Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC), one of several Youth in Yosemite Programs supported by Conservancy grants in 2016, helps underserved California teens develop a deep appreciation for the outdoors while charting a course toward success in school and in future careers. As of December 2016, nearly 100 percent of ARC alumni had finished high school on time, and 80 percent had gone on to college.

ARC participants explore leadership, environmental science and literacy through a 40-day summer immersion in the park and a series of year-round weekend retreats that blend wilderness experiences with academics. Through activities ranging from backpacking and rock-climbing to public speaking and team-building exercises, participants develop confidence, core skills and a solid connection to the natural world. One-on-one mentoring with ARC alumni and Yosemite Leadership Program participants inspires these teens to realize going to college and pursuing careers in national parks are tangible dreams.

By supporting ARC in 2016, your gifts helped young people develop a passion for the outdoors and gain skills that will help them in school, work and life. Thank you for supporting your park!

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, Adventure Risk Challenge, and University of California, Merced.

Sarah Cupery Ottley

Adventure Risk Challenge Director

Project Notes

Adventure Risk Challenge is essential to the future of gateway Central Valley youth, who are sorely lacking enriching experiences that boost their academic performance, assist them in developing leadership skills, foster values of stewardship and conservation, and change their vision of the future. ARC provides a network of support and services critical to youth success through dynamic year-round curriculum.