Grant helps Big City Mountaineers take its work to the next level

A $200,000 grant will help Denver, Colo.-based Big City Mountaineers take its work to the next level by positioning the nonprofit to manage the Outdoor Educators Institute, a training program for young adults of color who want to work in the outdoor industry.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

How can we change the face of the outdoor industry if people of color aren’t trained to take the helm? That’s a question the Outdoor Educators Institute aims to tackle.

Recently, the Foundation for Youth Investment awarded Denver, Colo.-based Big City Mountaineers a $200,000 grant to manage the OEI and develop the next generation of outdoor educators. Heather Metivier, director of marketing and communications for BCM, said the news is exciting for the nonprofit, which has received grants from FYI in the past.

For Metivier, the goal behind the OEI is to train kids who have gone through BCM’s programs to become instructors themselves. That in turn will put future participants at ease and show them that the outdoor industry is ripe with career opportunities for people of their backgrounds.

“There is a need for instructors who reflect the background of the kids that we’re serving,” Metivier said. “There’s really a gap there, and if all they see is the same looking instructors — white — it doesn’t give our kids any hope for them that [the industry] is a feasible career path.”

While managing the OEI will add to her workload, it will be worth it, Metivier said. Plus the nonprofit just hired a new OEI program director to help with the day-to-day operations, the salary for whom was allotted in the grant.

“We want to take up this initiative and really fund a program that will create next generation of outdoor leaders that are culturally relevant,” Metivier said.

Training will be done through partner organizations like the National Outdoor Leadership School, Outward Bound and the Student Conservation Association. A future goal, Metivier said, would be to secure internship experience at outdoor manufacturers for participants.

“That also involves we started talking with a lot of our partners, who are all enthusiastic about this,” Metivier said. Internships are going to become a vital part of the program as “it’s not just necessarily about employing these kids as instructors in the field, but also about getting them in the door to with an internship that later could some kind of job within the outdoor company. This could be a big step for them that opens a lot of different doors.”

For more information on the grant and how to become a partner visit www.bigcitymountaineers.org.

“We’re really excited,” Metivier said. “The need is really present in the industry and I hope this is one of the first steps to changing the face of the people that we see making up the industry.”

--Ana Trujillo

Related

FirstDescents.jpg

First Descents gets scientific: Nonprofit partners with Stanford University to study effect of its programs

The outdoor industry supportss an impressive group of nonprofit organizations. It’s also filled with great people who know that getting into the outdoors lifts spirits, confidence and happiness levels in a therapeutic way. But there hasn’t been a lot of quantitative data to back ...read more

Stewardship Council Awards Big City Mountaineers $90k Grant

The Stewardship Council, a land conservation and youth investment program, awarded Big City Mountaineers one of five diverse Collaboration grants ranging from $55,000 to $90,000 as a part of the Stewardship Council's Youth Investment Program. The Collaboration Fund supports ...read more

ErikMetzdorf.jpg

Retail veteran takes Rad Global sourcing agency to next level

Three years after starting his own sourcing business as his next step after a retail career, Erik Metzdorf has found his niche: displays. You need a display? Rad Global can find it or design it for you. “We’ve picked a niche that’s fairly unique,” said Metzdorf, formerly of City ...read more

Keen grant helps Conservation Alliance expand funding and support for wild places

Founded 16 years ago, The Conservation Alliance wants to increase its membership dramatically and expand its efforts to protect land, ever mindful that the Alliance was founded on the principle that the outdoor industry should give back to the land from which it profits. The ...read more

OtterBoxSlide1.jpg

Outdoor real estate: American Rec, OtterBox, Big City Mountaineers and more expand locations

There are many ways to gauge the business outlook of a retailer, manufacturer or organization in the industry. One of the surest signs of health is real estate. If a company is increasing space or moving to a larger location, it’s almost always because they are bursting at the ...read more

Highgear Facebook Challenge to Benefit Big City Mountaineers

Research Triangle Park - Starting today, for every new fan on Facebook, Highgear will donate $1 to Big City Mountaineers (BCM) outdoor program for under-resourced urban teens up to a total of $2,000. The “Get Kids Outdoors” Highgear Challenge on Facebook will be ongoing ...read more

Big City Mountaineers Welcomes Three New Members to Board of Directors

(Denver, Colo.) - Big City Mountaineers (BCM), the non-profit that instills critical life skills in under-resourced urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions, announces the addition of three new members to its Board of Directors. Nate Simmons, Michael Leming and Carol ...read more

OIWC_new_logo09.jpg

Think About It: OIWC focuses on striving for work/life balance

Work/life balance is on the forefront of most people’s minds these days – and it isn’t just a women’s issue. The demand for work/life balance solutions is expanding at an unprecedented rate. It’s the buzzword of the 21st century; we see it mentioned in blogs, articles and even by ...read more

Social empowerment: SmartWool awards five grants and Timbuk2 lends a hand to SF's homeless

SmartWool awards five grantsSmartWool announced its first round of grant recipients from the new SmartWool Advocacy Program.Awarded semi-annually, the SmartWool Advocacy Program was created to give back to the communities in which SmartWool's customers and employees live. It is ...read more