March 1, 2014

Mission Statement: To empower at-risk and underprivileged youth to make positive lasting changes in their lives through comprehensive outdoor programming. Advancing Health and Wellness: Outdoor Outreach is the only nonprofit in San Diego, and one of a few in the country, to utilize outdoor physical experiences combined with one-on-one academic and social supports to provide at-risk youth with opportunities to become healthy and self-sufficient adults. Research by Jules Pretty, University of Essex, “Nature, Childhood, Health and Life Pathways,” 2009, confirms: “youth that are active, connected to people, engage in natural places, and eat healthy food, live longer”- which are outcomes we strive to obtain for youth in our community. Our programs focus on lasting resilience and well-being through physically challenging outings, wellness and nutrition activities, environmental stewardship service projects, leadership training, relationship building,  and career & education exploration. Description: Since our founding in 1999, Outdoor Outreach has served over 7,260 of the youth in our community most in need: those at-risk for school dropout, substance abuse, violence, and unintended pregnancy. Our three comprehensive youth development programs, Partner, Adventure Club and Leadership, provide youth with positive and healthy alternatives to the negative influences that surround them. Our programs are designed to produce profound, life-changing opportunities with measurable impact in the following areas:

  • Academic Achievement and Leadership Development
  • Social Skills and Communication Development
  • Career and Education Exploration
  • Improved Health and Well-being
  • Environmental Awareness and stewardship

We accomplish this through outdoor activities and programming that:

  • Provides one-on-one support and guidance under the direction of caring staff and role models.
  • Expose youth to confidence- and character-building activities.
  • Develops a commitment to respect oneself, others and the environment.
  • Utilizes a strength-based approach to development in lieu of corrective action.
  • Nurtures positive relationships with family members, peers and educators.
  • Cultivates self-esteem through a sense of personal accomplishment.
  • Builds appreciation for nature and create environmentally aware youth.

By incorporating elements of proven youth development models into our outdoor activities, we are able to improve teens’ ability to thrive, despite their family and community challenges. Additionally, our programs create and foster long-term relationships between the youth we serve and the positive adult role-models on staff and who volunteer. These relationships are focused on giving each youth the support he or she needs to become a successful adult, and are often cited by youth as instrumental to their personal growth and achievements. All activities are organized, supervised, and directed by Outdoor Outreach staff and volunteers, and are provided at no cost to the youth who participate.

Contact Information: Ben McCue, Executive Director,, 619.238.5790 | Amber Carrigan Development & Communications Manager, | | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | MeetUp


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