The Outdoor Leadership Academy (OLA) is funded by the National Park Service to provide outdoor experiences and leadership development for underrepresented youth.
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Upcoming Trips
At the moment, OLA has no upcoming trips planned! Check back often for dates of future trips, and in the meantime, feel free to look through our past trip gallery.
Past Trip Gallery
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Public Lands and National Parks
This program is a partnership between Utah Tech and the National Parks to provide life changing experiences in public lands for underrepresented youth.
Students from UT, SUU, UNLV, Nevada State College, and the College of Southern Nevada as well as students from high schools of our target region are welcome to participate.
If you are a school teacher, club advisor, or professor and would like to talk to us about participating in a program, please contact us.
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OLA Student Stories
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When I first went on an OLA trip it was my second semester at Dixie State University and I was not very experienced with the outdoors. I had never been camping really, although I was very comfortable with the outdoors, I have known since a young age that nature is for me and I am for nature, but I was never really permitted to explore that. When I went on that trip it was a big step for me since my parents didn’t really approve but I felt adult enough to just jump in and do it anyway. I absolutely loved it. We spent four days in Zion National Park and I still remember it very fondly. We would look outside and see the stars blanketing the skies, when it rained the clouds hung low to the sandstone cliffs, it was very spiritually connecting for me. So when I found out about more trips with OLA I readily signed up. Attending these trips and learning more about the environment is actually what inspired me to change my major to Biology with an emphasis in natural science. Soon enough I was blessed enough to be offered a position as the OLA intern and at first I was apprehensive, I didn’t know if I’d be a good fit for it or if I’d be able to assist in the best way possible. As most things with life though, I jumped in to see what would happen. So far, I think I’m doing alright, I’m still learning everyday, but I feel so blessed to be one of the few people who get to say that they absolutely love what they do. I am so thankful to OLA for providing me with these amazing opportunities to grow as well as learn about our public lands, conservation efforts, as well as myself.
Eli Aguirre