Mayowa Ogunjobi, trip leader and WFR grad, is committed to helping youth from disenfranchised groups connect with the outdoors: “Nature is a place where all young people should be able to bridge the gap between who they are and who they want to be.” For that to happen, educators need to make their programs relevant to a diverse range of students whose communities continue to have limited access to outdoor spaces.
"The next generation is responsible for protecting an environment that they may not know how to connect with...Our aim, when we take them on hiking, canoe or camping trips, is to show them pristine places in nature that are far from the lands they live on, a classroom that naturally fosters self-determination, and healthy ways in which they can take refuge in difficult situations. Young people participating in outdoor-focused programs can show increased personal competence and more quality social interactions.
However, we still need to evaluate whether we are presenting our environmental programs in a way that is appealing or relevant for all of them. The traditional media depiction of outdoor activity participants is strong white men having extreme fun, which leads to conclusions that do not inspire youths from disenfranchised groups to join outdoor activities."