At SF State, Susie Barr-Wilson focused her graduate studies on young women's empowerment through outdoor recreation. With the flexibility of the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (RPT) program to design her own emphasis and an advisor who shared and supported her passions, Barr-Wilson was able to craft her graduate school experience into exactly what she wanted it to be.
In her second semester she completed an Independent Study with GirlVentures, the organization she later did her thesis with and started working for. Throughout each of her classes, she appreciated the opportunity to focus her papers and projects on women's recreation as a special population, the benefits of outdoor adventure programming, and/or youth participation in outdoor recreation. By the time Barr-Wislon graduated, she felt like she had a solid understanding of the history of girls' and women's leisure and strategies to provide effective outdoor programming.
A few months after graduation from San Francisco State University, Susie Barr-Wilson was hired as the Program Manager at GirlVentures. Her organization "empowers adolescent girls to develop and express their strengths" through outdoor adventure programs. Barr-Wilson has the opportunity to work with young women in the outdoors, first hand, and sees the positive effects their courses have on adolescent girls, including confidence in the ability to try new things, leadership development, diversity awareness, greater appreciation for being a girl, and an increased connection to the natural environment. In this career, Barr-Wilson loves making a positive difference in society by promoting gender equality.