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So why are there so few African Americans participating in great American outdoor sports like climbing, fishing, etc.? According to Elliott Boston III, a Stock Broker and enthusiast of the great outdoors - who happens to be African American, the answer can be found in a lack of exposure and a dearth of role models.

"In the media, minorities are always shown playing the traditional sports, but rarely participating in outdoor activities," says Boston. "I decided that our expedition would focus on getting minorities interested and aware about the great American outdoors by making history with our Pioneer Climbing Expedition."

Boston and his climbing partner, Stephen K. Shobe, are embarking on a history-making journey to be the first African Americans to climb the "Seven Summits" of the world. The highest summits on each continent: Denali - North America; Aconcagua - South America; Kilimanjaro - Africa; Everest - Asia; Carstensz - Australiasia; Vinson - Anartica; and, Elbrus - Europe.

At the same time, these men are endeavoring to expose minority youths to the concept of climbing as a sport. "I never was interested in golf until I saw Tiger Wood's accomplishments and now I watch and play golf actively," said Boston. "I am interested in inspiring minorities to explore the great American outdoors."

After each successful climb, Boston and Shobe plan to conduct outreach clinics at elementary, junior high and senior high schools, colleges and universities through out the United States and Canada.

"The purpose of the outreach clinic is to expose children and students to the great American outdoors, to promote the benefits of education, to promote the importance of safety and a clean environment, the value of world geography, the rewards of staying in school, and the importance of "Always Following Your Dreams," says Shobe.

The adventure, environment and safety messages of Boston and Shobe attracted the interest of Volvo Cars of North America as a sponsor. "We are proud to be associated with the Pioneer Climbing Expedition. The initiative is aligned with our core values and the spirit is synonymous with our philosophy, 'Volvo for Life'," said Dan Werbin, President and CEO.

Boston and Shobe completed phase one of their quest last week, with the ascent of 22, 841 foot Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest peak in the Americas. The trek to the summit and return took 2 ½ weeks. Next stop: The North American peak - Denali (AKA Mt. McKinley) in Alaska, which is scheduled to begin June. The two expect to complete the conquest of all seven summits by the spring of 2003.

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA), based in Irvine, CA, is a subsidiary of the Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenborg, Sweden. Volvo Cars celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2002.

VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The 2002 Volvo automobile line includes the sporty S60 and the new S60 AWD, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the versatile V70 wagon and rugged Cross Country, C70 Coupe and convertible, and the compact S40 and V40 models.
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