of education when I was part of the development of the New York Harbor School in Brooklyn, NY. Young people who had never left their neighborhoods found themselves on a traditional schooner and exchanged their provincial cultural barriers for individual pride and curiosity in their ability to experience new things. After my experience in New York, I vowed to dedicate my life to facilitating this process.
I see BUOE as one part of the solution to engaging disconnected youth of all backgrounds in this region. In a generation of youth increasingly disconnected from and fearful of the natural world, culture world and one another, young people are in need of increased exposure and opportunity to true hands-on experience and new perspectives. BUOE’s platform of the traditional sailing vessel incorporates elements of teamwork, self-esteem and history with standards-based lessons, but also offers intangible elements of quietude and reflection that most young people don’t ever experience in our technology-driven world. Our first season has been an incredible success and only reflects the great need for innovative educational programs in our region.