We are excited to announce that Heather Pearson has taken up the position of OTA's first ever intern! Heather will be working with us for the summer on a number of exciting projects, but enough from us. Let's hear from Heather!
How did you learn about OTA?
I grew up in the area but had never heard about OTA until last year when looking up queer nonprofits for school. I stumbled across OTA’s website, was immediately interested in getting involved and sent an email to Elyse to learn what OTA’s all about, and here we are!
What trip(s) have you done?
Well, I’m new to OTA and so haven’t gone on any trips yet. I definitely am excited to get out there though as the weather keeps warming up and we finally get a bit of sunny spring and summer.
What has been your favorite OTA moment?
I think the best moments are yet to come – so far, just learning about all the upcoming trips gets me excited and reading stories of past participants is really fun for me.
Has OTA made an impact on your life? If so, how?
OTA has given me a sense of validation and belonging I haven’t had before. Growing up where I did, I didn’t even get the chance to interact with that many other young queer people. Now to see a community of social-justice oriented queer folks who love outdoor recreation as well as having fun and living in purposeful ways – that’s so affirming for me. It encourages me to follow my path because it shows me that I am not alone on it.
Why should other young queer folks get OUT with OTA?
The whole point is to get outside, create community, and have fun – if any of that appeals to you, then you should definitely get OUT with OTA. The work done by OTA is groundbreaking and pretty unique and rare, so to be able to participate is a privilege I would encourage taking advantage of. Plus, I think there’s usually free food!
Anything else you'd like us to know?
Hope to see you OUT there!
Elyse share's her thoughts on why the outdoor industry needs to stop gendering everything we put on, carry and use.