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April 1, 2015 - Youth Outside, based in Downtown Oakland, is a nonprofit organization with a dedicated, passionate staff that are committed to supporting the growth and sustainability of organizations in California that provide outdoor activities and programs to underrepresented youth. The mission of Youth Outside is to connect youth to nature by eliminating barriers, providing resources, and promoting outdoor programming as essential for building healthy lives and inspiring future stewards of the planet.
Youth Outside has provided essential support for youth outdoor programs since 2006, and has invested $11.5 million dollars in over 200 organizations that have served 250,000 children since that time. Youth Outside’s vision is for all youth to have the opportunity for meaningful experiences in nature.
In August of 2013, Youth Outside received a generous grant from the Stewardship Council, allowing it to operate as an independent organization. In addition to supporting a variety of initiatives that address the barriers preventing underserved youth from engaging in meaningful outdoor activities, Youth Outside’s current grant making program also emphasizes cultural relevancy and youth leadership development.
Outdoor experiences and education are necessary for all youth development, as participation in these activities can increase academic achievement, improve health and wellness, teach skills such as teamwork and cooperation, and develop future environmental stewards. Unfortunately, too few youth participate in or have safe access to outdoor activities. In 2008, foundations gave less than $13 million annually to outdoor youth programs in California, which represented less than 2% of total environmental charitable giving.
I had only been with Youth Outside for 3 months when it was time for our audit. Working with Tracy, and the RINA team made what could have been a very difficult process, seamless. They were incredibly patient and very supportive throughout the entire experience.
Kim Moore Bailey
If you are interested in learning more about Youth Outside, or would like to make a donation to this wonderful organization, please visit their website at www.youthoutside.org.