Launched by The Orfalea Foundation and concluding its final years of programming under the leadership of Wilderness Youth Project, REACH is an experiential education program for motivated high school students from California’s Santa Barbara County. REACH (Resilience, Education, Adventure, Community and Health) works to prepare students for lives of purposeful action, continuous learning, and the courageous pursuit of opportunity.
Students were accepted during their sophomore year in high school and remain in the program for 4 years, generally through their second year of post-secondary education. Students began the program by participating in a summer of outdoor adventure education, full of activities such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing or canoeing. During the school year, students participate in programming focused on skill building opportunities in education, career exploration, outdoor adventure, personal development, food and financial literacy, and community involvement.
By participating in this program, students commit to themselves, their families and REACH that they are willing to put in the time and energy to explore their potential and strive to achieve their goals.
At the end of the fourth year, REACH in partnership with Tandana, takes students to the highlands of Ecuador for twenty days. We feel that this experience creates the opportunity for bright young soon to be professionals with a perspective of acting locally and thinking globally.