Canadian Multi-sport Olympian Clara Hughes took time from her busy schedule last week to meet with the youth and participate in a fun and inspiring day. After a morning full of media appearances, Hughes met with members of the Take a Hike program at Second Beach in Stanley Park (in Downtown Vancouver). Before taking off for a fun bike ride around the seawall, Hughes spoke candidly with the teenagers, sharing stories of her troubled teen years and instilling encouraging thoughts with the students.
Clara Hughes was appointed as Take a Hike’s Ambassador earlier this year when she generously donated her $10,000 bronze medal bonus from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games to the organization.
I was one of those students that didn’t care about anything and was involved in a lot of drinking and drugs at a young age,” shared Hughes, six-time Canadian Olympic medalist. “That was me then, and this is me now. There is a way out. It’s different for everyone, but sport and outdoor activities have the power to inspire and motivate young people beyond their circumstances to give direction or even more importantly, goals and dreams to strive for.”
Hughes cycled with the class back to their East Vancouver headquarters where she met with the grade 10 class to hear about their recent 3-day kayak expedition. Later that evening, she delivered an inspirational keynote speech at the foundation’s tenth anniversary celebration at the Vancouver Rowing Club for donors, staff and students. She shared her remarkable story and also revealed the details of Take a Hike’s new ‘Power of 10’ Giving Campaign.
Take a Hike is extremely grateful to have an incredible Canadian sport hero support us and recognize our impact on at-risk youth in Vancouver,” said Jaydeen Williams, Executive Director of the Take a Hike Foundation. “The impact of her involvement on the Take a Hike Foundation has been tremendous; financially we have received an increased level of support – but perhaps even more significant is the awareness that her high profile has lent to this important cause. As we enter our tenth year, the whole Take a Hike community feels a renewed sense of energy and excitement in the program.”
About Take a Hike:
Take a Hike is an alternative education program that engages at-risk youth through a unique combination of adventure-based learning, academics, counseling, and community involvement. The Take a Hike program provides at-risk youth with the opportunity to make positive change in their lives through outdoor experiential learning, working through their issues, building confidence and improving academic abilities. Students in the Take a Hike program often struggle with issues that have inhibited their success in the mainstream school system such as drug and alcohol addiction, physical and mental abuse, criminal activity, low self-esteem, depression, and/or trauma. Most students are referred to the program by school counselors or social workers for an opportunity to make lasting change in their lives. For more information on the program please visit their website.
Power of 10 Giving Campaign
In celebration of their 10th anniversary, the Take a Hike Foundation is kicking off its ‘Power of 10’ campaign to encourage monthly giving or exceptional one-time donations. ‘Power of 10’ donors will receive great perks including an autographed thank you from Take a Hike ambassador, Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes, and the top 10 donors who give between now and December 31st will have a Take a Hike kayak named in their honour. Donors will receive a framed photograph of their kayak and all photos will be displayed on the Take a Hike website. Take a Hike’s goal is to engage 10×10 individuals (that’s 100 people!) in the ‘Power of 10‘ campaign. 100% of the ‘Power of 10” donations will support adventure-based learning activities for 40 youth for the next 10 months.
For more information, please contact:
Email: jaydeen (at) takeahikefoundation.org