Ten high-school students from the Lake Tahoe region will spend five-and-a-half exciting and educational weeks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains this summer. The Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) summer course introduces students to the Sierra Nevada’s majestic beauty, while stretching their physical, academic, and personal abilities. The program is seeking motivated students who want outdoor adventure mixed with academic enhancement this summer.

Over 40 days, beginning in late June through early August, ARC students explore Tahoe’s grandeur. From their base at the University of California’s Sagehen Creek Field Station in the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee, students kayak on magnificent Lake Tahoe, raft the rushing American River, witness stunning views while rock climbing on Donner Summit, and backpack deep into the rugged Tahoe wilderness.

At Sagehen, participants study language arts and environmental science, write poetry and essays, and practice public speaking. They return home having learned about stewardship, conservation, and the importance of doing their best, both individually and as a team.

“I climbed mountains and hiked for miles when I previously would not have been motivated to do so,” said Gerzayr Alapizco, a 2016 ARC graduate.

“I overcame my self-doubt and found a way to believe that I can triumph over every challenge I face,” said Linda Yang, another 2016 summer graduate. “I learned that I am my own leader.

Through their ARC experience, teens like Alapizco and Yang become more confident and better-equipped to achieve academic and personal goals. Over the past decade, 82 percent of ARC participants have attended a two- or four-year college.

Will Fassett, ARC Program Director, says the summer course is designed to connect underserved youth to the outdoors. “ARC works with local high school students who wouldn’t otherwise have opportunities to go on summer adventures.” 

“Adventure Risk Challenge prepared me to be the adult I’ve dreamed of being,” said Drenese McCloud, a 2016 graduate.

Adventure Risk Challenge is a scholarship-based program, providing partial- to full financial support to all accepted high-school aged students. First-generation students, English-language learners, and all students who are motivated to experience a challenging outdoor and academic adventure are encouraged to apply. The summer 2017 program is accepting applications now until April 21. Visit to learn more about the program and download applications for the 2017 Summer Course in Tahoe.