About Us

Our mission

To connect youth to the transformative power of the outdoors…

…to realize the positive attitude and behavioral changes that help them become happy, healthy, and successful adults.

Our vision

Youth everywhere will be inspired by the outdoors to play, learn, serve and share.

Our values

We believe in building on the inherent strengths that youth already possess.
We ensure that participation is always by choice and presented in a fun, safe and respectful environment.
We honor ourselves, other people and the environment in our words and our actions.
We believe in caring for youth without agenda.
We believe in seeing the potential in people and situations, and in the power of new outdoor experiences.
We set the highest standards for quality and safety in everything we do.
We believe in sharing what we love!

Our participants

"Outdoor Outreach is family, support, and a glimpse of what you can accomplish when you break the negative mold. I have learned so many things about myself and have been able to break the stereotypes put on me by society. I continue to learn from every participant and staff member, each and every day I’m at OO."
First-ever Leadership Program Graduate,
Former Field Instructor
"I’m able to see potential in myself. Outdoor Outreach helped me get back into school and gave me new motivation to grow so that I can succeed both here in my role at OO and out there in the world. I finally feel connected to something that I love to do and that I’m actually really passionate about."
Field Instructor
2017 Leadership Program Graduate
"I have a lot to be thankful for: people with kind hearts and positive minds who are always reaching out to help and guide me to where I need to be. I have achieved the confidence to express myself and to share my beliefs and values, and this has brought me closer to my peers. Sharing our stories contributes to the support we have for one another."
Eh Ler
Field Instructor
2017 Leadership Program Graduate
"I remember my very first trip with Outdoor Outreach, to Mount San Jacinto. I was shy, and didn’t know anyone on the trip. On the ride up, I told myself I wasn’t going to talk to anyone. That plan changed when we arrived and I saw snow for the first time. I was in shock. It was an unbelievable experience that required stepping out of my comfort zone. Returning to the van, I realized I had talked to almost everyone. That felt good."
2018 Leadership Program Graduate
"Even at my lowest point I knew Outdoor Outreach was there for me and that I had friends that I could rely on when I really needed it. In this way, I was able to connect to a sense of purpose that helped me to see my own struggles as less than the mountains I made them out to be."
Field Instructor
Leadership Program Graduate

Gender of program participants


Ethnicity of program participants

  • 42%
  • 6%
  • 12%
  • 10%
  • 7%
    Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
  • 23%

OO fact:

The majority of our program participants come from low-income communities, and have few opportunities to experience natural parks and open-space areas before joining our programs.

Our team

Our committed and passionate team drive Outdoor Outreach’s success.

Current job openings
The core staff


The field staff
Board of Directors
Ricky Schlesinger
Eagle Creek Travel Gear
Retired Executive Vice President
Chair, Board of Directors
David Gell
Olympus Sky
Chief Strategy Officer
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Sergio Langarica
Sony Electronics
Director of International Trade
Vice President
Stein Lundby
Lead Corporate Technology and R&D Strategist
Sandra Mueller
Rady Children's Hospital
Director of Social Services and Psychiatry Operations
Esther Northrup
Cox Communications
Executive Director, State Regulatory Affairs
Steve Romeo
Executive Technologist
Julia Schooler
Children's Legal Services of San Diego
Juvenile Dependency Attorney
Jylan Megahed
Megahed Esq. Inc.
Principal Attorney
Angel Cadena
Staff Software Engineer
Paul Brown
Brown Ventures
Contract CFO
Ben Maxwell
Rady Children's Hospital
Interim Director of Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Advisory Council
Noah Ben-Aderet, Ph.D.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Fisheries Ecologist
Bruce Duncan Perry, M.D., Ph.D.
The ChildTrauma Academy
Founder/Senior Fellow
Janie DeCelles
Conservation Advocate and Community Leader
Shelby Stanger
Wild Ideas Worth Living
Creator and Host
(Board Member Emeritus)
Douglas Burke
Cognitive Medical Systems
President and Cofounder
(Board Member Emeritus)
Leticia Cazares, MPH
Cazares Coaching & Consulting Services
Organizational Development & Community Engagement Consultant
David Price
Corporate Innovation Director
Traci Verardo-Torres
TVT Consulting
Chris Rutgers
Transforming Youth Outdoors
Executive Director
(Founder, Outdoor Outreach)

Our Financials

The numbers below reflect Outdoor Outreach’s financial summary for 2019.


Fixed Assets$88,429
Other Current Assets$335,072
Total Assets$800,320
Liabilities & Net Assets
Net Assets$763,534
Current Liabilities$36,785
Total Liabilities & Net Assets$800,319


Board of Directors$14,469
Fee for Service$346,974
In-kind Donations$50,395
Net Assets Released From Restriction$106,322
Total Revenue*$2,072,525
  • Individual
  • Government
  • Foundation
  • Corporate
  • Church-Civic
  • Board of Directors
  • Fee for Service
  • In-kind Donations
  • Misc.
  • Net Assets Released From Restriction

*$73,425 temporarily restricted for 2019 program deliverables


Total Expenses$1,822,012
  • Programs
  • Operating