| San Diego, California |


To connect youth to the transformative power of the outdoors...to realize the positive attitude and behavioral changes that help them become happy, healthy, and successful adults.

Outdoor Outreach serves communities in southeastern San Diego, often designated as a “Promise Zone” by the federal government because of its concentrated poverty, rising crime, and high youth unemployment. Since 1999, Outdoor Outreach has served more than 10,500 young people (aged nine - 20) in San Diego; using the outdoors as a tool for youth development to meet critical community needs. They believe the outdoors is about much more than the adventure. By increasing access to the outdoors for diverse youth from underserved communities, participants find and apply their strengths, and develop a new narrative of what they can do and be. Outdoor Outreach provides transportation, snacks/meals, equipment, and knowledgeable instructors at no cost to our participants, providing initial entry points to nature for youth who face multiple barriers to the outdoors.

Outdoor Outreach programs provide a safe space for teens to be physically active through surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing and more, engaging them in activities that promote a strong sense of self, belonging and resiliency. The opportunity to build positive relationships with adults and peers provides participants with social capital through the critical transition to adulthood. By forging an authentic connection between urban youth and close-to-home open space areas, Outdoor Outreach can build stepping stones of engagement that inspire youth to respect and protect the places where they play.

"I feel blessed to be in the position that I'm in today. A high school graduate, employed at a job I love, about to start college and pursue a career I'm passionate about. I'm a role model now – someone that others aspire to be like. There's no other feeling like it. I have Outdoor Outreach to thank for all of this."  - Vincent [Outdoor Outreach Alumni / Current Outdoor Outreach Instructor]