The Rapidian

Progress and Growth Has Been An Inspiration For Many

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Today's current under-served urban youth are facing more and more challenges in their daily lives. Crime rates among youth groups is a huge concern, particularly among youths living in the inner city. Single-parent households are at an all-time high. Gang activity among urban youth groups lead people to walk in fear throughout populous areas. There is, however, one group that is out to make a positive influence in these troubled youths lives, and they are making a big impact.


Jason Hanold, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Partner of Hanold Associates LLC, an executive search recruiting firm, maintains active involvement on the Board of Directors at Big City Mountaineers (BCM).

BCM, an outdoor mentoring program for under-served urban youth, helps lead these young people, age 13 to 18, on wilderness mentoring expeditions, helping to instill in them critical life skills.

What began as a simple backpacking trip 20 years ago has developed into a week-long mentoring expedition, which has evolved into a well-tested, documented progression of experiences for the youth participants.

Partnering with community-based youth organizations and a group of caring adult volunteers, BCM strives to help promote individual and group development, helping to foster more effective communication along the way.

With a 1 to 1 ratio of adult mentor to youth, the program partners with existing youth development agencies to better address the ongoing needs of these under-served youths, helping them to improve their own self-awareness, and learn how to effectively take personal responsibility in their troubled lives.

BCM does indeed assist urban youth who are currently at a disadvantage in their lives. 71% of the youth are from single parent or guardian-led households. 83% are from families living below the poverty line. 80% are from homes where parents have no more than a high school education. And in fact, 62% of the participating youths have never even traveled beyond their own county of residence.

The level of support for BCM programs is extraordinary. In addition to the one week that dozens of adult members donate, BCM also counts on a great deal of support from Summit for Someone.

Summit for Someone sponsors a number of charity climbs per year, on some of the nation's greatest peaks. These charity climbs help benefit BCM's mission to transform the lives of the under-resourced urban youth through the wilderness mentoring expeditions and initiatives. Money raised through the charity climbs helps to pay for transportation, equipment, supplies, and other needed essentials for the annual expeditions.

In addition to the time volunteered by the adult mentors, and the financial boost provided by the Summit for Someone charity climbs, BCM counts on individual donations and corporate sponsorship to help keep the program running successfully from year to year.

A fairly decent number of corporate sponsors have thus far come on board for the cause. Numbers of sponsors are at the Summit Level ($50K+); Expedition Level ($25K+); Ropes Level ($10K+); Support Level ($5K+); and Base Level (Under $5K).

Sponsorship initiatives also help fund the expeditions. Current sponsorship initiatives include: Columbia Try On Campaign; SOLE $1 per EV Ultra footbed goes to BCM; Liberty Bottleworks, Kharma line supports BCM; and Positive Tracks Youth Fundraising Challenge.

In addition to the big corporate entities that help support BCM, this organization couldn't continue to operate without help from local sponsors. Land management agencies and local supporters help keep BCM alive with supporters in Boundary Waters Support, California Support, Colorado Support, and Pacific Northwest Support.

The amount of progress and growth BCM has experienced since its inception has been an inspiration for many. Its positive impact has led to a reduction in violence, a reduction in drug use, and the increased likeliness of participants to stay in school.

Event Type: Arts-Entertainment 

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