Hiking for Girl Empowerment Nonprofits
What would our communities be like if we encouraged our girls to be more daring?
- How would it change their perceptions of their bodies and their right to express their opinions?
- How would they respond to inequality, sexual harassment and ecological destruction?
- What would they create?
I want more young women to have the opportunity to learn how to take healthy risks. So in 2018, I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and raised over $10,000 to fundraise for 3 nonprofits that are empowering girls in nature.
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Why This Matters to Me
In 2016, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of crowdfunding supporters, I embarked on a solo pilgrimage of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Thru-hiking the AT was the biggest challenge I had experienced to that point. During my journey, I learned to listen to my instincts. I learned when to push myself and when to give myself permission to rest. I learned how to grapple with fear. I gained the confidence to know that I can do anything I put my mind to.
In 2018, by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico and Canada, my goal was to inspire and enable other young women to embark on their own personal transformation journeys—whether that means hiking or climbing, creating art, building a garden, committing to a dance practice, or writing every day.
Between March and October of 2018, 200+ donors helped me raise over $10,000 for girl empowerment.
100% of it was split evenly amongst these three nonprofits:
- GirlVentures -facilitating outdoor adventures for middle and high schoolers to build confidence and strengthen bonds.
- Gaia Girls Passages -providing nature-based mentoring through rite-of-passage ceremonies.
- The Girls Empowerment Workshop – educating and inspiring teens to find their voice and cultivate self-respect.
Your Donations Made an Impact
“GirlVentures launched our first-ever subsidized expedition specifically tailored for girls of color in 2018. Our highly trained instructors, many of whom come from similar backgrounds to the girls participating in this course, led a group of 10 high school girls of color on a 5-day intro camping and climbing course in Pinnacles National Park, 130 miles south of San Francisco. Conservation, empowerment, social justice, community and culture are themes of the program curriculum. Your funding eliminated financial barriers to the outdoors for low-income youth and made transformative experiences in nature possible for girls from all communities. It also helped us re-stock our gear library, including climbing harnesses, backpacks, and tents; provide nutritious meals and snacks for our expeditions; transport participants to and from course areas throughout Northern California; and purchase National and State Park permits and camping reservations.”
Gaia Girls Passages
“In 2018, we spearheaded our first free public school program at Hoover Elementary for girls of color. We are honored to work with Wanda Stewart, activist and school garden teacher at Hoover Elementary, whose mission is to reconnect people of color to the earth through gardening and nature-based education. Diversity is a priority for Gaia Girls, and we hope to continue providing this and other programs to girls of color in low-income urban neighborhoods. Your donations helped us pay the salaries of our Aunties (staff members dedicated to reconnecting young girls to the earth and to each other). It also helped us purchase supplies such as materials for the herbal medicines and salves we teach girls how to make.”
The Girls Empowerment Workshop
“Our mission is to educate, empower and inspire teens, as well as to provide wilderness experiences for some who have never even stepped foot on a dirt hiking trail. In our free 10-week workshops, we provide education on several topics, some very heavy, such as sexual assault, depression and suicide. It costs between $250-500 per student to bring girls into the wilderness, where they are free from the pressures of beauty standards and sexism and instead experience the power of nature, self-reliance and mentorship. All of our workshops are provided free of charge, so your donations covered everything from teacher stipends to scholarships for our wilderness experiences.”
By joining my community of funders, you ensured the continued success of three incredible women-run organizations. Every penny you gave went directly to nonprofits that are helping girls find confidence, creativity and community in the outdoors.
Thank you for your support. Your contributions changed the lives of many young women.
I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support that I received from makers of amazing gear and nutritious food. THANK YOU to the following companies for donating products to my PCT fundraiser hike:
- Osprey Packs
- Sea to Summit
- Under Armour
- Terramar Sports
- Mountain Laurel Designs
- Bear Vault