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NYC Outward Bound Schools is a nonprofit organization that currently partners with over 70 public schools across NYC to engage students in equitable, immersive and joyful learning that prepares them to thrive in community, college and career. 

Our student-centered model integrates social, emotional and academic development (SEAD) — all critical components of student success — and we partner closely with schools to help ensure students have voice and choice in what they learn. We coach educators and school leaders to implement relevant and engaging learning into their classrooms and increase student sense of belonging through Crew, our signature advisory structure. We also provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills through our outdoor adventure programs.

Together, our supports help students graduate with a solid postsecondary plan, prepared to thrive in college, career and life. In fact, students who attend schools that fully embrace our model are much more likely to graduate high school on-time, and to enroll and persist in college. 

What Sets NYC Outward Bound Schools Apart

We lead with SEAD.

We know that students’ social, emotional and academic development (SEAD) are interconnected and mutually dependent. The research shows that when students feel they belong and have a voice, they are more likely to succeed academically and become lifelong learners.


Our model centers student voice.

Our work is directly informed by students and guided by educators. We don’t prescribe answers; instead, we partner with students, educators and schools, engaging them as co-creators in the work.


We are a learning organization.

We learn from our successes and failures. Our schools work together as continuous improvement partners, which helps everyone in our network exchange and codify best practices.


We have proven that innovation can happen within public schools.

For over 35 years, the school we’ve partnered with most deeply have operated as testing grounds for new practices, approaches and ideas — allowing innovation to take root from within the NYC school system.


Our Vision

We envision a future where all NYC students are engaged in equitable, immersive and joyful learning that prepares them to thrive in community, college and career.

Our Mission

We support NYC young people in developing the knowledge and skills to lead with confidence and curiosity, persist in the face of challenge and live fulfilling lives.


Our Commitment to Equity and Antiracism

Our Core Values


We are crew, mutually dependent on each other to succeed so we collaborate, celebrate, innovate, embrace our differences, and support each other to deliver on our commitments.


We welcome vulnerability, seek out new ideas and adventure, proactively create new solutions, and take healthy risks to create the change we seek in the world.


We respect diverse perspectives, eagerly engage in candid and challenging conversations, and center the knowledge of those who have combated systemic inequity to ensure our programs and practices actively work to create equitable opportunities for our students.


We do the right thing, especially in the face of adversity, holding ourselves accountable to each other, our students, and partners.


We are curious, seeking out new knowledge, perspectives, and experiences, understanding that great ideas and solutions can come from many different places.

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