Outward Bound California forges lasting connections not only with our students in the field, but with leading Bay Area community-based organizations as a way to further their missions and impart skills for life through experiential education. One such important partnership is with Larkin Street Youth Services, which has been meeting the unique needs of San Francisco’s homeless and runaway youth for the past 30 years.
Outward Bound California is happy to announce that we are partnering with Larkin Street Youth Services as the experiential-learning arm of their newly-launched Learning Center. Linking Outward Bound California programs with Larkin Street Youth Center’s curriculum works for a myriad of reasons, one being the important hand they have in the lives of San Francisco’s homeless and transitional youth.
Among more than 3,500 youth served by Larkin Street annually, nearly half have a history with the child welfare system, 47% spent time in the juvenile justice system, one in four is in only fair or poor health at intake, and more than two-thirds report mental health as a presenting issue. More than 40% of those over the age of 18 never completed high school, and nine out of ten report that they are actively looking for work.
Traditional school settings did not work for many Larkin Street youth. Their goal is to create a non-traditional learning environment that makes learning exciting and challenging. Their programs connect academics, career preparation, life skills and experiential opportunities to help youth gain the skills necessary for post-secondary and career success. An impressive three out of four youth who complete a Larkin Street transitional housing program leave street life behind.
Outward Bound California will work with San Francisco’s homeless youth through outdoor experiences, team-building exercises, and personal discovery programs to help develop the resilience, pride, and sense of community needed to help youth overcome homelessness and embark on a path to independence. We will provide a progression of programming to students over the course of 6 months culminating in a 3-day overnight course in one of the Bay Areas beautiful parks this fall. Participants will backpack, rock climb and test their boundaries, all while developing a sense of community, communication skills, trust in others, and confidence to achieve their goals.
For more information regarding the alliance, please contact Emma Rapp at [email protected].