Agape International Center and The Walt Whitman Students Climb Like Never Before


Medicines Global

Agape International Center and The Walt Whitman Students Climb Like Never Before

Joshua Tree National Park, Superintendent Lead Los Angeles Urban Youth with



Los Angeles, CA, (April 22, 2015) On Thursday, April 23rd, Medicines Global Outdoor Youth Ambassadors (MGOYA), whose dedication to encourage, educate and inspire fellow youth to experience wilderness activities, will be leaving Los Angeles for a three day camping trip in Joshua Tree National Park, with the Superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park, as an honorary guide.

MGOYA will be joined by Kenji Haroutunian,(former Outdoor Retailer Show Director and VP of Emerald Expositions) President of Kenji Consults, accompanied with Tim Richards, who represents Icebreaker, KAVU, Klean Kanteen and Oboz and is the Chief Solutions Strategist of Sierra del Oro Trading Company. Both guests will be camping and providing rock climbing lessons. Many of these Outdoor Youth Ambassadors have never been to Joshua Tree or outside for their immediate neighborhood; with anticipation the group will stay in one of the Superintendent’s favorite campsites’, Black Rock Campground.

“…National Park users should resemble the population of America, as we are all the owners of our National Parks. This means bringing a diverse youth population to the National Parks. We rely on our non-profit partners to do that…” David Smith, Superintendent, Joshua Tree National Park, explains the value of a trip like this. 

This engaged group, from Agape International Center and The Walt Whitman Continuation School in the heart of Los Angeles, will learn rock climbing, camping and outdoor skills, and no doubt gain a deep sense of appreciation for the delicate desert ecology just outside of their near by city of Los Angeles. Superintendent Smith, will not only be there to teach the Outdoor Youth Ambassadors about the importance of National Parks and the history of Joshua Tree, but he will also be camping and teaching rock climbing skills for the three days.

Janice and Johanna Belson, co-directors and co-founders of Medicines Global Outdoor Youth Ambassadors explain, “that they bring urban youth into the wilderness because is their core value and motivating belief that an effective way of developing the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and guardians of our natural environment is to offer outdoor adventures to as many students as possible.”

The public schools in Los Angeles, like many urban cities, offer little or no wilderness educational experiences due to budgets and logistics. As a result, Medicines Global has worked diligently to establish a unique and innovative way to open doors to the wilderness for urban youth Los Angeles public school students. “The experience of exploring having fun on rocks, and breathing the desert air will be unforgettable for these city kids and they will share their sense of awe that one discovers in the wilderness of Joshua Tree with their peers through photo exhibits, newsletters and a variety of social networking outlets,” Johanna Belson.

This camping and climbing experience, has been made possible by the supporters from both the outdoor and health food industry. Erewhon Natural Foods Market and Whole Foods Market will be providing all meals for this outdoor adventure. AVON – RENT – A – VAN will be providing transportation and Adventure 16 will be providing all tents, sleeping bags and pads for the group. Klean Kanteen is providing water bottles for the forty-person team. The prestigious brands of OSPREY PACKS, LEKI USA, VASQUE, THE NORTH FACE and ADIDAS are the title sponsors for this outdoor desert journey.

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About Medicines Global

Medicines Global (501c3) is dedicated to inspire all adventure travelers to give back to the places they visit by delivering basic first aid supplies to medical centers and remote community run health posts. Since 1999, 17 expeditions have taken medical supplies to Nepal, Mongolia, Tibet, Guatemala, India, Ecuador, Siberia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Dominican Republic and El Salvador.
Since its inception in 2004 Medicines Global Outdoor Youth Ambassador programs have provided more than 1100 urban youths with outdoor adventures encouraging the next generation of humanitarian adventure travelers.

Medicines Global has been able to advance programs exponentially with the support that includes GoPro, RedWing/VASQUE, Osprey Packs, adidas OUTDOOR, AVON Rent-a-Van Car-Truck, LEKI USA, Adventure 16, Horny Toad, SMITH Optics, Eagle Creek, ACORN, Pelican, KEEN Footwear Foundation, Adventure Medical Kits, Helly Hansen, SmartWool, GoLite, Napapijri and WHOLE FOODS MARKET, along with other members of the Outdoor & Natural Food Industry.

 Contact: Beth Cochran


Janice Belson and Johanna Belson

Medicines Global