Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) is an interdisciplinary wilderness-based program that combines leadership, literacy, science and more to transform the lives of underserved youth from Central Valley communities.

During a series of year-round weekend retreats and a 40-day summer immersion in the park, Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) program participants are mentored through a range of academic and physical activities, including backpacking, hiking, rock-climbing and wilderness solo experiences. They also focus on English writing, team-building, public speaking and environmental science through ongoing tutoring. Over the course of the program, they develop a deeper appreciation and concern for the natural world, and many express an interest in pursuing careers in conservation and stewardship. In 2014, ARC connected 129 individual students with Yosemite, and with opportunities to develop valuable life and career skills.

Working closely with student mentors from the University of California, Merced, ARC’s high school–age participants learn that going to college or working in national parks are tangible dreams, and many are on track to fulfilling their goals.   

With your continued support, Yosemite is building the next generation of park stewards.

Partnering with ARC; University of California, Berkeley; UC Merced; and Yosemite National Park.

Vera Reyes

ARC participant

Project Notes

It changes how you feel about yourself and about the need to protect wilderness.