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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Masters Field Project

Department or Program Affiliation

Environmental Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Wang, Grace A.

Second Advisor

Hollenhorst, Steven J.

Third Advisor

Worthington, Amber K.


This Masters of Arts Project describes the evolution of a pilot program to a scale model that served youth in the Bellingham School District who were identified as “10% furthest from opportunity” and/or Latinx, Migrant, and English Language Learner (ELL) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vamos Outdoors Project delivered the pilot project in partnership with the Bellingham School District, serving students in-person and on-site to improve educational and socio-emotional outcomes during online learning and quarantine. The scale model, Connections, was delivered as a multi-organizational community partnership with the same goals. As the literature describes, Latinx, ELL, and Migrant youth experience inequitable educational and social outcomes and disproportionately benefit from experiential and socio-emotional learning. Influenced by Bourdieu’s theory of social capital, Vamos connected youth to mentors who helped navigate online learning and supported socio-emotional development through outdoor activities. Access to mentors and other program resources helped students build social capital and find joy, thus improving educational and socio-emotional outcomes during remote learning and quarantine.

Data from qualitative and quantitative assessments from both the pilot and scale programs indicate that participants improved academic outcomes and socio-emotional development during a time when they faced barriers to success in school. This project is an evaluation of the pilot and scale programs and serves as a case study that demonstrates how the two programs benefited participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.




Latinx, Environmental Education, Social Capital, Vamos


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Bellingham School District 501

Subject – LCSH

Nonprofit organizations--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Evaluation; Child care services--Washington (State)--Bellingham; Outdoor education--Washington (State)--Bellingham; School children--Washington (State)--Bellingham--Minorities; Social capital (Sociology)--Washington (State)--Bellingham; COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020---Social aspects--Washington (State)--Bellingham

Geographic Coverage

Bellingham (Wash.)




fieldwork (research); masters theses




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