Alex Bailey grew up hiking and fishing in the Ohio outdoors with his grandfather. But he had become disconnected from that part of his life until he became a summer camp counselor. That’s when he realized the positive impact being outside can have on young people.
“When I was out there, I was able to see how the outdoors can really transform a young person’s life,” Bailey says. “The outdoors is a place of, not only challenge, but it shows you how resilient you are.”
This realization led Bailey to create Black Outside, a nonprofit organization based in San Antonio with a simple mission: to provide transformative experiences to youth of color across central Texas, Bailey says.
“We partner with schools to provide day-long outdoor adventures for schools,” Bailey says. “Additionally, we have a summer overnight camp, and the last thing that we do is weekend summits in the outdoors for youth groups.”
Bailey believes that by providing kids with outdoor experiences, they can learn valuable life lessons that will help them navigate life outside of school.
“Kids are getting challenged in their leadership in a different way,” Bailey says. “Kids are getting the physical challenge, also getting psychological benefits, social, emotional skills development, and just like health benefits.”