Every month, JanSport Unzipped highlights a story from one of our favorite organizations Big City Mountaineers (BCM), who transforms the lives of under-served urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions that instill critical life skills.


Prior to sixteen-year old Tony’s BCM expedition last summer, he had never experienced the wilderness, let alone high elevation.  Tony comes from a community where high school drop-out rates are alarmingly high and most kids never experience life outside their urban neighborhoods.

On the summit day the group scrambled over boulders, granite slabs and even snow. Tony had never been at such a high elevation and was proud of overcoming his fear of heights.

“On my BCM expedition, I learned that I am a good leader,” said Tony.

“I will apply this back home by getting more involved in my community and challenging myself to be more outgoing in school. I see clearly that I have limitless options for the future.”

For more information on Big City Mountaineers, visit – www.bigcitymountaineers.org