History. The vision for Wilderness Leadership & Learning (WILL) was conceived by founder and President Steve Abraham during a 2001 National Outdoor Leadership School program. Inspired by his own experience, Steve left his law practice in 2003 to create and lead a program to enhance the educational, leadership, and life skills of DC high school youth from underserved/under-resourced neighborhoods. September 7, 2019, we celebrated the graduation of the 15th WILL Class.
Mission. To provide diverse growth experiences and challenging learning opportunities to inspire and assist youth to make good decisions, become effective leaders, and achieve their goals.
Core Organizational Values. The following values influence the culture and public image of WILL as an effective holistic, positive youth development community-based organization serving DC youth and their families.
- Accountability: WILL is grounded in the concept of responsibility – that we are responsible for the natural consequences of our decisions and actions. We are transparent in our objectives and passionate about our mission.
- Self-Empowerment: WILL encourages good decision making. We support the power and ability that each individual has to decide his/her life trajectory and to self-advocate, and we provide tools and skills to enable individuals to make decisions that lead to self-determination and self-sufficiency.
- Empathy: WILL fosters compassion. We are open and accept and respect differences in others and encourage the ability and willingness to walk in someone else’s shoes.
- Stewardship: WILL believes and teaches the importance of taking care of ourselves, our community, and our natural world.
- Action: WILL is an action based organization. We learn by doing.