For students at Wilderness Leadership & Learning, the natural and cultural worlds of Greater Washington are their classrooms. On Saturdays, school holidays, and during summer break, WILL brings together youth from underserved DC neighborhoods to learn and to explore: day trips on the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers; a ropes course challenge; a scavenger hunt on the National Mall (including the National Gallery); a seven-day backpacking journey on the Appalachian trail; a forum on college admissions; workshops on inclusion and diversity, financial literacy, healthy eating – all these (and more) are designed to develop their inherent strengths, their decision-making, leadership, goal setting, and life skills. Service learning is an integral part of the WILL experience and all WILL youth learn and appreciate the importance of giving back. Last year, 36 WILL students made the 335-hour commitment to explore and grow. To date, 100% of those who completed the program have graduated from high school or are on track to do so. You can catalyze their next venture and keep them on track to succeed.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 1
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8
Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17)
Population(s) Served: Students
Schools They Work In: Bell Multicultural High School; Capital City Public Charter School; Cardozo High School; Eastern High School; McKinley Tech High School; E. L. Haynes Public Charter School; IDEA Public Charter School
100% of WILL graduates have graduated from high school or are on track to do so
For 9 years in a row (including 2015-2016), WILL's retention rate has been between 67% and 76%, far exceeding the 50% considered excellent for youth development programs (we have never been below 50%).
For 2015-2016, 90% of WILL youth reported that they learning something from the WILL programs in which they participated and 100% said that they benefited very much or a great deal from being in WILL.
Based on the analysis of the Pre-and Post-WILL surveys completed by 2014-2015 WILL youth, they showed: significant increases in knowledge and understanding of financial literacy, environmental awareness, nutrition, leadership, and self-empowerment, as wel
Awards & Recognition
1. Steve Abraham, WILL Founder and President, named one of five Washington, DC Scottish Rite Community Service Award recipients (Oct. 2014)
2. WILL selected for Fair Chance partnership (March 1, 2012 -Feb. 28, 2014)
3. WILL chosen for inclusion in the 2012-2013 Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the finest community-based nonprofits in the Greater Washington region – May 2012.
4. WILL selected by BU Center for Digital Imaging Arts Spring Practicum – Website Re-Design - Spring 2012.
5. Steve presented with Award of Appreciation Job Corps Leadership Conference (Spring 2012)
6. Steve was chosen to be a member of the Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2012
7. WILL selected by BU Center for Digital Imaging Arts Spring Practicum – Produced short video - Spring 2011.
8. WILL selected as Harris’ Hero by WJLA anchor Leon Harris (aired Dec. 7, 2011)
9. Steve presented with Making the Difference Volunteer Award Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy (Parkside Campus) (May 2011)
10. Steve received Columbia Heights Education Campus Amigo of the Year(May 2008)
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- $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- The current budget for Wilderness Leadership & Learning, Inc. is: Less than $500k
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
About the Catalogue for Philanthropy
Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $37 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!