The Next Generation

'We have to be where they are'

Photo by David Jackson

Photo by David Jackson

By Conor Mihell

“This trip for me was a life changer. It made me think about how I want to make changes in my life so that more opportunities like this can come my way.”

– Greg, a Chicago Adventure Therapy participant, after paddling at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium.

"We can't stand square in the middle of our paddling communities and invite young people, people of color or any marginalized community and expect that they will come join us. We have to be where they are. We welcome kids to Chicago Adventure Therapy not because they're from the inner city, but because they want to paddle—because they have amazing talents and ambitions. Paddling is the place where I find my greatest rewards. It can be the same for others.”

–Andrea Knepper is the founder of Chicago Adventure Therapy, a nonprofit that engages underserviced youth in outdoor activities.

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