SOS Outreach

SOS Outreach (SOS) is a national nonprofit (501(c)(3)) committed to helping kids gear up for life. Grounded in outdoor experiences, our program ignites a passion for adventure, inspires the courage to try something new, and instills lifelong lessons and skills in our kids.

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Adventure (One- to two-day Programs)

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

Adventure programs are one- to two-day programs that expose youth to a new sport or experience. Students are provided with all the necessary clothing and gear and are able to experience outdoor activities such as rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, peak ascending, team courses, and snowshoeing.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Our goal through Adventure programs is to retain as many participants as possible to continue on through our Academy, University, and Masters programs.

Academy (Multi-Day Programs)

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

Academy programs are multi-day programs in which a new SOS core value is introduced and coupled with an outdoor activity daily. Academy programs empower students by making concrete connections between the activity and the meaning of the SOS core values, laying the foundation for future character development. Students can participate in activities like five-day learn to ski/snowboard programs, seven-day wilderness trips, overnight hut trips, or fourth grade Monument trips.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Results from recent post-participation follow-up surveys demonstrate the following:
• Almost all of SOS participants believe that it is important to stay in school (96.7%) and intend to go to college (93.9%).
• Most SOS participants feel that SOS helps them do better in school (90.6%), helps them feel proud of themselves (92.6%), provides leadership opportunities (89%), and teaches them to be healthier (89%).
• As tenure within SOS programs increases, there are statistically significant increases in the belief that SOS helps with school and teaches one to be healthier, and in the frequency that participants engage in exercise to improve muscle strength and endurance.
• Participants also displayed a significant increase in feeling hopeful of the future, which is a key determinate for being successful in the future and seeing greater opportunities.
• 60% of college-age past participants surveyed were currently enrolled in college.

University (Multi-Year Program)

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

University is an intensive four year program requiring students to increase community engagement and personal growth annually. Students engage in leadership training with a consistent adult mentor, complete service learning and life skills workshops, as well as participate in winter sports. Service projects include stocking shelves at local food banks, preparing and delivering Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, and bell ringing for the Salvation Army. In the University program, participants complete one day of activity in their communities or in the classroom for a leadership program for every day of activity they complete in the field. Participants are integrating the SOS core values beyond the ski or snowboard days.

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Evidence of Program's Success

SOS's multi-method evaluation approach continues to build a body of evidence that indicates that the curriculum addresses critical factors in domains that increase overall resiliency among participants and are predictors of positive youth development. These domains include socio-emotional well-being, scholastic performance, community involvement, self-regulation, peer-relationships, skill building, health, social skills, as well as an increased interest in outdoor recreation. Few other programs serving underserved youth combine elements of risk prevention, outdoor recreation, service learning and positive adult interaction the way SOS does. The evaluation results show positive outcomes in each of these areas and also show that participants are highly satisfied with the variety of experiences that the programs facilitate. Moreover, in post-participation surveys, SOS students consistently reveal an increased commitment to giving back to their communities and more positive attitudes toward the future for themselves as compared to where they were at the beginning of the experience.



Masters

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

Masters is designed for students who have shown extraordinary commitment to SOS's six core values throughout five previous years in Academy and University. The new curriculum includes four years of progressive requirements which develop mentor-based leadership capabilities, communications skills, self-directed goal-setting, and the ability to take initiative. Participants are trained as peer mentors to implement the SOS curriculum across ride days, workshops, and service projects, while completing intensive leadership training. These elements were created in order to better support long-term students, providing new challenges to inspire success. SOS is proud of the commitment so many long-term participants have shown to creating change in their communities.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

SOS's multi-method evaluation approach continues to build a body of evidence that indicates that the curriculum addresses critical factors in domains that increase overall resiliency among participants and are predictors of positive youth development. These domains include socio-emotional well-being, scholastic performance, community involvement, self-regulation, peer-relationships, skill building, health, social skills, as well as an increased interest in outdoor recreation. Few other programs serving underserved youth combine elements of risk prevention, outdoor recreation, service learning and positive adult interaction the way SOS does. The evaluation results show positive outcomes in each of these areas and also show that participants are highly satisfied with the variety of experiences that the programs facilitate. Moreover, in post-participation surveys, SOS students consistently reveal an increased commitment to giving back to their communities and more positive attitudes toward the future for themselves as compared to where they were at the beginning of the experience.

Specifically, recent evaluative highlights indicate the following positive impacts on Masters participants:

o An increase in attendance.
o An increase in GPA among middle and high school participants.
o Almost all of SOS participants believe that it is important to stay in school (96.7%) and intend to go to college (93.9%).
o Most SOS participants feel that SOS helps them feel proud of themselves (96.6%), provides leadership opportunities (97.8%), and teaches them to be healthier (93%).

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.