👋 Helloo! My name is Veronica Bao Thao (she/her) and I am passionate about challenge, inclusion, adventure, connections and freedom in the outdoors. This is why I will be thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) this year.
That’s right -
2198.4 miles, 🚶🏻♀️🏕💅🏽
515,000 feet of elevation change, 🏔️🙊
14 states from Georgia to Maine, 🥾🎒
in 6 months. 🗓️
Let’s go! 🚀 🌈
That's walking ~5 million steps or like climbing up Mount Everest 16 times!
For the same reasons, I will be taking this adventure beyond myself by holding it as a fundraiser. So please join me in expanding access to the outdoors for youth with California Field School (CFS) by donating to my fundraiser and helping me reach my goal of $5,000!
JOIN MY JOURNEY! HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Donate by the Mile by clicking on the Donate button on this campaign page and use all of those unwanted pennies towards my miles! There are a total of 2198.4 miles on this epic 6 month walk, which means....
1 cent per mile: $21.98 total
2 cents per mile: $43.96
3 cents per mile: $65.94
5 cents per mile: $109.90
10 cents per mile: $219.80
25 cents per mile: $549.50
50 cents per mile: $1099.00
Donors with a minimum contribution of $100 will receive…
An invitation to submit questions in advance for the two live stream chats with Veronica, live from the AT! Live streams will occur approximately at the halfway point and when almost done!
In addition, donors with a minimum contribution of $250 will also receive…
A hand-written appreciation postcard from Veronica from along the AT!
If that's not enough, donors with a minimum contribution of $500 will also receive…
CFS stickers and a multi-purpose CFS bandana (perfect for every outdoor adventure),
And a personal appreciation card signed by CFS youth program participants!
Please encourage your friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, coworkers, bosses and just about anybody to make a donation! Share my campaign - via social media, email, word of mouth, you name it!
Follow my adventure on Instagram (@rainbowcilantro)!
WHY IS EXPANDING ACCESS TO THE OUTDOORS FOR YOUTH IMPORTANT?
Nurturing human-nature relationships is powerful (1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6). While acknowledging that spending time outdoors looks and feels different for everyone, there are many benefits that come with spending time in nature (7, 8, 9, 10), particularly for youth development (11, 12, 13,14, 15, 16, 17).
Yet not everyone has access to the outdoors with some facing more barriers than others in getting outside, being welcomed, receiving quality outdoor opportunities, facilities or experiences, or being represented in the outdoors (18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29). For youth, the disparities are even more acute, being more nature-deprived than the overall national population (30).
I have come to recognize the intersectionality of social and environmental justice, and the power nature has in connecting all communities towards environmental liberation, particularly with youth. This intersectionality is why I have been an outdoor youth educator for over 9 years. The opportunity to increase visibility of these intersectionsand build connections in the outdoors is why I am hiking the AT and supporting CFS, whose youth bike programs develop critical-thinking leaders by adventuring, developing community and exploring California history through the lens of social and environmental justice.
Guess what?Your donations are tax deductible! The California Field School is fiscally sponsored by The Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Living, a nonprofit charitable corporation under 501(c)3 of the IRS tax code - Employer Identification Number (EIN#) 31-1748056; California charity registration number CT0249716.
WHY CALIFORNIA FIELD SCHOOL? CFS'S...
mission is to take youth on adventure learning bike tours exploring social and environmental justice. Their approach of combining active travel with educational opportunities for high school students creates life-changing experiences for their participants.
The California Field School is dedicated to telling a story of California that centers indigenous Californians, and a story that reflects the experiences of our program participants, almost all of whom are youth of color, and who come from first-generation immigrant families. On all of their trips, they prioritize building relationships with the people native to the areas they pass through.
HIGHLIGHTS! THE CFS...
Enriches the youth experience in the outdoors, specifically through adventure learning bike tours spanning from single day to 6-day-120 miles long trips across California where youth learn fundamental bicycling skills
Explores social and environmental justice with youth
Works primarily with youth of color, including girls and gender non-expansive youth,led by educators who can represent similar lived experiences
Centers Indigenous Californians
Creates life-changing experiences for their participants
Is committed to free and low-cost programming for participants while ensuring they have the clothing, gear training and emotional support they need to succeed
Partners with local organizations and schools
Dedicates itself to sharing and telling stories that reflect the experiences of their participants
CHECK OUT WHAT THEY DID LAST YEAR! CFS
Served 120+ young people
Rode 745 miles across 7 counties
Slept 25 nights under the stars
Ate 562 energy bars, 83 tamales, 38 foraged blackberries, 20 cups of buffalo ice cream