Five Compton young adults have been selected for the first-ever Fresh Tracks Leadership Expedition. Compton YouthBuild graduates Stephanie Carrasco and Elizabeth Randle, Carson High School senior Cierra Gunderson, future Aerospace Engineering major Austin Huffman and Buckley School senior and Compton My Brother’s Keeper participant Jared Savage will join 13 other young adults between the ages of 18 to 22 on a two-week experience that will blend cultural sharing, outdoor exploration, workforce education, and service learning.
Inspired by the Obama Administration’s commitment to connecting more young Americans to the outdoors, Fresh Tracks will bring together youth leaders from rural, indigenous, and urban communities for life-changing experiences that help them acquire skills to successfully enter the workforce, reach their full potential, and achieve their dreams.
“I’m looking forward to meeting more people from different places and coming home with a different mentality that will change my life forever,” said Stephanie Carrasco, a Fresh Tracks participant from Compton. “I am also excited about finding out more about who I am as a leader.”
Fresh Tracks is a partnership between IslandWood, the Sierra Club, Children & Nature Network’s Natural Leaders, REI, the Campion Foundation, action sports retailer Zumiez, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – in close collaboration with Compton Mayor Aja Brown, the City of Compton and in support of the goals of the Obama Administration’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
The students chosen to participate in Fresh Tracks from Compton and Los Angeles were selected through the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge initiative in collaboration with the City of Compton.
“The City of Compton and our My Brother’s Keeper team is proud to partner with Fresh Tracks on developing, cultivating and displaying the leadership potential of Compton’s young adults,” said Compton Mayor Aja Brown. “This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to expand their cultural understanding and make a real connection to the outdoors beyond the borders of Compton.”
The participants from Alaska are young adults from communities throughout the state, including Anchorage, Arctic Village, Barrow, Chevak, Fairbanks, Rampart, and Shishmaref .
“I am very honored to be able to be part the Fresh Tracks program,” said James Chilcote of Arctic Village, Alaska. “For me it’s an opportunity to have a cross-cultural experience, to build awareness about my home, to learn about issues in Compton, and to be a voice for my people.”
Fresh Tracks will take place in August 2016, beginning with an immersion experience at IslandWood, a leading outdoor learning organization based near Seattle. Both groups will then explore the ecological and cultural landscapes of southern California. Fresh Tracks will culminate in Alaska, where participants will engage in traditional community activities, engage in discussions about local climate change implications, and visit Denali National Park. The August experience is being looked at as a model for national expansion of Fresh Tracks Leadership Expeditions.