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First Five Years of Programs

In just five years of programming, Urban Peaks has been able to fund climbing and challenge course programs for over 1300 students, introducing youth from low income, often single parent homes, and/or students with behavioral or social disabilities to the world of climbing. Funding up to $20,000.00 worth of programming, and providing approximately $24 of supplemental funding per student, Urban Peaks has had a successful first five years of programing. In fall of 2012, Urban Peaks (UP) was awarded The North Face Explore Fund Grant, which gave us $2,500.00 to use towards programming. UP raises money with an annual fundraising Climb-a-thon, our “Climb for Kids" event. Additionally, a portion of entry fees for climbing competitions held at Metrorock Climbing Centers are donated to UP. UP continues to hold raffles at various competitions that, in the past three years, have raised over $15,000.00.

Here is a little bit of information about the schools, nonprofits and groups that we have worked with and what kind of programs the students participated in over the past few years.

  • McKinley Middle School was the first program we ran in December 2011. McKinley Middle School is part of the Boston Public School system that serves at-risk youth with social, emotional, and behavioral disabilities who are generally from low income, single parent homes.
    o These students participated in a few, two-hour climbing or challenge course programs over the past three years.
    o Two McKinley students participated in a week long winter break climbing program where the students learned the basic techniques of climbing to become independent climbers. These students had been introduced to climbing through through an Urban Peaks funded program.
    o UP, partnered with Neighborhood Children’s Foundation, introduced a climbing club to McKinely Middle School- 10 students participated in the club, climbing for 2 hours once a week for six weeks.

  • Everett Boys and Girls Club serves Everett’s youth, the majority of which consist of Hatian, Dominican, Brazilian and Spanish youth, who come from low income, single parent homes. These students participated in a two-hour climbing or challenge course programs for four consecutive weeks.

  • Big Brother, Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay Boston College/Franklin Field -The youth in this program are from the Franklin Field Housing development, one of the most dangerous areas of Boston; these students come from low income, racially diverse homes. Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay Boston College/Franklin Field have applied and received funding for three years in a row; each time, bringing a 100+ person group to a climbing gym for a three-hour climbing and challenge course program.

  • The Science Club for Girls works with low-income young women from the city of Lawrence, MA who are of color/Hispanic. The mission of this non-profit is to work with these young women to build self-confidence, life skills and science literacy. These girls participated in a two-hour challenge course program.

  • The Great Egleston GenFit Program works with Latino and African-American students ages 16-19 to transform the lives of these teens by promoting a healthy lifestyle. This program is located in Roxbury, MA. Students in the GenFit program participated in a two-hour challenge course program in 2012 and since it was such a success, GenFit applied for another grant and brought a different group of students again in 2013.

  • Joseph Lee Elementary School is located in Dorchester, MA; students ages 8-12 came to the rock climbing/challenge course program. 60% of the students in this school are African American/Black; 30% are Hispanic. About 90% of the students are from low-income households. These students participated in a two-hour climbing program.

  • The Steppingstone Academy that develops and implements academic programs that prepare underserved urban students for educational opportunities leading to college success. The Academy is comprised of students who are African American/Hispanic/multiracial/Asian. The students in this program come from surrounding parts of Boston including, Dorchester, East Boston, Mattapan, Roxbury, Hyde Park, Charlestown, South Boston, Jamaica Plain, and Allston/Brighton. These students participated in a three-hour climbing/challenge course program.

  • Ivy Street School is a special needs program for students on the high school level, educating the students on physical wellness and team building that serves students in the Boston area. These students participated in a two-hour climbing program.

  • Schools Out Program serves students ages 12-16 with core social/emotional deficits and ranges in race, ethnicity and income levels. Students in the School’s Out Program are severely challenged in their ability to navigate the social world being on various levels of the Autism spectrum. The students in this program participated in two-hour climbing programs for five consecutive weeks.

  • Roxbury Boys and Girls Club serves youth who live in Roxbury, one of the lowest income neighborhoods in the city of Boston. This community confronts multiple challenges including poverty, inadequate education, unemployment, prevalent crime and high levels of substance abuse. The current Boys and Girls Club memberships hovers around 700 youth ages 6-18; Membership is composed of 74% African-American, 12%, Latino, 6% Caribbean Islander, and 8% multiracial. The torch club, the division of the Boys and Girls Club that received an Urban Peaks grant, is a leadership program aimed at youth aged 11-14. The core focus of this program is leadership, academic success, community service, and fitness. The goal is to provide the opportunity for each youth in the program to learn skills to overcome any life challenge to become an active and engaged citizen in the community. The students in this group participated in a two-hour climbing program.

  • Youth Development Organization (YDO) is an innovative nonprofit that is dedicated to engaging and empowering underserved children through after school and summer enrichment programs and long-term mentorship. It fosters the confidence and talents of a community of motivated students so that they may reach their full potential in school and beyond. YDO serves low-income and underserved students, ages 6-18 years old, from Lawrence. Most of the students are Hispanic, with a diverse student community that comprises of students with Vietnamese, Cambodian, African American, multiracial, or immigrant-related backgrounds. The students are recruited through the network of participating Lawrence schools. These students participated in a two-hour climbing program.

  • Newburyport Learning Enrichment Center This program, based in the city of Newburyport, MA works with male youth, students ranging in ages, from grades 1 through 8. These boys are identified as low incomes, at risk and are living in public or low-income housing. All Participants in this program have a history of low academic achievement. The Newburyport Learning Enrichment Center was designed to engage the male youth in healthy activities, improve social resolution skills and build strong, trusting relationships with other participants. Youth who attended this program participated in a two-hour climbing program.

  • Waltham Kids Club Children who participate in programming through the Waltham Kids Club are children who live in public housing in the Waltham community. Because of the financial strains on their parents, children in this group do not have the opportunity to have experiences beyond their households. With the help of Urban Peaks, these students were able to participate in a two-hour climbing program.

  • Burlington Life Center- The Burlington Life Center is a small nonprofit community based counseling center. This nonprofit provides individual, group and family counseling, as well as school and community education programs and poverty prevention programs. They also have therapeutic activity/therapy group program serving youngsters who struggle with a variety of issues, ranging from physical or sexual trauma to learning or behavioral problems. Students in the Burlington Life Center participated in a recurring two-hour climbing program over 9 weeks.

  • Northeast Behavioral Health Therapeutic Mentoring Program serves people in the North Shore with mental health and substance abuse needs. The organization is dedicated to serving youth who are in need of intense outpatient services to assist them in success at home and in their community. These youth participated in a two-hour climbing program.

  • Girls Inc. of the Seacoast Area is the prevention component for the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center. They inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. The mission of the JGCC is to empower the members of their community to live free from fear, intimidation, violence or the threat of abuse by providing support, advocacy and education. This group, based in the Seacoast Area of Massachusetts participated in a two hour rock climbing program at a local climbing gym.

  • Masconomet Regional School District Summer Program- Students of the Masconomet Program are special education students participating in an extended year program ages 12-17 with a range of academic, neurological and physical disabilities. These students participated in a two hour rock climbing program at a local climbing gym.

  • YWCA of Greater Newburyport The YWCA is a nonprofit with a variety of different programs. The group that participated in 2 different climbing programs with the help of an Urban Peaks Grant, was YWKids. The students who participate in the afterschool programs with the YWCA are from a variety of different backgrounds, many of the children are adopted. The YWCA does not discriminate, especially for financial reasons so many youth involved are on financial scholarship. And with the help of the Urban Peaks Grants, all the youth involved in YWKids were able to enjoy and learn from climbing programs.

  • Guidance Center Family Clinic- The Guidance Center is a community based outreach clinic providing mental health support to youth and families. It specializes in a strength-based approach that seeks to elicit the inherent abilities of the individuals and families they serve, integrating those strengths into plans that support them in meeting their own goals and successfully navigating challenges. This organization serves underserved families with identified patients from 5-22, of different races and ethnicities, who are struggling with a variety of bio-psychosocial needs. Member of this group participated in a 6-week learn to climb program where the participants climbed for two hours a week for 6 weeks.

  • Josiah Quincy Upper School This school is a public school located in Chinatown in a Title 1 District which means the majority of the students come from poverty and receive free breakfast and lunch. Many of the students from this school do not speak English as a first language and are racially and ethnically diverse, ranging from Asian, African American, Native American, Hispanic, Caucasian and other mixed races. The group of students from the Josiah Quincy School who participated in the climbing and challenge course program have to academically qualify for the classes they are enrolled in and are college bound, a large part of their learning focuses on goal setting.

  • Hugh Roe O’Donell School The Hugh Roe O’Donell School is located in East Boston with 90% immigrant families. The students in this school live under the poverty line and receive free breakfast and lunch. With the help of the Urban Peaks grant these students were able to participate in a climbing program that they can not have afforded without Urban Peaks.

  • Hosmer School Located in Watertown, is a racially diverse school with a large percentage of students living below the poverty line. With the help of the Urban Peaks grant, the students who could not afford to participate in a climbing program were able to, thereby allowing the entire 5th grade class to participate in a climbing program.

  • YMCA Roxbury Summer Leadership Academy Roxbury YMCA Summer Leadership program is a non-profit organization serving youth, ages 5-13, from families in and around Roxbury, most of who come from low income families. This program’s mission is to provide campers with a nurturing summer that is safe, fun and full of exploration. With the help of Urban Peaks, these campers were able to participate in climbing activities that engage their appreciation for others, teach teamwork, and challenge them in new ways.