Wilderness Inquiry’s Josh Garubanda was highlighted by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as a key role model for communities underrepresented in the outdoors. One of NOLS’s objectives is paving the way for young people of color to become passionate about America’s wild places. In the summer of 2013, NOLS organized Expedition Denali with a group that made history as the first team of African Americans to climb America’s highest peak.This expedition marked not only the 100th anniversary of the peak’s first ascent, but also the importance of paving a way for young people of color to get outside and become passionate about the outdoors.
Josh began his outdoor career with Wilderness Inquiry in 2001 when he was a junior in high school in St. Paul. Wilderness Inquiry ran a program called “Integrated Service Learning Adventures” that featured working with students in outdoor clubs. This program was the pre-cursor to the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures program, and Josh is living proof that it works. Over the last decade, Josh became a trail guide, program manager, and trip director. In the field “Brother Wilderness” (Josh’s outdoor persona) connects with youth to inspire confidence and curiosity. He has led trips in Glacier National Park, Kenya, and Costa Rica, but his favorite is still a classic paddle down the Mississippi River with local youth. Josh is a true role model for young people involved in the UWCA, and Wilderness Inquiry is proud to be a part of his journey.
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