The Take a Hike Foundation runs a distinctive program for vulnerable youth in BC. Continuous access to a counsellor and youth worker is combined with hands-on learning opportunities that take place outside a traditional school setting, and all of this is accompanied by mental health and well-being supports along with land-based learning.
Participating youth have faced diverse challenges that affect their mental health and emotional wellbeing, including childhood trauma, economic disadvantage, racism, or previous lack of access to educational opportunities.
They stay with the same group of participants and professional support resources for at least a year, and participate in one “out day” activity a week and two or three overnight trips per year – often built around outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and sea kayaking.
The program has a strong track record with three out of four participants reporting improved life satisfaction and hopes for the future, and most importantly improved mental health and well being. Our financial support will assist the Foundation with an expansion strategy through which it intends to make its program available in more school districts.