For years, Kimberly volunteered with the Middle School Reading Program at Eastside. In 2005, she recognized another area where she could lend her time and expertise—she saw the need for an outdoor education program. Recognizing that the population of students didn’t necessarily have positive experiences with the outdoors, she wanted to create an opportunity to change that and connect students with the wonder of nature.
The outdoor program at Eastside provides students with the opportunity to explore places like Lake Tahoe, Point Reyes, Big Sur, the Santa Cruz Mountains and even urban green spaces like the Presidio in San Francisco. Students hike, backpack, rock climb, raft, ski and explore the local ecology of the region, while simultaneously gaining leadership skills and new friendships.
“There are so many great challenges and team building opportunities when you’re out in nature,” she said. “So many students have never hiked on a dirt trail. Then, they come on these trips and they’ll climb a peak that’s 9,000 feet and although they never thought they could do it, they do. And they’re so excited and beaming with pride.”