CPP Alumnus, Anthony Porter, the ‘American Ninja Warrior’

By Julia DeFoe, Feb. 12, 2024

Living amongst some of the most feared wildlife, Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, Anthony Porter is no stranger to finding himself in some precarious situations. Whether it is confronting a bear breaking into his house or embarking on one of America’s most challenging game shows, Porter has found a way to successfully make a career out of his passion for adventure and the outdoors, all while educating on the importance of outdoor survival.

Along with his experience with interesting and unorthodox jobs, one of the most impressive is his time spent on the “American Ninja Warrior” show on NBC. The reality show consists of athletes attempting some of America’s most challenging obstacles. Porter was determined to hit the final buzzer during his time on the show and succeeded at that within the first three years of participating.

He quickly became one of the leading athletes on the show, especially known for his archery skills. When scrolling through his social media platforms, nearly every post includes him exploring the outdoors with the safety of his arrows. Porter recalls not expecting his archery to be as accepted on the show and being pleasantly surprised by the support and feedback he received.

“On the show I am the archery ninja,” said Porter. “In any of my videos everyone knows me because I have my arrows on my back … The more that I exposed who I was to the world, the more I was celebrated.”

Porter is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something that was the perfect combination of his interests. However, in 2022 he suffered from a concussion while competing on the show, was hospitalized and has since recovered.

Porter gew up in Chino Hills, CA having attended Damien High School, a Catholic and all-boys school located in La Verne, CA. Porter graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s in parks and recreation management and an emphasis in outdoor education and leadership. From there, Porter graduated with his Masters of Business Administration in 2021 from CPP.

Having worked in the environmental education world for about 10 years, Porter proudly serves as the communications director for the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Porter shared his love for adventuring and surrounding his lifestyle around nature conservation started in his childhood. He appreciates the sense of wonder and curiosity that comes with exploring new places and is committed to sharing that same feeling with others through being an educator for children or their parents.

“I wanted to make sure that my skills were so niche that I didn’t have an option but to be outdoors,” said Porter. “College gave me those tools, but it was up to me to find a way to assemble them in a way that was going to make sense for me.”

Porter is a successful content creator on the topics of nature conservation, wildlife, survival tips, and more, reaching over 200,000 followers on Instagram and over 130,000 followers on TikTok.

Porter successfully uses witty humor to make his videos interesting and appealing to all audiences. Some of his most recent content includes a clip of him sliding belly first on ice to demonstrate how penguins slide down icy hills to travel faster. Another being a post discussing five (or six for those in desperate times) different ways to utilize aspen trees for pain management, sun protection, and more.

Image courtesy of Backstage.

He is an avid traveler, having visited over 25 countries in total. However, he admits the best views he has seen across the world so far have been in the United States. He gives credit to America’s conservation practices compared to other countries he has visited. Porter shares that one of his favorite adventures in the U.S. so far has been backpacking solo through Lost Lake, which is located in Oregon at the base of Mt. Hood.

“You can spend your entire life exploring in the U.S. and it will never be enough,” said Porter.

However, it has not always been an easy journey. People in his life had not always been as supportive, and rather looked down on his joy of creating fun videos about nature.

“The world is super weird, and I think you have to be pretty weird to get along with it … I had people in my life that were upset with me for making silly videos in my free time and yelling at me that nature was never going to make me a successful person,” said Porter.

Porter has his own nature children’s book, ‘My Epic Nature Journal’, publishing in the summer. Follow him on Instagram or TikTok @outdooranthony.

Feature image courtesy of Elizabeth Morris.

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