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Kieren Britton hiking with a backpack and tent in a mountain valley

L.A. Foundation

The L.A. Foundation aims to build confidence and community through adventure by changing the face of leadership outdoors. MEC and the L.A. Foundation have worked together since 2017, and it’s exciting to have them onboard as an official Outdoor Impact partner in 2023.

With local chapters across the country, the L.A. Foundation aims to make the outdoor industry a more inclusive place, one adventure and adventurer at a time. They support women+, non-binary adventurers and allies in the outdoors.

The Lady Alliance group on the beach smiling with hands in the air

Story behind the L.A. Foundation

Originally named The Lady Alliance, the L.A. Foundation started as an online social community where women had the chance to share their story. Whether it was a photo or adventure article, folks could submit their adventures and speak through the community platforms, further amplifying their voice. As the online community grew, the demand for a chance to meet everyone in real life grew too. The L.A. Foundation started to include in-person adventures, retreats, film festivals and courses.

MEC got involved by helping the L.A. Foundation to help extend their reach to empower women+ of all ages and backgrounds, including local chapters that inspire hundreds of people every month through free local adventures.

Two people standing in front of a rocky waterfall, smiling

Scholarship program and support

Creating a more inclusive outdoor industry requires diverse leadership and inviting, safe and fun communities full of adventure and experience. The L.A. Foundation is creating both. In 2022, The Lady Alliance shifted to the L.A. Foundation and kicked off a scholarship program. The goal of these scholarships is help change the face of leadership in the backcountry.

Learning outside and building an outdoor skillset comes with financial and access-based barriers. The L.A. Foundation’s goal is to help with these barriers and provide opportunities for women+ to uncover their power, grow their outdoor adventure education, and become leaders to pave the way for the next generation of adventurers.

Three people hiking and laughing on a trail

How MEC is supporting

As part of our Outdoor Impact support, MEC provides gear donations to L.A. Foundation chapter coordinators so they have the tools they need to lead great experiences outside. MEC also funds scholarships through the L.A. Foundation, so people can apply for funding to build their skills and experience around the outdoors and backcountry.

“Such a great community! I’ve completed my AST 1 with the [L.A.] Foundation and tagged along on their awesome meetups. It’s a blast every time and I have created some amazing friendships and awesome adventure buddies!” – Carly, AST 1 course participant