Leadership Program

The Leadership Program is the cornerstone of our organization. Through an application and interview process, we select promising teens from our other two programs to participate in an intensive, year-long training that provides them with the skills necessary to instruct and mentor program participants. The program promotes each individual’s natural leadership strengths while providing tangible academic, emotional and social support. After completing their training, candidates teach and mentor their peers through a paid internship. We continue to monitor these young leaders as they balance their part-time jobs at Outdoor Outreach, college classes, financial independence and the challenges of moving into the world as working adults.

Meet Our Leadership Program Participants and Graduates:

Luis Perez

Luis began his Leadership training January 2013  and has completed training in snowboarding, surfing and rock-climbing. Luis’ experience with Outdoor Outreach has made him feel like part of a family and he feels he is making a difference in lives of other youth. Luis expects to be done with his training in 2014 and hopes to someday be a competitive rock climber. 

Susana Montes

Susana started with Outdoor Outreach in 2010 as a member of the Lincoln Adventure Club and was voted President of the club during the 2011-2012 school year. Susana joined the Leadership program January 2013 and she enjoys all of our activities, especially surfing and snowboarding. She currently attends San Diego City College and is very outgoing and passionate.

Ruben Martinez

Ruben started with Outdoor Outreach as a Crawford Adventure Club participant and eventually joined the leadership program in January 2013. Ruben’s favorite outdoor activity is snowboarding and he aspires to attend SDSU to pursue his interest in creative writing and poetry.


Vincent Culliver

Vincent’s first experience with Outdoor Outreach was at the Monarch school in his 8th grade year. He was a part of the Adventure Club and the first trip he went on was a snowboarding trip. He loved that he was taking part in an extreme sport, and as a skater, his skills transferred well onto the mountains. After transferring to a new high school, Vincent was invited to join the Leadership Program where he continues to gain experience in outdoor skills and handling outdoor equipment.

Idris Ahmed, Graduate

Idris joined the Crawford Adventure Club his freshman year of highschool and later joined the Leadership program his junior year. Idris is now is in his third year at Stanford University and he attributes his acceptance into Stanford to his involvement with Outdoor Outreach.

“The attitude of the people is to help you; they’re not going to tell you what to do. They aren’t going to be like a teacher. They let you explore. A lot of the time peole tell me to do things and I have to listen or get punished. At Outdoor Outreach they tell me to just have fun so there is not much of a worry I can just relax and be myself. If I wasn’t involved in Outdoor Outerach I wouldn’t be as confident as I am right now.”


Stephanie Munoz, Graduate

Stephanie was introduced to Outdoor Outreach in the winter of 2008 on a multi-day snowboarding trip to Mammoth with the Monarch School Adventure Club. It was her first experience seeing snow and left a lasting impression on her. She immediately fell in love with the sport and the outdoors. Stephanie was always up for new challenging experiences and as a result of her determination, and ability to lead, she was selected as a member of Outdoor Outreach’s Leadership Program. Stephanie continued to be an active member of Outdoor Outreach as she completed an intensive, 2 year-long training that provided her with the skills necessary to become an instructor. Currently, Stephanie is a 3rd year student at the University of California, Merced where she works for the Housing & Residence Life team. Stephanie works with Outdoor Outreach during her summer and winter breaks and still finds time to snowboard on her own. Winter is Stephanie’s favorite season because she loves snowboarding and the difference it can make in the lives of youth we serve

Guillermo Encinas, Graduate

Guillermo first got involved with Outdoor Outreach during his sophomore year of high school when some of his close friends suggested he join the Adventure Club. Guillermo later joined the Leadership program and attributes his enthusiasm to being chosen for the program. Guillermo feels that his training with Outdoor Outreach adds some discipline to his life, and feels the program helped him grow emotionally. He hopes to transfer to UCSD in the near future.

Ryan Hudson, Graduate

Ryan Hudson is a 7 year veteran at Outdoor Outreach. Last January he took a step toward realizing his dream by entering The North Face Masters of Snowboarding Competition at Snowbird Ski Resort. Below Ryan shares the experience in his own words.

In January 2013, I competed in my first ever Big Mountain Snowboarding Competition called “The North Face Masters of Snowboarding.” I was competing alongside some of the biggest names in the business; Travis Rice, Rob Kingwill, Mark Carter, Ralph Backstrom, Ryland Bell, and so many more. There were a total of 76 male athletes, and I placed 17th! I was also given “The North Face Masters Young Gun Award”. “The North Face Masters Young Gun Award recognizes riders under the age of 25 that demonstrate raw talent and innovation in their riding style. Young Gun award recipients embody the big mountain riding culture and are the future of the sport. I was stoked to know that I had placed high among some of the best riders in the world!

My original goal was to place top 30 and move on with my life; I would have been pleased with 28th even 30th but, to my surprise I rose way above my own bar! It is the first trophy I had ever won for anything in my entire life. I wanted to cry on the podium. Crushing a goal you set for yourself is an accomplishment worth achieving.

Watch as Ryan takes the “Young Gun” award at the North Face Masters of Snowboarding