Alumni Opportunities

Galapagos believes that all of the children who enter Galapagos leave as scholars.  We believe that, as scholars, we pursue education and experiential opportunities throughout our lives.  GRCS would certainly like to continue to be a part of our scholars’ growth even after they graduate.   If you are an alum please feel free to contact us and let us know what you are up to; we love to brag about our scholars!   Please feel free to apply for and/or share the variety of alumni opportunities that we have available.  We will continue to pursue and grow experiences for our scholars; so, please look back frequently.  We currently have the following programs available for alum:

The Project Passport Application Period Is Open Now!  Apply Here.

We are excited to announce a great opportunity for Galapagos alum entering their Junior or Senior years in 2023. For the third year, the Project Passport Program at Galapagos will bring five-six GRCS alum to Africa. This trip combines learning about African culture with a leadership retreat. Alum will get the chance to visit Uganda and Rwanda.  There, they will meet and work with Africans their own age and visit locations that will expand their horizons. Interested scholars should contact use the application link above (for the summer of 2023.)  The trip will take place in June 2023 and will require some pre-work and fundraising.   Scholars will work together at the summit in Uganda while also having time to explore the region.  Scholars will visit an Ugandan market place, meet with village elders and spend time on a safari and participate in a three day youth summit.  Finally, scholars will visit neighboring Rwanda to learn about the genocide that enveloped that nation in the 1990’s while discovering how the nation undertook one of the more successful reconciliations displayed by humanity in the 2000’s.

Take a look at the agenda from the last two trip for all the exciting activities involved in this program.   See our scholars in action.

2022 Africa Youth Summit Itinerary

Yeah, we are the only ones in Rockford who offer this.

The Outward Bound alumni trip allows you to immerse yourself in the outdoors as you paddle down the St. Croix Riverway past sandstone cliffs then explore dense boreal forests, stunning waterfalls and awe-inspiring ridgetop vistas on the Superior Hiking Trail on this multi-week expedition during the summer of 2023.  Apply to Outward Bound

River-shaped sandstone cliffs, shimmering silver maples and clean, rushing water will captivate you and your crew as you travel down the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers. This stunning and diverse ecosystem challenges your paddling skills through moving water and varied rapid classes. The river demands your attention as you and your crew navigate its forks, twists and turns. After the river you’ll launch into the backpacking portion of your expedition as it takes you into the heart of the Sawtooth Mountain Range, adjacent to the world’s largest body of freshwater, Lake Superior. Greet the sunrise, spend the day challenging yourself while hiking the stunning Superior Hiking Trail. Learn outdoor skills that allow you to travel with confidence through these awe-inspiring wilderness environments. In addition to gaining useful technical skills, you’ll also develop essential life skills including perseverance or “grit,” teamwork, problem solving, decision making and leadership in this fun and unique outdoor classroom. This expedition will push you to find new personal limits and develop self-reliance, teamwork and outdoor skills in a rugged and beautiful natural classroom.  Fill out an application here by December 5, 2022.  Ahh, yeah, we are the only ones in Rockford who offer this.

Galapagos is excited to announce the first year of the GRCS Alumni college scholarship.   This scholarship is open to any scholar who graduated from Galapagos Rockford Charter School.  The submission window is currently closed but will reopen for 2023 in February.   

Scholarship recipients in 2022 were:   

  • Dylan Lopez- Wentworth Technical College- $500
  • Nichelle Hunt- Aurora University- $2,500
  • Ashanti Harris- John C. Smith University- $5,000

Award Announcements:  2023 Recipients will be announced on GRCS graduation night in June 2023.

The Galapagos Summer Teaching Fellowship is a paid opportunity for GRCS alum who are recent high school graduates and/or current college students to spend a summer internship teaching scholars in grades K-8.  Our Summer Teaching Fellows gain experience teaching in both small group and whole class environments, primarily to build reading, writing, and math skills.  

Why might I be interested in the Summer Teaching Fellowship?

  • You don’t yet know what you will do professionally, but you want to try teaching.  The Summer Teaching Fellowship gives  you an opportunity to develop your understanding of teaching and learning to see if it might be the profession for you.
  • You want to do something with your summer that makes others’ lives better. Our scholars need targeted instruction and attention.   Without it, they could slip further behind in their achievement levels this summer.  Do you want to spend your time this summer doing something that will literally improve the lives of children?
  • It’s not okay with you that summer opportunities are not equitable.  Not all children have access to summer enrichment and academic programming.  Especially those who really need it.  If you are passionate about helping to close the achievement gap, this is the program for you.
  • You are already working toward a career in education and are eager to receive feedback and coaching to become the teacher your scholars deserve. In the Summer Teaching Fellows program you will receive ongoing training, daily observations, and frequent feedback to improve your craft and become the teacher your future scholars deserve. 

Galapagos is excited to announce its next Project Passport trip to Spain.  Scholars will travel to Spain and spend a week, during spring break, in one of Spain’s most enchanting cities, Sevilla.   This Project Passport trip is open to all current GRCS 7th and 8th graders as well as all alumni currently in 9th or 10th grade.   On this journey, scholars will:

  • Participate in approximately 3 hours of Spanish language classes a day.  But, don’t worry, these classes are tailored to the scholars’ ability.   Scholars who do not speak Spanish will participate in GRCS only beginning Spanish classes.  Scholars who already speak Spanish will take classes that match their current language ability.
  • Explore the wonders of this city that was formed by Muslim, Jewish and Catholic culture and influence.   Highlights include the world-famous Cathedral, Alcazar as well as the largest bull plaza in the world.
  • Learn to cook Spanish dishes in a hand-on class.
  • Watch world class Flamenco dancers, guitar players and singers.
  • Eat wonderful Spanish cuisine.
  • And… so much more.

Applications are available now and are due on December 2.  Both a passport and Covid vaccinations are required for this trip.  It is ok if you do not currently have either; but you will need to obtain them if accepted on this Project Passport.

Apply for Project Passport- Spain