2018 OEI Participant
Alexis Vazquez is a sophomore at San Francisco State University studying Astrophysics. When she’s not studying, she loves to go camping and stargazing with her family.
Her journey in the outdoors began the summer before high school, when she and her sister met three amazing youth leaders who were complete outdoor enthusiasts. They encouraged them to spend more time outside. Alexis found spending time outside was all new and strange to her, but fell in love with the new horizons, the lit up night skies, and the breathtaking landscapes. She could not believe what she had missed out on her whole life as her friends and family hardly spent any time outside growing up.
In high school, she started her first job at an outdoor ropes course in San Francisco. Through that, she was able to go sailing, river rafting, and camping twice a year for free and grew tremendously as a leader. She transformed into an individual with a voice who was able to share with others what she truly felt and believed in.
In high school, she didn’t think twice before accepting an offer to go backpacking free of costs in her junior and senior year with a few of her classmates. This trip sparked a huge interest for Alexis in the outdoors, teaching her that she was capable of more than she thought. She learned that the outdoors can truly heal any wounds as it brings people together and starts meaningful conversations when away from distractions and technology.
Whenever she returned from my trips, her friends and family started to notice the great impact spending more time outside was having on her that they decided to go hiking and camping more. Seeing the people she love connected and happy inspired her to apply to the Outdoor Educators Institute. She hopes to learn the proper skill sets to bring more people into the great outdoors because so many of the people in her community don’t spend time outside because they don’t have the resources or the knowledge to know where to start. She hopes to gain more knowledge as there’s always room for growth and wants to know more about the resources that are out there.