Introduce yourself! What should the world know about you?
My name is Alyssa. I’m 27 years old and living on Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and Ute ancestral lands colonized as Boulder, CO. I started getting involved in the outdoors after moving to Colorado in 2016. After seeing mountains for the first time in my life — I started hiking, biking, skiing climbing, and camping and fell in love with it all. I spend my days taking care of my two cats and 20+ houseplants while also working as a Product Designer for Outside inc. Fun facts: I ran D1 track and field in college and I have a twin sister who is an art therapist and sex educator.
What are you passionate about?
I am super passionate about redefining what it means to be an outdoor athlete and breaking down barriers for WOC in the outdoors, as well as design, personal creativity, and creating community.
What drives you as a person, a leader, and a storyteller? What or who shapes you?
As a person, leader, and storyteller I am constantly driven by my passion to grow and learn. This has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone, have tough conversations, try new things, etc. I didn’t grow up in an environment that encouraged personal growth and exploration so being able to find that passion as an adult has shaped me tremendously and I hope that I can help others find that as well.
Why did you apply to the Rethink Outside™ Fellowship? What are you hoping to learn from this experience?
I applied to the fellowship to have the opportunity to learn and grow while in community with other BIPOC folks who are passionate about the outdoors. I am hoping to build on the knowledge I already have and learn new skills that will help me become a better ally, leader, and storyteller for my community.
How will the Rethink Outside™ Fellowship experience help you address the systemic barriers for access to, and representation / leadership of Black, Indigenous, and people of color in the movement to connect people and nature?
I believe this experience will help build a strong community of smart, diverse, creative people that will be able to take the knowledge and lessons we learn back to our communities to enact change. The more that BIPOC folks can get together to share our experiences and ideas, the more we can break down systemic barriers together.
What is your favorite activity / place which connects you to nature and the outdoors?
It’s tied between mountain biking and skiing. I love challenging myself on new terrain and trails through these sports. The versatility of the land and the outdoors is so special to me and I love being able to experience that through the sports that I love. Being in the mountains is a very humbling experience for me and always helps me reset.