LBC Action and Fresh Tracks share a common history. Fresh Tracks was created by future members of the LBC Action team.
Both stand for healthy communities, engaged citizens, and strength through diversity. And, Fresh Tracks, like LBC Action, is rooted in a belief that nobody can empower positive social impact alone.
The Call to Action
In 2015 President Obama visited Arctic Alaska. Moved by the beauty of the land and the resilience of the people, he issued a call for programs that would connect y0ung Americans to the outdoors. Although there was no LBC Action yet, the people, values, and capabilities that would come to define LBC Action were ready to answer that call. The idea: bring aspiring leaders from urban and indigenous communities together for a shared experience blending civic engagement, cultural-sharing, and outdoor exploration.
Martin LeBlanc and Juan Martinez have decades of experience rallying coalitions of nonprofit, business, and public-sector stakeholders around an opportunity. To bring Fresh Tracks to life, they brought a carefully constructed line-up of partners to the table, each with a unique skill set that was essential for the success of the project. Soon, the White House, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the City of Compton, and the Sierra Club were working in concert with IslandWood and the Children and Nature Network’s Natural Leaders on a groundbreaking project backed by the Campion Foundation and REI.
We believe that sustaining impact starts with measuring impact. We were confident Fresh Tracks would instill skills that young adults needed to become community leaders. But confidence is not enough. So we engaged Dr. Sharoni Little from the USC Marshall School of Business to design and conduct a formal assessment of the Fresh Tracks pilot that used both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to measure impact. The assessment found that the program increased participant knowledge and skills around key objectives, especially civic engagement, cultural competency, interpersonal leadership and communication, and environmental stewardship and justice.
How do you keep an alliance of partners spread over thousands of miles moving in step toward a shared goal? The easy answer is conference calls - lots of conference calls. The motivation was rooted in the big picture - bringing two cohorts of young leaders together for the journey of a lifetime - but the success depended on the details. Martin and Juan led the process that transformed the idea of Fresh Tracks into action, emphasizing the principles that are key to the LBC Action approach today: accountability, adaptability, empowerment, and humanity.
In this team culture, accountability didn’t just mean that every person had a job to do. Accountability meant a shared ethos. Know the details. Reroute around the unexpected. Bring out the best in each other. Remember why. That philosophy became a foundation for action. The result? Over the last two years, Fresh Tracks has brought young leaders from communities across the country together for life-changing experiences in locations from the Arctic Circle to Washington D.C.