Outward Bound Community Partnership

Outward Bound Partners with Lt. Richard W. Collins III Foundation, Under Armour for Three-Year Program with Maryland Universities

Building Bridges Program Completes First Year connecting over 40 ROTC Cadets from UMD, Bowie State

Eleven Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets from University of Maryland (UMD), College Park and Bowie State University (BSU) completed their five-day wilderness expedition on Friday, June 10. The expedition took the participants along a stretch of the Appalachian Trail with their Outward Bound educators. The week-long challenge was the final step in the first year of the Building Bridges program that brought together over 40 cadets from the two schools, starting with a one-day program held in September 2021 at Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School’s (CBOBS) Leakin Park campus. The program is sponsored by Under Armour, through its UA Freedom Initiative, which focuses on supporting front-line workers, like ROTC cadets. 


“This was an experience of a lifetime. I took so many lessons and so much about myself. I learned and recognized that it’s okay to fall sometimes. It’s about what you do after. Getting back up and not allowing your setbacks to stop you from pushing forward. I learned so much about allowing yourself to work with others, trusting them along with yourself, and the difference it all makes in the end,” shared Kayla, an ROTC cadet from Bowie State University after completing the five-day expedition with their crew.  

The partnership and Building Bridges program will continue for three years to provide a space where ROTC students from diverse backgrounds can celebrate their differences and create a deeper understanding of each other through challenge and common experiences. Participants will be ROTC cadets from BSU, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Maryland, and UMD, College Park. By the end of year three, the goal is to have impacted nearly 200 emerging ROTC leaders from both universities. 


Bowie State and College Park are just a few short miles apart. Yet the tragic murder of Lt. Richard Collins III on the College Park campus highlighted that the schools were worlds apart. It was the passion and drive of Lt. Collins that ensures his Army service and legacy would make a difference wherever he stood as a soldier.  This was evident during his time at Bowie State University and while in uniform among his fellow cadets. He was determined to lead from the front.


Richard Collins Jr., Co-Founder of 2nd Lieutenant Richard W. Collins III Foundation said, "The significance of this partnership cannot be overstated. Our commitment to amplifying the vision our son had as an officer and a leader is the embodiment of what we want to cultivate through this initiative. Having the Building Bridges program and Under Armour together with Outward Bound, working towards the goals our son Richard set for himself, gives true definition to his legacy serving as a resounding salvo for each individual who benefits from this connection. Together, our combined resolve for success is steadfast.”

Under Armour has committed to funding the programming over three years to support emerging Maryland ROTC leaders to be compassionate, tolerant and resilient.  


Flynn Burch, Director Global Community Impact at Under Armour said: “We are proud to support CBOBS and the Collins Foundation to bring cadets from diverse backgrounds together through the Building Bridges program to grow and learn from each of their experiences together. At Under Armour, one of our core values is ‘Stand for Equality’ and partnerships like this one allow us to live that value and support our local community.” 


Phyllis Kim, Chief Advancement Officer at CBOBS adds: “Creating partnerships is at the core of our work at Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School. By bringing together the Collins Foundation, Under Armour, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland, College Park, we are leveraging our collective experiences to support emerging young leaders who have chosen to serve in the United States Armed Forces. Our vision is to expand the program to include more schools so that more ROTC cadets can participate, preparing them to take on challenges and achieve more than they ever thought possible.” 


Shannon, another ROTC cadet from BSU shares more about how the program will impact their future as a military officer, “It allowed me to reflect and form new balance to execute my goal of becoming an Army Officer. The training and experience signified the agility to actually see I am the actually the person I strive to be.”