For 37 years, the Walkabout Program thrived as a full-day, full-year, public alternative for college-bound high school seniors and juniors from a wide range of socioeconomic and academic backgrounds, based in Yorktown Heights, New York within the PNW BOCES system. The Walkabout Program gave high school students the opportunity to develop into resilient, self-reliant young adults with the critical thinking skills to thrive in academic and career settings. At a time when so many students graduated high school ill-equipped for the rigors of college and real life, Walkabout taught the skills necessary for the risky transition into adulthood. Walkabout’s history of attracting both at-risk youth and talented and gifted students demonstrates the malleability of the program and the wide range of students it can serve.
Despite the fact that a Walkabout education was priced comparably to area high schools and had enthusiastic support from parents, district personnel, and communities throughout the region, financial pressures led some school districts to cut the program from their budgets. As a result, the program was cancelled in June 2014. Before the closing of the program, the Walkabout Education Foundation was formed in 2013 as an independent, non-profit organization to advocate for and expand experiential education programs in the Walkabout model. The foundation was founded by alumni and faculty of the Walkabout Program.