TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — UC Berkeley’s Adventure Risk Challenge Program (ARC) is offering a unique opportunity to Lake Tahoe youth this summer.
Teenage youth will explore the Lake Tahoe region’s natural beauty, its waterfalls, its alpine lakes and its spectacular granite cliffs. Outdoor adventures like rafting, rock-climbing, and backpacking will be combined with an academic curriculum that strengthens students’ English literacy and leadership skills.
ARC is also offering a six-week sister course in Yosemite National Park.
ARC is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The organization and its transformative 23-day and 40-day summer immersion courses was founded on the Outward Bound model and supports reading, writing, public speaking, and academic study skills through outdoor adventure and reflection on students’ experiences.
Program founder Katie Zanto wanted to connect additional populations to the outdoors: “[Our participants] didn’t have access to the outdoors like the rest of the community. I had the idea that I wanted to combine outdoor education adventure with literacy instruction.”
Since its creation in 2004, the ARC program has had impressive results. Students have become more goal-oriented, improved their English language skills, and developed their leadership abilities. According to ARC graduate Bebe San, “ARC taught me to face challenges. It empowered me to create goals, to graduate from high school, and to attend college. ARC opened my eyes, and I realized that education is the key to success.”
In the past decade, 82 percent of ARC participants have attended a two- or four- year university, compared to 36 percent of Latinos statewide and 46 percent of Anglos.
All Tahoe ninth- through 12-graders are eligible to apply for the summer course. ARC is a scholarship-based program and partial to full financial support is provided to all accepted students.
First-generation youth, English language learners, and all students who are motivated to experience a life-changing outdoor and academic adventure are especially encouraged to apply.
Visit www.arcprogram.org to learn more about the program and download applications for the summer immersion course. Applications are due by May 1.