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Big City Mountaineers Announces 2020 Partners of the Year

December 9, 2020

Media Contact

Josh Headley, Backbone Media


Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a leading provider of outdoor experiences for youth from unfairly marginalized communities, announces the 2020 Partners of the Year.

This year has been a challenging one filled with soul searching, learning, change and working together to find solutions for new and difficult problems. Determination and the resolve of people around the world and the communities close to home has shined through. Despite the challenges presented by the year 2020, BCM continues to persevere and work harder than ever to make sure young people have access to parks, trails and public lands.

The work conducted by BCM would not be possible without the coordination, hard work and generosity from partners near and far. This year, BCM would like to acknowledge key partners that dedicated hard work and time to support not only BCM, but their communities at large.

The following partners dedicated their time and resources while showing true grit throughout 2020:

BCM would like to thank the three following Youth Agency Partners of the Year: Urban Boat Builders (Minneapolis, MN), Seattle Nativity School (Seattle, WA) and AntFarm (Sandy, OR) for their ability to manage the COVID crisis, shift their programming and continue to support the members of their communities despite difficult circumstances.

The work BCM conducts and the opportunities provided to youth across the country would not be possible without outstanding volunteers. BCM would like to say thank you to Libby Gemperline of Denver, CO for her work building a suite of videos, interviewing students and editing all the footage in time for year-end fundraising efforts. BCM would also like to thank Anna Gonzalez & Gustavo Goncalves from San Francisco, CA and Sandy & Richard Osburn from Boston, MA for their outstanding support to BCM programing, local knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile for BCM.

Instructors are the heart and soul of BCM expeditions and BCM would like to thank both Christina Maples (Portland, OR) and Marisa Jarae (Denver, CO) for their dedication to students and their commitments to the BCM programming.

A special shout out to Johnny Jesson, Brooke Pudar and Rob, Christine and John (Tahoe Rim Trail) for your dedication and hard work as Summit for Someone/Adventure for Someone participants.

The work conducted by BCM would not be possible without the dedication and support from corporate partners. BCM would like to thank NEMO Equipment for donating 1,600 sleeping bags to BCM and supporting community partners around the country. The sleeping bag donation is in addition to their financial contribution over the past two years exceeding $10,000 from the Labor Day e-sales campaign. Additionally, BCM would like to thank Arc’Teryx for redirecting funds intended for Facebook advertising and donating those funds to BCM to in a critical time. The monetary support from Arc’Teryx has ensured BCM’s Assistant Instructor Program has the necessary resources to support students becoming paid trip instructors. BCM would also like to thank Hoka One One for stepping up as a new donor in 2020, going above and beyond to provide Spanish translation and including BCM in a collaborative marketing campaign to raise funds for BCM in 2021. 

Lastly, BCM would like to thank the following board member and national council member for their outstanding work and continual support of BCM. John Andriola, Board Member, is a steadfast volunteer and coordinator whose dedication to BCM allows processing and applications to flow smoothly. Additionally, Nathan Ballard, National Council Member, is a dedicated supporter of the California program and has been instrumental in keeping relationship in place. BCM cannot offer thanks enough for all the volunteers across the country and the continual support extended by individuals. 

To learn more about BCM or ways to support please visit:


Big City Mountaineers (BCM) provides free – fully outfitted and professionally led – backpacking trips, paddling expeditions, and camps so all youth can access the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of being connected to nature. Research shows that experiences in nature reduce stress, improve physical health, advance education outcomes, and build civic mindedness. Unfortunately, not every young person has the same opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and are unable to take in all the benefits of being connected to nature in an equitable way. BCM’s model removes material and social barriers to participation outdoors by acting as a hub between the outdoor industry, youth-serving community-based organizations, caring adult mentors, and professional experiential educators.  

To learn more, please visit