An Interview with Hannah Pasek, Youth Programs Coordinator at Outdoor Outreach
What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
Currently surfing. And up next, snowboarding!
What are some of the challenges facing the youth you work with at Outdoor Outreach?
A lot of the girls I work with are involved with or have family members in gangs, and they don’t have a consistent adult figure who really shows up. They don’t have a community of people who support them. We bring them together to connect not only with outdoor spaces, but also with each other.
Can you share a story of impact from the field?
An amazing young woman in the girls program shared that she was in detention because of drug related offenses. She got SUPER into rock climbing through our programs, and has big goals to keep getting better and better.
One day, after she had graduated from the detention facility, she was offered heroin. She turned it down because “I knew if I did that again, rock climbing wouldn’t be an option for me.”
Climbing was a game changer for her. Before Outdoor Outreach, she said, “Nobody ever told me I could climb. Nobody told me I could show up at this outdoor space and use it, and nobody ever told me I could bring my friends here.”
I’m so proud of her.