Press & Testimonials

In the News

News, Events and Awards

Panel Discussion: Tools and Strategies for Making Capital and Credit Available at the Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute (November 16, 2013)

Crowdfunding Workshop at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County’s 100th Anniversary Celebration (October 14, 2013)

Summit Gathering Focuses on Food Justice Tompkins Weekly (September 2, 2013)

Bring Home the Bacon or Put It In A Meat Locker? NPR (August 7, 2013)

Ithaca Free Clinic starts $10,000 fund raising campaign Ithaca Times (August 7, 2013)

Be A Health Ally WENY-TV (July 31, 2013)

Health Watch: Free Clinic Launches Fundraising Campaign” Ithaca Journal (July 30, 2013)

“Lessons Learned from an Entrepreneur” Presentation by Emma Frisch at the Cornell Entrepreneurship POPSHOP (June 26, 2013)

Workshop: Crowdfunding – A New Way to Raise Money (Trainer: Emma Frisch), Sponsored by the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County (June 4, 2013)

Passion as a Vehicle for Change“ Keynote Presentation by Emma Frisch at the Community Foundation of Tompkins County’s Annual Meeting (May 28, 2013)

Panelist: Emma Frisch, Ithaca Loves Local: The Economics of Community (April 29, 2013)

Panel Discussion (Moderator – Emma Frisch): When does Social Value Translate into Market Value, at the Entrepreneurship @ Cornell 2013 Celebration (April 19, 2013)

Change for Good: Social Entrepreneurs Pinpoint Tips for Making Startups with a Conscience Sustainable.” Cornell Enterprise Online. (April 19, 2013)

Audio Interview: The Birth of PEAKS. (Ithaca Week)

Interviews with Amazing Women. Emma Frisch: In the Kitchen and on the PEAKS (Roam Life, January 16, 2013)

Guest Lecturer, presentation to undergraduate course “Women in Business,” Ithaca College (Lecturer: Heather Lane) (November 7, 2012)

Grant award ($4,000) from the Community Foundation of Tompkins County (December, 2012)

Sustainable Enterprise Association: Case Competition (November 17, 2012)

Women 2.0, November 14, 2012
Why I’m going to Women 2.0 PITCH NYC

Founder, Emma Frisch, interviewed on Ithaca Community Radio, with Changemaker Sustainable Neighborhoods Nicaragua (October 23, 2012)

Raxa Collective, February 8, 2012
“Taking Adventure Travel to New Heights”

Grant award ($10,000) from the Park Foundation (January, 2012)

Being the Change: Radio Interview (An Organic Conversation, October 22, 2011)

Vanity Fair, January 2011

Echoing Green, January 4, 2011
Announcing the 2011 Fellowship Semifinalists

Love & Water Designs, November 1, 2010
Charity Spotlight: Peaks Over Poverty, September 27, 2010
Career Series: How do I become a grant writer?
“As her organisation’s only fundraiser, Kirwan knows how useful outside help from skilled freelance grant writers can be…”

PR Newswire, September 23, 2010
Peaks Over Poverty wins a small grant from the Jones New York Empowerment Fund

Reuter’s, September 23, 2010
Jones New York Helps Women Achieve Goals Through $60,000 in Grants From the Jones New York Empowerment Fund

The Norwalk Daily, September 4, 2010, By Tom Renner
“Volcano Climber Scales New Heights”

“Being Dreamy” Blog, August 7, 2010, By Katie Giannone
Climb for a Cause, Hike with a Heart

Penndulums: University of Pennslylvania Alumni Social Action Club, June 25, 2010, By Paul Durso
“Peaks Over Poverty”


“The semester has ended, and Sustainable Neighborhoods Nicaragua has successfully raised $25,000 for our project thanks to our hardworking members and most importantly thanks to you. We wanted to personally express our deepest appreciation for your support and for Peaks Over Poverty. The site has been a wonderful way for us to fundraise our way to reaching our goal. Thank you so much for being so supportive and believing in SNN. Our members are very excited that this project will finally become reality as a handful of us head to Nicaragua in January to construct the model house.”

- Kai Keane (Executive Leader),Han Wei Chew& Eri Tomita (Business Team Co-Leaders)

Peaks gave me a chance to couple my quest for travel and adventure with the opportunity to do something positive for those threatened by economic, social, and environmental hardships. They helped me understand some of the real pressing issues of sustainable agricultural production in Ecuador, and in turn, I created awareness to my friends and family. Their support made my fundraising an easy endeavor, and it made my quest for adventure that much more rewarding!

- Eric Dalski

What a cool idea! I love the fundraising ideas you guys have!”

- Supporter, Atlanta, Georgia

“My name is Vicente, and I had the good fortune of being born and raised in the small town of Riobamba, surrounded by mountains, valleys, waterfalls, lakes, and people who till the land. Since I can recall, my passion for the mountains and its people has continued to grow. I met Emma and Steve on this path, when I was doing research with EkoRural to finish my undergraduate thesis (which studied the impact of crop biodiversity on small farms on the nutritional health of farming families). We have since climbed Ecuador’s mountains together and have worked hard to make our visions to support the mountains’ rural people come alive. Following my graduation, I began working with EkoRural to encourage the use and conservation of native seeds in Andean communities, and to help connect urban people with rural farmers around healthy food through the Canastas Comunitarias.

Peaks Over Poverty is an incredible fusion of the adventure and adrenaline of mountain climbing with the opportunity to help the people who live in the rural highlands. I have complete confidence in the organization’s mission; I believe this idea will grow and give mountain lovers around the world a way to support highland farmers, while creating a link for these two different worlds to meet each other and learn how to move forward together. I am also the Vice President of a Climbing Club in Riobamba; our members are very excited about the possibility of taking part in this initiative.”

- Vicente Parra, Ecuador
Mountaineer and Agronomist

“My relationship with Emma and Steve began in the first country Peaks will support, Ecuador. My experiences and encounters shed light on the valiant efforts of mountain communities to meet the challenges they face with creativity, resilience and innovation. Moreover, the people who devote themselves to working with these communities help facilitate, educate and act as bridges between the local and political levels. What I saw was a partnership, which in my mind is the most effective way to catalyze change at the grassroots level.

Potato farmers discussed the health of their plants with members of EkoRural; they joked and laughed, but carefully listened to advice and words of encouragement that they did not need to depend on the pesticide companies any more. Through Farmer field schools, farmers combined experiments with practical knowledge in an outdoor classroom, and graduated as facilitators; they are now teaching other farmers in their community how to improve healthy production. Farmers and consumers joined hands in a collective effort to create healthier and viable food systems, which has redefined the consumer as a co-producer. These experiences empower individuals and ensure that the process carries on.

Peak’s “people-centered” philosophy is astonishingly sparse in the world of development work and international aid. There are many people out there talking about how they intend to ‘help the poor’. The founders of Peaks do not fall captive to the simplicity and arrogance of this perspective. Rather, the support they are gathering is emboldened by an approach that looks to the people for direction.

I hope you climbers embrace this chance to give depth to your journey and in doing so learn what rural development really means from some of the most clear minded allies to mountain communities out there.”

- Sonja Swift, California
Volunteer in Ecuador, Climber, and Farmer


    In partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension, PEAKS supports changemakers working in five program areas.