The Youth We Serve
Who do we serve?
The youth we work with come from all over the Bay Area. They’re from cities like Oakland, Richmond and some of the toughest neighborhoods in San Francisco like Bayview-Hunter’s Point, the Tenderloin and Chinatown. They also come from places like Fresno where they aren’t necessarily in an urban environment, but where drug use may be one of the few activities that they’re drawn to by their peers.
These youth come to us through over 300 different schools and organizations, ranging from after-school programs to group homes, to gang-violence prevention programs to summer camps.
When we say “at-risk” or “underserved,” we’re really talking about any and all youth that don’t have access to green healthy spaces to play in. Many studies suggest that a lack of imaginative time in the outdoors has resulted in the explosion of childhood health problems such as obesity and ADHD. Time outside on a regular basis, away from the screens of phones, televisions and computers, has been proven to increase learning, knowledge retention, confidence and self-esteem. Because of this, we truly believe that all kids need to experience the outdoors, away from their electronics-filled lives, and interact with one another and their environment in healthy ways.
The most comprehensive overview of the importance of taking youth into nature comes from Richard Louv’s book titled “Last Child in the Woods: Saving out Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” Learn more about the book here.