Provide Outdoor Mentoring for Underserved Youth in Portland, OR

Provide Outdoor Mentoring for Underserved Youth in Portland, OR

From Kristin Bowling

Urban Nature Partners PDX needs donations and awesome outdoorsy adult mentors to get underserved kids outdoors every week in Portland, Oregon exploring great urban greenspaces.

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Portland, Oregon has great urban greenspaces, but many underserved youth don't get to spend time there due to small barriers in knowledge, basic outdoor gear, and available time with adults out of school. Matching individual youth with a knowledgeable and caring adult mentor, and providing them with some basic resources and outdoor gear, empowers them to safely explore urban greenspaces in ways that give them more confidence, improve their well being, and open the door to other scholarships and programs that they would otherwise miss out on. Occasionally involving their family members also encourages outdoor time to become a part of their family culture and persist after the youth leaves the mentoring relationship.

In Summer 2014, Urban Nature Partners PDX began its pilot program, matching 7 young people from one underserved Portland, Oregon neighborhood with adult mentors. Senior/Junior Partner pairs meet once per week to explore neighborhood greenspaces, and meet on occasional weekends as a group and with their families to go on longer trips and participate in cool outdoor activities with each other and their families.With only 3 volunteer FTE and one small community grant, UNP-PDX needs your help to expand in the 2014-15 school year. The need is great in many other underserved schools and neighborhoods throughout Portland, and this tested model is poised to replicate with your assistance!

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