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Committed to Getting Youth Outside

At Youth Outside, formerly Foundation for Youth Investment, we believe a meaningful experience in nature can change the course of a life. We lead the field by counseling, coaching, and funding outdoor educators and thought-leaders to ensure that as many youth as possible can partake in the life-changing experience of the outdoors. Because when we do, we improve the lives of youth today and create dynamic outdoor stewards for tomorrow.


Youth Outside invests in the following types of programs that connect youth with the outdoors: Programs that provide "first encounters" with the outdoors, whether it be a trip to the ocean or Yosemite, or a first opportunity to sleep under the stars; programs that prioritize culturally relevant outdoor programming for underserved and underrepresented youth; and/or emerging stewardship and conservation programs at community-based organizations that work with underserved youth.

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Strategic Programs

Youth Outside builds organizational capacity and develops future leaders through the following three programs: The Outdoor Educators Institute, a 3-month-long professional and workforce development program for young adults from diverse backgrounds; the Rising Leaders Fellowship, which supports the professional development of diverse, rising leaders; and then for organizations, we offer the Cultural Relevancy Institute, a series of comprehensive workshops, paired with coaching.

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Field Leadership

Youth Outside embraces its leadership role in the field of youth outdoor education and programming. We continue to convene the field around critical issues like cultural relevancy, the link between health and outdoor access, as well as building the next generation of environmental stewards. We are measuring grantee programs as well as our own programs and widely sharing our findings with the field. Youth Outside also bridge gaps across sectors to form innovative partnerships which result in increased impact.

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“We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.” - Maya Angelou

Our Mission

We connect youth to nature by eliminating barriers, providing resources, and promoting outdoor programming as essential for building healthy lives and inspiring future stewards of the planet.

Our Vision

Our vision is for all youth to have the opportunity for meaningful experiences in nature.

Core Values

From our staff, to our board, to our grantees, we value diversity and strive to be inclusive.

We listen and learn so that we can remain relevant and effective, using our leadership role to address needs as they arise.

We expect more of our work, navigating new pathways to transform the way youth interact with, appreciate and care for the outdoors.

Our leadership role demands that we adapt with an open mind and heart, keeping lines of communication open, and making adjustments to achieve shared goals and to embrace opportunities.

We ignite momentum, attract resources, and rally support for a cause that demands attention and action.

We practice prudent stewardship of our financial resources and the resources of the planet, in order to serve future generations of youth and to honor the trust of our donors.

Help us connect youth with the outdoors today for a healthier California tomorrow.

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