#18 of “23 Stories of Change” for our City Skyline Challenge!
My name is Jim Welsh and I am very excited to join Outward Bound California in this event to raise funds to provide scholarships to low income youth so that they can benefit from the incredible experience that Outward Bound has to offer.
The money that I raise will be dedicated to Larkin Street Youth Services’ youth. As part of our newly launched comprehensive Learning Center, our youth will participate in Outward Bound excursions, providing youth with opportunities to live healthier lives and learn through outdoor experiences and team building.
I have been working with at risk youth for the past thirty years. I started partnering up with Outward Bound after attending a thirty day wilderness program. The Outward Bound learning model is both unique and profound. I started as a new MSW working with Severely Emotionally Impaired students in Detroit. These were students who were often viewed through the behaviors they exhibited and the challenges they struggled to overcome. The Outward Bound experience gave them an alternative view of resiliency and community. The challenges they overcame and the pride that followed carried over to the school environment in a way that impacted not only the student but also the teachers and parents.
While working in Maine I had the privilege to partner with Outward Bound to develop a program for youth emerging out of intensive foster care. The youth participated in a thirty day program to prepare for an eight month sail training and academic program that took them from Maine to South America and back.
Few people thought they could do this. With the support and structure of Outward Bound these students completed the voyage. It was a profound experience for all.
Now Larkin Street is partnering with Outward Bound to provide the same challenge and support for our youth in San Francisco. We will work with SF’s homeless youth to help develop the resilience, pride, and sense of community needed to help youth overcome homelessness and embark on a path to independence.
Outward Bound was founded over seventy years ago in an effort to help save the lives of young merchant mariners thrown into life and death situations. With your help the profound impact of Outward Bound can help save the lives and future of San Francisco’s most at risk youth.
You can make an expedition possible for a students to have experiences like Jim discusses by participating in or donating to the City Skyline Challenge!