Written and submitted by Michelle M.
Gaia Passages and Yes, Nature-to-Neighborhoods have collaborated on the Richmond Roots Rites of Passage program. The program brings underserved youth into their local parks to deeply connect with each other, the nature around them, and learn leadership skills to engage in their communities. The program is based in Richmond, California.
“Some of these students may never get access to explore and learn from the natural areas within their city, causing them to be disconnected from the greater ecosystem they belong to. This connection is essential to how they gain perspective to become strong members of their community,” said Richmond Roots’ co-creator, Martha Sobrepeña.
Gaia Passages is committed to deeply connecting youth to the natural world while supporting them on their road to adulthood. Yes, Nature to Neighborhoods also connects youth to nature to galvanize positive change in their communities. The group is guided by a bilingual Elder that nurtures the youth and mentors in the program.
“Multigenerational wisdom-sharing and mentorship is key to Gaia Passages. With a strong supportive village, they can better show up for their peers as leaders”, said Sobrepeña.
Additionally, the program facilitates community reciprocity. The participants get involved in a Community Service project, tackling a problem in their community. “These young minds are the voice of tomorrow”, said Sobrepeña.
The pilot program will run from March through August, aiming to register new students each year for a three-year program.
For information about our multicultural Summer Camps and School Year Programs, to help fund our future programs, or to express interest in registering for this program, email us at gaiapassages.org.