Lucy Westlake - K2 World Record Attempt

Last year I started this GoFundMe page before climbing Mount Everest. The opening paragraph reads, "My name is Lucy Westlake - I'm 18 years old from Naperville, Illinois. I've been climbing mountains since I was seven. I’m now ready to climb Everest to attempt the American Record as the youngest American woman to stand on the top of the world. Why? For the past eleven years, I’ve been fighting to prove my worth in the mountains. Mountaineering is a sport dominated by men twice my age and size and I’m ready to show this generation of girls and young women that we belong in the mountains. The gender gap exists not because girls and women are less capable than men, it's solely because there is little pathway or support for women in the sport of mountaineering. Girls don't feel they belong in the high mountain realm because they don't see anyone like themselves there."

On May 12, 2022, I reached the summit of Mt. Everest and set an American Record as the youngest American woman to reach the top. I received endless media coverage for this accomplishment and secured a sports agent to help me find sponsors who would join my efforts in creating opportunities for girls in the mountains. Unfortunately, there is not a market for young women in mountaineering and therefore, I have no value to companies.

Thankfully, Billie Jean King recognized my efforts because she too has spent her life fighting for gender equality in sports. This past year I received an ESPN Humanitarian Award at the ESPYs and was given $10,000 through the Billie Jean King Foundation to create new ways for more girls to learn mountaineering skills. I partnered with AWE Summit Scholarship Foundation and together we created 3 annual scholarships for teenage girls to climb Mount Baker in Washington State and learn the mountaineering skills necessary to pursue adventures in the big mountain realm.

This is an opportunity to inspire a generation of girls to pursue adventures in the mountains, challenge their perceived limits, and believe it is possible. I am attempting to set a new World Record to inspire the next girl to break it. That goal is expensive, but worth it to trailblaze a path for girls to follow. As the late Hilaree Nelson stated, "It's much easier to be something when you see a path put down by women before you." To continue this effort, I need your help! Please donate whatever amount you feel called to, no matter the size, and please share this link with others. I can't do it without you, but together we can.
Thank you!

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Lucy Westlake
Naperville, IL

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