FIRST GENERATION U STUDENTS VISIT NATIONAL PARKS

First-generation University of Utah students who have never had the chance to bike, hike or explore the slick rock of Moab will be able to do so thanks to a $3,000 Outdoor Nation Activation Grant.

The grant provides access to outdoor recreation activities to the Opportunity Scholars students at the David Eccles School of Business through the Outdoor Industry Club, which was one of five U clubs to receive the grant this year.

Opportunity Scholars students at the business school are a group of need-based scholarship, first-generation students who represent demographic groups typically underrepresented at the university.

“Most of these students are underrepresented in higher education and I think this is a great opportunity for them to get outdoors when they previously might not have had the opportunity,” said Tatiana Baca, a current senior and Opportunity Scholar at the University of Utah.

The grant comes from Aramark and the Outdoor Foundation and aims to bolster the existing network of outdoor clubs and programs across by getting more young people outside. Aramark is a food and hospitality partner for national and state parks. The Outdoor Foundation’s purpose is to connect young people with the outdoors.

The Outdoor Industry Club used the $3,000 grant to take the opportunity scholars to Moab for an overnight outing in early April where they hiked, biked and climbed some of Utah’s beautiful state parks.

MBA students at the David Eccles School of Business applied for the grant last fall.

“Our club applied for this grant because we believe in Aramark and Outdoor Nation’s mission of expanding access to outdoor opportunities. We are excited about our partnership with the opportunity scholars and looking forward to our trip to southern Utah!” said Koby Elias, a first year MBA student who is currently the president of the Eccles Outdoor Industry Club.

The club, led by current MBA students at the David Eccles School of Business, also hosted events and outings leading up to the trip to Moab so students were able to learn the basic outdoor skills they needed to successfully explore the parks.

“Thanks to Aramark’s leadership and support, we are investing in the ideas, ingenuity and energy of college students to drive an increased interest in outdoor recreation on campuses and in communities across the country,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation.

Utah is a well-known destination for outdoor enthusiasts across the nation. It is home to several national parks and dozens of world-class ski resorts, making it the perfect place to get outside and explore. “Through these Outdoor Nation Activation Grants, we will inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts, environmental stewards and park supporters,” said Fanning.