Adventure, service focus of new nonprofit

Bethany Green Oliver and her husband Tucker have began a nonprofit called High Tide Adventure. This will give high school students an opportunity to seek out adventure while giving back to their community with their services.

by Life Editor Melissa Parker

Assistant Director of Student Engagement Bethany Green and graduate student Tucker Green, who is pursuing a master’s in Geospatial Sciences, share more than just a last name and a home. The married couple shares a vision to offer local high school students, ages 14 through 18, opportunities to grow and become the best people they can be through their nonprofit High Tide Adventure.

“We are trying to create unique opportunities for personal growth,” Bethany Green said. “The way we’re doing that is through service and adventure.”

The couple will spend the summer planning future trips, she said.

“We’re taking high school teens on trips over the summer break and during other school breaks,” she said. “They’ll be focused on a specific social issue, and they’ll do hands-on service work in the community that we travel to.”

The trips will also include some aspect of adventure like rafting, overnight camping and possibly skiing, she said.

“During the trip, along with the adventure and service, we’ll have daily reflections so they can process everything,” she said. “When we come back, we reorient them back into the community. One of the most important pieces is to help get them connected in their own community and follow up (with them).”

Sophomore Leah Johns said she thinks the organization would be beneficial to high school students.

“Students in high school are self-focused that they’re not as versatile as they can be,” she said. “I feel like it would be good for them to be exposed to different things outside of themselves.”

Bethany Green said fundraising efforts helped them finish paperwork to set up the nonprofit organization and jump-start trips with the teen program at the Florence Lauderdale Public Library.

“We’re still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t,” she said.

She said she began thinking about what she wanted to do with her life and realized how much she enjoyed Alternative Breaks at UNA. The passion she has for the high school age group gave her the idea for High Tide.

Tucker Green said the idea expanded after the couple met and began talking about their own interests.

He is more adventurous, and she is more service-oriented, Bethany Green said.

Society bombards this generation with information, and people tell them they can be anything without providing them the means to do so, Tucker Green said.

“Through High Tide, we want to provide the experience to get them to start thinking differently or pursuing something that may be their dream, but they didn’t have the tools to take the next step,” Bethany Green said.

Their hope is students will feel comfortable enough to be themselves and use these opportunities to explore and gain life experience, Bethany Green said.

“If every child that came on our trip put down his cellphone or social media device for a little bit longer, that would be a successful trip for us,” Tucker Green said.

They want to incorporate college students into mentor roles in the future and make it a learning experience for everyone, she said.

Sophomore Justin Spann said he thinks it is good for college students to be involved with high school students.

“I think they could help high school students understand that it’s not a rose garden when you come to college,” he said. “I think it would help a lot.

Bethany Green said people ask them if they think High Tide is realistic and will change anything.

“The only way you know if anything is realistic is if you try it,” Bethany Green said. “If you don’t try it, you never know.”

The couple has pitched the idea to a few high school students who liked the idea, she said.

The goal is to show young people the things they want to do in life come through hard work and experience, he said.

“If you want to be a professor, or you want to work with kids our age, you can’t do that in a classroom,” he said. “You have to experience it. “