Our mission is to prepare and empower underprivileged, underserved inner-city youth with life skills and tools through hands-on experiences to become leaders of their lives and their community.
Our goal is to teach transformational life skills by using outdoor recreational activities as a teaching tool to learn and grow.
Leadership, responsibility, independence, self-motivation, and communication are skills our youth learn in order to reach his/her potential.
This leads to personally aspiring to elevate their academic life and become future-oriented which will lead to a more stabilized socio-economic life.
The Heights Urban Empowerment started with wanting to bridge the gap of Latino first-generation American youth to the American outdoor culture.
In our neighborhood, Washington Heights is predominately Dominican and Mexican families who came to American to find a better future for their child. Many are hard-working families who cannot afford to send their child to outdoor recreational activities that will provide a positive impact on their childhood.
The challenges of language barriers, cultural differences, affordability, and availability, make it difficult for parents to understand the importance of having access to the outdoors and the mental health benefits it provides to a growing child. There is also a lack of representation of minorities in outdoor recreational activities, which creates intimidations for many families and youth.
Seeing these issues in their community and seeing the potential of many children losing opportunities for personal development, the founders decided to form their non-profit, The Heights Urban Empowerment, and create their own outdoor youth program, Urban Outdoor Adventurers.
Through a combination of 25 years of experience working and mentoring youth through various youth programs, Antonio Camacho and Lizzette Perez made a commitment to guide families and their children into reaching their potential personally.
The Heights Urban Empowerment has made its commitment to providing affordable and accessible outdoor recreational activities, increasing wilderness exposure to youth, and increasing the representation of Latinx in the outdoors.
Now in 2020, the organization has grown into expanding it's services to families who need guidance and support. Becoming the place for resources where families can have access to opportunities for education, health, finance, and the outdoors.
Elevating our community and building a stronger community together.