Deadline May 1 for summer immersion course at Lake Tahoe |

Deadline May 1 for summer immersion course at Lake Tahoe

ARC students enjoy a previous Lake Tahoe summer immersion course.
Courtesy photo |

UC Berkeley’s Adventure Risk Challenge Program (ARC) is offering a unique opportunity to Lake Tahoe youth this summer.

For three weeks, 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 five-week sister course in Yosemite National Park. Since its creation in 2004, ARC has offered year‐round programming and summer courses at Lake Tahoe.

Its transformative 24-day and 40-day summer immersion courses were founded on the Outward Bound model and supports reading, writing, public speaking, and academic study skills through outdoor adventure and reflection on students’ experiences.

Katie Zanto, the program’s founder, 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.”

ARC participants strengthen their English literacy and leadership skills, while gaining a greater sense of confidence and independence.

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 12th-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.

This article was submitted to the Sun by Adventure Risk Challenge Program. Visit to learn more about the program and download applications for the summer immersion course. Applications are due by May 1.

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