Exploring the great outdoors can often be an empowering experience. However, such an experience is not always readily accessible to young women in our community. Betties360 is a local non-profit that aims to connect young women and teens in the Portland area with opportunities to share valuable outdoor experiences with girls .
Betties360 was founded in 2007 with the goal of inspiring confidence, enhancing well-being, and building a community for girls through action sports, outdoor adventure, and life skill education. Their programming impacts 140 young women each year. The primary objectives for Betties360 include: Raising school attendance rates, improving academic GPAs, building positive support networks, lowering disciplinary incidents, and improving self-reported and peer-reported levels of self-confidence and self-efficacy.
Betties360’s philosophy is represented by their Theory of Change mission. This mission is to provide under-represented girls with powerful life experiences in a female-centered environment of passionate volunteers. They aim to create opportunities for girls to step out of their comfort zones and away from a negatively reinforced environment. Participants in Betties360 can build their sense of self-worth by take risks in a safe settings that are structured for success. As a result, participants can gain perspective, awareness, and many life-transferable skills. Upon completion of the program, girls can emerge resilient and empowered to make healthy life decisions.
Betties360 offers various outdoor and adventure programs. These programs include:
Betties4Life – the primary goal of this course is to empower female students to reach their personal goals during a weekly for-credit class. They’re taught life skills and coping strategies through the lens of physical activity. As a result of this program, participants collectively achieved a 96% school attendance rate and a 100% pass rate for their other courses.
BettiesRock! – a rock climbing focused program where a group of participants learn to properly wear a harness, safely tie in to a rope, and utilize various climbing techniques to conserve energy, protect their bodies, and prolong their climbing days.
Bikin’Betties! – a program where participants learn biking skills such as how to wear a helmet and fit their bike, safe braking technique, good body positioning, and stress management techniques. Group members also participate in team-building and goal-setting exercises.
SnowBetties! – a program where as a group, participants learn backcountry safety techniques like mapping and compass skills. One year a SnowBetties group even built a snow cave!
BettiesExplore! – a program that generally includes any hiking, horseback riding, exploring, or ropes course adventures. In the past this group has visited: Tryon Creek State Park, Mount Tabor, the challenge course at OES, and Opal Creek.
If you’d like to know more about Betties360 and their programs you can contact them here.
This week at Portland Radio Project we featured Betties360 as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. You can listen below to interviews with key members of the organization:
Hannah Nolan, Program Coordinator/After-School Instructor
Jackie Brenner, Board Member
Kristen Wright, Betties360 Co-Founder
Chau Le, SUN Coordinator/Community Partner