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Rappel raises funds for Philadelphia Outward Bound School

Hayley Boyle, an alum of Philadelphia Outward Bound School, will rappel Friday in the school's fundraiser. Credit: Provided Hayley Boyle, an alum of Philadelphia Outward Bound School, will rappel Friday in the school's fundraiser. Credit: Provided

Hayley Boyle is definitely paying it forward.

She calls raising money for Philadelphia Outward Bound School — programming that helped her cope after her half brother's death — both “amazing” and “overwhelming.”

The culmination of her and others’ fundraising effort is Friday when the school’s biggest fundraiser, “Building Adventure 2013,” will see hundreds of business leaders, local celebrities and youth rappel down One Logan Square.

Outward Bound, started in Philadelphia in 1992, teaches students character development and leadership through outdoor and wilderness events.

“We teach students how to work together in teams, how to navigate and work together to overcome some challenging obstacles,” said Katie Newsom Pastuszek, Outward Bound’s local executive director.

Mayor Nutter's rappel last year. Credit: Provided Mayor Nutter's rappel last year. Credit: Provided

Boyle, of Collingswood, N.J., participated in the school’s eight-day bereavement program to help her overcome her brother’s fatal heroin overdose in 2007.

Now 23, Boyle said the program not only taught her how to challenge herself physically but “to work though your emotions and that sense of hopelessness and abandonment.”

She credits the course as a stepping-stone in her life and will return the favor this Friday to rappel and raise funds for scholarships to help students — and veterans too — in several situations, some like hers.

It’s an “emotional whirlwind” for her, she said. Thursday, just a day before the rappel, marks the sixth anniversary of her half brother’s death — the reason she’s involved with Outward Bound. The group helped her to open up and talk to people about her family life.

“You’re not alone,” she said. “It’s about finding your community, finding your niche.”

Pastuszek said Outward Bound programming helps students “discover new edges” of their personalities.“The most distinct way to talk about Outward Bound is to recognize it takes a community to provide a child with roots.”

Rappellers this Friday include Mayor Michael Nutter, Sen. Vince Hughes, former Flyer Ed “Boxcar” Hospodar and many more.

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