Get To Know: City Kids Wilderness Project
What is the purpose of City Kids Wilderness Project?
City Kids Wilderness Project is a non-profit organization founded on the belief that providing enriching life experiences for underserved and at-risk D.C. children can enhance their lives, the lives of their families and the greater community.
Our goals are to strengthen participants’ self-concept; increase academic achievement by teaching life skills; increase personal motivation and initiative; develop interpersonal skills and leadership ability; and foster an appreciation and knowledge of the environment. We aim to provide extraordinary experiences that will inspire worthy young people of Washington, DC to dream, to see beyond their current circumstances, and ultimately to succeed in building healthy, happy, and productive lives.
How does City Kids Wilderness Project fulfill this purpose?
City Kids uses outdoor and enrichment activities as a platform to build self-confidence, improve academic performance and develop leadership skills. Youth enter the program as sixth graders, either through the City Kids Afterschool Program or through a recommendation from a City Kids partner organization. Once enrolled in the program, a student will be invited to continue with City Kids Wilderness Project through four years of school year and summer camp programming, and four or more years as a part of the High School & Alumni Program where they will gain access to summer internships, post-secondary educational and career support, as well as alumni services.
Once summer arrives, City Kids head to Broken Arrow Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. The younger participants will work their way up from Rangers to Mountaineers, to Elite and then Leadership teams, assuming increased responsibility and challenges with each new level. These increased responsibilities are reinforced throughout the school year while in DC. As City Kids youth mature, they are placed in an internship where they can demonstrate their leadership and academic skills while building skills for their professional future. All enrollment, school-year, and summer activities are provided at no cost to students or their families.
How would City Kids Wilderness Project benefit from and/or use additional monetary support?
Supporting City Kids would allow us to continue to provide extraordinary outdoor adventures, leadership development, year-round enrichment and academic support for 130 under-resourced youth in 2014.
How else can people get involved with City Kids Wilderness Project?
Volunteers play an important role in supporting City Kids’ programs and operations. During the school year, program volunteers support our afterschool, weekend outdoor adventure programming, and our college and career preparation programming in Washington, DC. During the summer, volunteers support our programming in Wyoming including providing workshops for our career exploration programming or holding special events for our campers including astronomy lessons.
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