Do you want to spend the rest of the summer in the North Cascades? We will have un-paid internship opportunities opening in July. Housing and stipend provided.


Working with Glacier Peak Institute is a unique opportunity to work with outdoor education and recreation in a beautiful mountain community!  Located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, Glacier Peak Institute (GPI) empowers youth, community and ecosystems to prosper and cultivate a shared resilient future through action-based education. GPI provides STrEaMs (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math experienced through recreation and art to gain skills) based education to rural youth. At GPI you will contribute to the lives of disadvantaged youth and build resilient communities and ecosystems. Past partners include: The Wilderness Society, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington State University.


We are seeking interns to help rural at-risk youth build resilience and connect with the outdoors through Glacier Peak Institute. These positions are vital to our capacity to serve youth. We work with the interns to design an experience to make the value reciprocated.

  1. Summer Recreation Program Developer Intern
  2. Organization Development Intern

As of now, there is only one paid (at part-time) employee of Glacier Peak Institute. This is possible as GPI is supported by a team of community volunteers.  Every hour working with GPI, is one more hour we can spend introducing youth to the outdoors, developing urban/rural connections and creating a lasting difference. We have brought together a great group of organizations and partners including Seattle University, Washington State University, The Wilderness Society, and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. The volunteers and I have done all of this on a shoe string budget. To continue and improve our programming we need your help.


Why Glacier Peak Institute?

We are empowering youth through action based education to build resilient rural communities and ecosystems encompassing the GlacierPeak region. We develop recreation, STEM and conservation programs for schools and youth in at risk communities.

After the Oso landslide killed 43 community members, GPI was created to support long term change and recovery for rural communities. Before the slide, we felt our hands were tied as we watched community members suffer from overdoses, drunk driving, murders, suicides, jail sentences, rise in domestic abuse, rise in crime, rise in drug use, decline in jobs and the declining enrollment of our schools. Furthermore, despite being surrounded by forests and mountains, youth were spending less time recreating outdoors following the national trend of a decrease in outdoor activity by 50% since 2001.  There were no programs being offered to get local youth recreating in their own backyard.


Social and Environmental Justice:

Darrington is an undeserved and underrepresented community. It has the highest special needs and poverty rates of a school district in Snohomish County. The kids are at high-risk in multiple datasheets for substance abuse, academic failure, crime, suicide, mental health and victims in Child Protective Services referrals. Despite being the most timber dependent community, Darrington receives only $1,400 or 0.2% of the annual $700,000 that Snohomish County received from Secure Rural Schools to help timber depressed communities. Hundreds of thousands go to relatively wealthy urban school districts with the highest paid teachers in the state. Funding for other schools increased as did their enrollment. Darrington’s has decreased as have the programs offered. Since 2008, the communities near the freeway have seen an increase in their economy, while Darrington has seen an increase in poverty and decreasing household incomes.


A guiding reason for why we began Glacier Peak Institute was the lack of inclusion of rural youth in environmental education programs. Other programs bring suburban and urban youth to the mountains, but do not include the at-risk youth who live in these mountains. We wanted to offer opportunities to these youth while building connections with other communities who are also undeserved. We see GPI’s programming as an example to be emulated by other rural communities on the west slope of the Cascades who face similar problems. We began GPI to connect youth with place and see possibilities for their future.


Often rural and urban are pitted against each other.  Glacier Peak Institute is empowering our youth to connect with and solve the environmental problems of today through bringing the rural and urban communities together to experience the outdoors.


For more information, please email us