We are living in challenging times, facing tough issues like the gap between rich and poor, the threat of terrorism abroad and gun violence at home, gender inequality, the achievement/opportunity gap – and too often our leaders and citizens are shouting at each other from their own corner. What we need are leaders of character and compassion – people like Philomena who will engage, bring leadership, but with compassion and a willingness to hear others.
”Before this trip I was a shy, quiet, unconfident teen who did not think much of herself. Outward Bound made me realize the potentials which I thought I lacked. During my expedition I discovered how strong of a leader I really am.” - Philomena, age 16
For more than 50 years, Outward Bound has been helping people discover that they have this within themselves.
Thank you for your support, which helps ensure that anyone can benefit from an Outward Bound expedition, regardless of income. Here are some 2017 highlights from the past year:
In 2017, VOBS served over 3,000 students across more than 17,000 student program days and delivered more than 200 programs. This is more than double the number of students we worked with in 2012.
VOBS awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships to individuals and our urban partners.
The Twin Cities Center (TCC) served almost 2,000 students, partnering with more than two dozen schools and nonprofits.
Group programs grew well and we’re having exciting conversations in areas like higher education and healthcare.
VOBS’ revenue was over $4.5M in 2017, which was up 20% over 2016; and up more than 80% over 2012.
VOBS is in a strong financial position, with a financial surplus of $200k in 2017; and has been profitable five of the past six years (the exception being an intentional loss of ($130k) to grow our TCC facility and expand to Texas.)
The University of Minnesota’s CAREI (Center for Applied Research and Educational Initiatives) continues to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs, and national Outward Bound received a $5 million grant to work with the 11 Outward Bound schools to support staff development and student outcomes evaluation.
We are actively opposing the proposed mining up north near Homeplace, especially in light of recent federal decisions.
VOBS strives to be an excellent employer and was recognized for the second consecutive year by Outside magazine as one of the "100 Best places to work"and we receive very high marks – and frank feedback – in our staff surveys (areas where we need to improve include compensation, benefits, staff development/people management and staff workload).
There are exciting things happening at VOBS and we have great opportunity before us.
In fact, there is so much need that we are not yet able to serve so VOBS will be launching a comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise money for facilities, scholarships for low income students and some internal capacity needs. This campaign is planned to kick off in 2019. More details to follow soon.
VOBS’ 2025 vision is a more resilient and compassionate world, with more resilient and compassionate citizens.
While I hear people talking these days with despair about our world and our leaders, I’m optimistic. Because I know that there is far more in us than we know and that we have the resiliency and empathy, courage and compassion that our world needs.
There is a great need for the mission and the values of Outward Bound – compassion, integrity, excellence, inclusion and safety.
And at VOBS, we’re very much committed to bringing this mission and message to help many, many more students today and in the future.
Thank you for your support to allow us to serve this important mission.
Jack Lee Executive Director Voyageur Outward Bound School