Adventure to Leadership: Youth Development Program with Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC)

This unique program transforms the lives of high-school students, who learn that higher education and a career in the National Park Service are tangible dreams. Through a series of weekend retreats and a 40-day summer immersion in the park, ARC participants and their UC Merced college mentors participate in a range of academic and physical activities, including backpacking, hiking, rock-climbing and wilderness solos. They also focus on English-literacy skills, culminating in a poetry-reading festival upon the program’s completion. Thanks to Conservancy funding, in 2013, more than 60 youth participated in ARC in Yosemite. Your donations ensure that these youth came away with valuable leadership, environmental-stewardship and community-building skills that will help them achieve their goals and dreams for the future.

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Project Notes

My life has changed since I’ve been here at ARC. The 40-day course has led me to make good choices in life. The people in ARC care about me and about my education. … The ARC course is pretty hard, because you have to commit to facing a lot of challenges. Facing those challenges actually makes you a better person.

ARC participant

Map of Your Impact

From the reintroduction of bighorn sheep to restoration of Yosemite’s legendary trails, your support has made an impact in every corner of the park.