Our Community News

Common Ground with Youth Seen

On Nov. 17, the Vista Outdoor Foundation announced its 2021 Grant Partners.  Each chosen organization promotes conservation, encourages youth and veteran participation in outdoor sports, and works to improve diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. The recipients received over $600,000 in grant funding in 2021.

We often hear these stories when they are first introduced or announced, but we wanted to dive deeper so our employees and external stakeholders can learn more about the Foundation’s partners, their missions and how they are putting their grants to good use.

This month, we continue our “Common Ground” feature highlighting the excellent work of Youth Seen.

Youth Seen, Denver, CO
Website: youthseen.org

Why Youth Seen?
Youth Seen highlights the intersections that communities of color face when addressing social issues that impact families that identify under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella. Youth Seen envisions a society where people are empowered as individuals to access non-judgmental and unbiased treatment in every aspect of their lives. The organization’s “CampSeen” program fosters youth connecting and creating memories in the safe environment of the outdoors.

“Youth Seen’s programming offers opportunities to explore nature through camping. It allows the youth to meet others like themselves in a safe environment,” said Melanie McIntyre, Associate General Counsel at Vista Outdoor. “Youth Seen’s operation and annual operating budget is small, so our grant was a huge impact for their organization!”

Youth Seen Mission/Vision: 
To foster and empower the social and emotional well-being of LGBTQIA+ youth and their families.

The LGBTQIA+BIPoC community and youth ages 10-18. The organization urges creative creation of a community that celebrates everyone’s worth, diverse characteristics, and dignity. Youth Seen works with communities and stands as a leader in Colorado for establishing partnerships with groups who specifically tailor their resources, education and outreach to the young LGBTQIA+ BIPoC community.

Grant Power: 
The Vista Outdoor Foundation grant will go toward scholarships to ensure the outdoors is accessible to LGBTQIA+ BIPoC folx. 

“This grant will help give QTBIPoC youth the opportunity to experience the healing that nature provides. Queer youth of color often do not get outdoor opportunities. CampSeen gives them the space to explore outdoor possibilities,” said Tyrell Rae CampSeen Program Director.

“When thinking of diversity, many of us define it within categories such as gender, race or age,” said McIntyre. “When Vista Outdoor and its Foundation focus on diversity and inclusion, it’s important for us to focus on groups that are reflective of the society in which we exist and operate. Youth Seen does just that.”