Most Oregonians know that heading into the wilds and the woods can change a person. And change is what the nonprofit Northwest Outward Bound School wants to be part of.

Since it’s founding in 1965, the program has been a way for students to test their strengths and challenge their fears through a wide verity of outdoor wilderness courses. Today, students from diverse backgrounds come to the Pacific Northwest to engage in transformative training, educational programs and learning experiences. They embark on difficult and inspiring adventures, such as kayak trips down the Deschutes River or rock climbing in Smith Rock National Park.

But the Northwest Outward Bound School is more than an outdoors skill program – it’s a way for people of different ages, abilities and goals to build character and learn leadership skills. The School has a slew of courses and educational pieces crafted with the intention of meeting students where they’re at, and helping them move forward in the world.

In order to invite students from different backgrounds, the Northwest Outward Bound School is committed to offering reduced or free tuition to needy students. Through year-round fundraisers and donations, they’re able to offer scholarships to provide all students access. Around the corner on November 19th is the Black Tie & Tennis Shoes Benefit Dinner, a fun gala that features a high ropes course. You can grab tickets here.

This week at Portland Radio Project we featured the Northwest Outward Bound School as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. You can listen below to interviews with select members of the organization: