Our organization was founded last year, and in recent months we have recognized the necessity of raising capital and material donations, which will better enable us to launch our own events and increase accessibility to low-income students.
The funds we receive will be allocated as follows:
$1000 for Camping Fees and State/National Park Fees
$700 for Purchase of necessary gear and food like water filtration, snacks, first aid kits, cooking materials, etc.
$500 for Miscellaneous Transportation Costs. For many students, this represents one of the largest barriers to taking part in outdoor activities. These funds will go towards car/van rentals, gas, etc.
$1,200 for 4 UCSB Adventure Program Leadership and Training Courses. Four of our founding members will participate in this five-month UCSB program (at a cost of $300/person) in order to learn outdoor leadership and guiding skills. This will give some of our founding members the training and resources necessary to lead outdoor excursions for MAPAS, while also providing opportunities for employment with UCSB's Adventure Programs.
$1,500 for scholarships. We would like to help fund and support local institutions (high schools, clubs, non-profits, etc.) that will provide outdoors opportunities for marginalized youth, while also building strongrelationships with programs and people that share our vision. Some of these funds may also be used to subsidize outdoors-oriented course fees for UCSB undergrads in need of financial assistance (many UCSB "field-courses" have additional fees not covered by financial aid).
Timeline: We would find it necessary to receive funds soon, as it would allow us to initiate our objectives sooner.
*Check out our Facebook page to see pictures of some events we've put on!*
LEARN ABOUT THE MAPAS BOARD: Check out bios below!
(biographies are from left to right)
Roxana Lagunas: Environmental Awareness/Sustainability Chair
I am a first-generation second year student at UCSB from Orange County, CA. I am majoring in Hydrologic Sciences and Policy with a Physical and Chemical Emphasis. I am really passionate about science and engineering. In high school, I had the opportunity to take a computer science course and join my high school’s robotics team, where I was a programmer and co-captain. Since then, the field of engineering has caught my attention. However, I am also passionate about conserving some of our world’s most precious natural resources - more specifically, water. Water movement, hydroelectric power, and the role of water in ecosystems are just a few things that I’m excited to explore during my time at UCSB. My major allows me to explore both interests. Recently, I’ve developed an interest to intern or work with the National Park Service, but before that, I want to get more comfortable in the outdoors. Despite growing up in a low-income household, I’ve gone out of my way to create opportunities for myself where I can nurture my adventurous spirit. I snorkeled off Santa Catalina Island when I was in the 7th grade, completed a ropes courses in 30 degree wet weather in high school, and I’ve kayaked with dolphins. I was fortunate to have access to programs that would provide me these experiences, but I understand that’s not the case for everybody. I want to provide other students with similar opportunities to explore the outdoors and encourage them to protect it. People of color, LGBTQ+, low-income students, etc. are still left out of these spaces and it has become more apparent during my time at UCSB. By diversifying the outdoor recreation community, we can diversify the student population in related fields such as Geology, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Biology, etc. With MAPAS and with your contributions, we can be a stepping stone for marginalized students to gain exposure to outdoor adventures!
I’m a first-generation indigenous zapotec from Morgan Hill, California in my second year at UCSB. I originally entered with the intention of following a Pre-medical track under a Biology major, but I realized my involvements all reflected a passion for sustainability, environmental education, and outdoor recreation. Recently, I decided to switch to Hydrological Sciences with a physical and chemical emphasis. I have always been extremely curious with a short attention span, leading me to dip my spoon in all that life’s metaphoric soup has to offer.Some of my passions include social justice, civil rights struggles among historically marginalized communities with a focus on indigenous struggles, and the arts. Outside of MAPAS, I am a staff writer for the Artsweek Section of the Daily Nexus. When I don’t have an article to write or midterms to study for, I can be found jumping around in waves, skateboarding, or reading a book on my hammock. My love for the outdoors began as an emotional refuge for my brother, sister, mother and I. Following my parents divorce, my mother fell into an emotional struggle that would temporarily be at rest when we watched the sunset at the beach or among the trees by a campfire. Since then, the outdoors hold a special place in my heart and I adopted a responsibility on how I could help these lands thrive for future generations. I chose UCSB with the intention of continuing my love for the outdoors and pursuing new outdoor endeavors. However, I quickly recognized that the cost of participating in these activities was not as easy for a low-income student that pays his own school tuition, nearly impossible. Even when I was able to afford to participate in activities I experienced a cultural isolation and alienation. I thought long and hard, and through conversations with classmates about the reasons why they do not participate in outdoor activities, I discovered a commonality among all of them. It was a lack of financial ability, whether they could afford it, they didn’t know how to start, and if they did they found themselves feeling the same emotions as me. During the exact moment I decided to create MAPAS, I was at a surfbreak feeling the typical loneliness when another student of color paddled out right next to me and there was an unspoken connection and appreciation we felt for each other. It was then that I realized if an organization existed that helped remove these barriers, many more students of color, low income, LGBTQ+, and other historically underrepresented communities could participate in the outdoors and what I grew to love. I hope that by creating and cultivating MAPAS with my friends, we are able to create an organization that challenges these barriers, creates experiences, and fosters environmental stewardship for a new generation of people that would have not been able to otherwise. Currently, MAPAS is accomplishing these goals through efforts in multiple directions, from empowerment of our members, environmental and sustainability education, civic service, student and staff/faculty interactions, and community outreach. With your donations we will be able to take a large step forward in the right direction to further mobilize our efforts! Thank you.
Estefania Franco: Outreach Chair
I am a second year at UCSB studying Biopsychology. I am originally from Carson, CA. My interests includes outdoor activities and helping others, which is why I am engaged in MAPAS. My community back home is very diverse and low-income, and outdoor recreational activities are seen as intangible and unknown words. As a kid, I had a limited amount of opportunities to engage with the outdoors.I had never gone camping, I have never been to a national park, or traveled just for the sake of nature. I came to UCSB with the goal of engaging in outdoor activities to broaden my horizon, an opportunity that I did not get at home. When I began college, I found myself struggling and trying to find people who I related to, felt comfortable with, and shared similar interests. The success of the events MAPAS hosted this year has shown me the potential this organization has, and I have never felt so comfortable and happy amongst any other group at UCSB as I am with MAPAS. I hope that this organization will help with others who share the same goal as me, as well as provide an environment where students can learn in an accepting community. With the experience that I get from MAPAS, I plan give back to other communities with similar issues, whether it be my hometown, or here in Santa Barbara through different programs that encourage children to engage in the outdoors.
Elvia Cruz-Garcia:Social Chair
I am a second-year environmental studies major from Los Angeles, CA. I always believed that our environment plays a crucial role in shaping an individual and expanding perspectives. I lived in the same apartment my whole life, so coming to college was an overwhelming experience. I started to become conscious of my skin color and how it contrasts deeply with my peers in my environmental classes. I would listen to my peers’ stories of camping in Yosemite or attending summer camps in New Mexico. One of my professors would always tell us how she has seen so many parts of the world and would casually ask if anyone ever visited those same places as well. I’ve learned more of the disparities that exist in our society that has impeded many students and persons of color from seeing new environments that our counterparts do. Unfortunately, there is a limit to environments someone can access and explore due to financial reasons. This is why I am thrilled to be working with MAPAS. I hope that our organization can offer opportunities to students to explore new environments without worrying about costs. There are many things to do, whether it’ll be rock climbing, camping, kayaking, in Santa Barbara. I don’t want money to be the reason why anyone can miss out on feeling an exciting and happy experience in a new environment.
Kaveh Nekoomanesh: Finance Chair
I am a first-generation student in my second year at UCSB, and I am on track to receive a dual degree in Political Science and Philosophy. From a young age, I have always yearned to travel outside the invisible walls of Corona, California, but financial and social barriers prevented me from fulfilling my ambitions. Instead, I found satisfaction within books and youtube videos of other people’s excursions into the mountains and deserts. Only recently, given the tremendous opportunity to attend UCSB, have I found small opportunities to invest myself into the exclusive UCSB outdoor environment. My first opportunity arose when I saved up enough money to purchase a soft-top surfboard and jumped into the water without any previous lessons. Some would call me a fool, but I found it necessary to get my first experience in an outdoor activity that I previously thought inaccessible. After realizing that many other UCSB students shared my interests and ambitions to broaden the accessibility of outdoor activities to others, I joined my friends in creating a student organization that would serve as a platform for providing low-income and marginalized students with accessible opportunities to engage in the outdoors. As financial chair, I locate and obtain the necessary funds to support MAPAS in becoming an impactful organization.
David Garcia(not pictured): Marketing Chair
My name is David Garcia. I am a second-year Mathematical Sciences major with a minor in Art & Technology. My interests vary from exploring new music, graphic design, coding, photography, and outdoor adventures. I joined MAPAS with the idea of making outdoor recreational activities attainable for everyone, regardless of any financial barriers or level of experience. As a first-generation student, I have met many students who are at a disadvantage in ability to afford equipment or procure the proper experience for outdoor adventures. I firmly believe cost is the largest barrier between people’s interest in the outdoors and actually partaking in said activities. Reliable equipment for these activities is very expensive for students who want to try it out, making it impractical for them. Next to cost is inexperience. Many students have little to no experience in camping, kayaking, hiking, and other activities. My hope is to create a large network of members, regardless of experience, where skills, experience, and passion for nature and the outdoors form a strong bond between everyone. Santa Barbara County remains largely unexplored by students who are saturated with academics and work. Our first steps as an organization are to appreciate and explore all that SB County has to offer recreationally. In the long run, MAPAS hopes to build a strong foundation to help other students bridge the gap between the resources they need to explore the outdoors and their next trip, even outside of SB County. For our members, I hope that they are willing to try new activities beyond their scope, without the burden of costs. The outdoors may be a hidden passion for many people, and our hope as an org is to help uncover that passion, build on it, create a network , and essentially, carry that experience throughout our lives.
Arroyo Hondo Nature Preserve Camping Trip
UCSB Adventure Program Ropes Course
Trail Restoration at Arroyo Hondo
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