Provider Pals© Mission:
"Build a common-ground bridge of understanding and respect between urban youth, rural youth, and their natural resource providers."
Provider Pals© Mission Origin:
Provider Pals© exists because of a number of current realities: In the United States and Canada today there is a large and growing resource linkage problem. Our largely urbanized culture (80% of us now live in urban areas) has lost track of where their ‘stuff’ comes from. This disconnection between consumption and production is problematic for all involved in addressing the difficult decisions we face in protecting the natural environment while providing the products society consumes. It is especially problematic for those who live in, work in, love and manage the environment.
Because the public as a whole is largely disconnected from the people and industries that provide for our daily lives, inner-city students in particular do not have the opportunity to visit the culture of rural, resource-producing areas. They seldom, if ever, get to meet the stewards of the environment. The career and job opportunities that may exist in rural America for inner-city youth cannot be fully explored if they have no linkage to those possibilities.
This disconnect is hardly one sided. The realities of students living in inner-city circumstances differ substantially from those living in rural areas and most rural people have little understanding of those urban, cultural realities. They know very little about the environmental settings of their counterparts and the basis for their thinking on resource management issues.
In nations as large and diverse as the United States and Canada, it is important that we have an understanding and an appreciation of our common ground and our differences. For those who are most at risk in our economic and environmental debate, the children of the inner-city poor, this understanding is indeed critical.
Bruce Vincent, Provider Pals founder, was passionate about bridging this gap. He designed Provider Pals® based off of years of experience trying to fulfill this mission. He built a program that uses education and once in a lifetime opportunities to produce lifelong understanding and respect between urban and rural cultures. Provider Pals encourages people to discuss their cultural realities, embrace their differences, and celebrate their similarities. The positive results of this program are already being seen short term. We are looking forward to celebrating the long term results.