LongWalk’s mission is to provide an opportunity for young adults to learn leadership through wilderness adventure and character development by serving others in the community.
What makes taking a challenging backpack trip worthwhile? It’s the exposure to a world that most have never seen; it’s the chance to experience the challenge of a road less traveled for the first time; and for many, it’s the chance to grab hold of some hope.
We equip these young leaders to return to their schools as examples of hope. Hope to continue their education, hope to find a career upon leaving school, hope that they can build that life of their dreams, and hope for the others struggling to survive.
Teen of today live in a world of risk, yet have little opportunity in learning how to evaluate risk for themselves and others. LongWalk provides a safe learning environment where risks are evaluated and decisions made to minimize the impact of potential consequences.
LongWalk allows students to learn leadership by leading on a level playing field, providing a learning laboratory where all the usual tags of teen identity can be rebooted.
It’s not about who their parents are, their grades, or whether they’re first string on the team. It breaks down the socio-economic barriers and allows kids to see and speak into other kids’ lives without that baggage.
Students also learn about assets they bring to the table that will impact their ability to lead others. They learn how to hear and listen, and that leading is serving.
Spending time with other teens from different areas of the city and rural environments lets our participants see past the stereotypes and learn about the lives of others. Leadership is knowing your own story and being willing to share it. Leadership is seeing the strengths of others and valuing those with different backgrounds.