About

Outdoor Outreach empowers at-risk and underprivileged youth to make positive, lasting changes in their lives through comprehensive outdoor programming.

Outdoor Outreach is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower at-risk and underprivileged youth to make positive, lasting changes in their lives through comprehensive outdoor programming. Outdoor Outreach programs support underserved youth in San Diego County who are at risk for school dropout, substance abuse, violence and unintended pregnancy. We are the only agency in San Diego and one of just a few in the country that utilizes outdoor physical experiences to provide youth with the support, relationships, resources and opportunities they need to become successful adults. Since its founding in 2001, Outdoor Outreach has taken more than 3,500 youth on over 1,000 outings, including rock climbing, snowboarding, surfing, snorkeling, mountain biking and backpacking. In 2008, we expect to serve 750 youth through 250 outings.

The majority of youth served through Outdoor Outreach programs live in inner-city communities with high concentrations of low-income, minority residents. These youth experience higher rates of substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, unintended teen pregnancy, youth violence and lower rates of high school graduation than in other county communities. Central and Southeast San Diego neighborhoods served by Outdoor Outreach experience among the highest rates of gang membership and juvenile referrals to probation in the county. Public schools within these neighborhoods have among the highest student drop-out rates and lowest academic performance scores in the county. Within the neighborhoods served by Outdoor Outreach, up to 40% of residents live below the poverty threshold, compared to 13% regionally. Ethnic representation in our programs consists of 50% Hispanic, 30% African American, 15% Caucasian and 5% Asian/Pacific Islander. Approximately 60% of participants are male and 40% are female.

1. Choice. We ensure that participation in our programs is always by choice and presented in a fun, safe and non-confrontational environment.

2. Respect. We believe in always showing respect for ourselves, for other people and for the environment in our words and our actions.

3. Authenticity. We believe in caring for youth without agenda.

4. Possibility. We believe in the powerful and positive effects that being in a new, outdoor environment can have on an individual.

5. Passion. We believe in sharing that we are passionate about, encouraging positive attitudes and having fun!