CultureSeed’s Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP), is a culturally-specific program for Columbia Gorge region underserved youth and young adults participating in CultureSeed programming. Outdoor Leadership Program participants are exposed to a vast array of outdoor activities while being offered personal and professional development trainings that support them in becoming outdoor leaders. OLP participants also facilitate outdoor experiential opportunities for younger CultureSeed participants.
The program honors lived experience and builds on the knowledge, capacity and expertise of each participant. Through exposure to the local outdoor economy, internships, and nation-wide scholarship opportunities, CultureSeed opens the doors to economic opportunity through the public and private sectors in the abundant environmental and recreational fields of the Columbia Gorge. Living in a rural area with pronounced economic disparities, youth benefit from opportunities to engage in healing outdoor education and recreation as well as related economic opportunities.
The Columbia Gorge region is the largest national scenic area in the United States, home to more than 80,000 people, 20% of which are Latinx. Yet the abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation and income in our beautiful region also showcases a lack of inclusion for people of color. The degree to which individuals feel a part of a community is not only measured by the extent to which we express and show concern for one another, but also by the extent to which one feels represented in their environment. OLP participants are low income youth and young adults which tend to be disproportionately Latinx.