LEADER AMONG OUTDOOR YOUTH NONPROFITS - SOS OUTREACH EXPANDS TO MIDWEST

 

 Rebecca Gould | rgould@sosoutreach.org

January, 2018 - Denver, CO - SOS Outreach does much more than just teach kids how to ski and snowboard — SOS Outreach help kids gear up for life. Grounded in outdoor experiences, youth ages 8-18 participate in programs that ignite passion for adventure, inspire courage to try something new, and instill lifelong lessons and skills in participants. This winter, SOS is capitalizing on the strength of its partners in this mission to expand its impact to some of the most underserved youth throughout the Midwest. With the support of Vail Resorts, fellow youth development nonprofit, Stoked Mentoring in Minneapolis, Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago, and Cesar Chavez Academy in Detroit, SOS Outreach will introduce 60 youth across the Midwest to the sports of skiing and snowboarding, while simultaneously promoting the long-term success through the life-changing aspects of achievement in outdoor recreation, positive adult mentorship, service learning, and leadership development.

With on-hill days kicking off across Mt. Brighton, Wilmot Mountain, and Afton Alps, Wilmot Mountain GM Taylor Ogilvie reports, “The kids from SOS Outreach were genuinely thrilled to be here with the Wilmot Mountain Ski and Snowboard School, excited to tell us it was their first time ever on skis or a snowboard, and that enthusiasm, coupled with understanding the struggles that these kids have faced, certainly warmed the hearts our instructors. The lessons were filled with fun and laughter and, when we all got together afterwards to discuss next week’s program with SOS Outreach, (it) turns out Wilmot Mountain’s staff had just as much fun as the kids did. We absolutely can’t wait to have them back.”

Pilot programs at Wilmot Mountain and Afton Alps will run for five weeks in January and February to benefit inner-city Chicago and Minneapolis area youth, which mimics a similar metro program in Denver that serves more than fifteen hundred youth each year. In Detroit, SOS has capitalized on momentum from last year’s pilot program to double program participation this year. SOS graduate “Mitzi” recently shared her experience: “SOS Outreach has changed my life in so many ways, but most importantly, it has expanded my family beyond blood.” Mitzi’s sentiment and the community surrounding SOS Outreach is a testament to the strength of the communities where SOS operates. Without the support of like-minded community members, mountain partners, volunteers, and organizations, this level of impact would not be possible.

SOS Outreach executive director Seth Ehrlich adds, “When you’re a part of SOS Outreach, you are a part of something much larger than yourself. Our successful expansion into the Midwest has reinforced the strength of the SOS Outreach family and impact. Over the next week, SOS Outreach will serve 1,718 youth across all program sites, demonstrating the magnitude of our impact. Albeit this just a fraction of youth enrolled in SOS programs each year, the results of our programs are significant and would not be possible without the dedicated partners and supporters who make our mission possible.”

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About SOS Outreach

Founded in partnership with Vail Resorts, SOS has transformed the lives of over 50,000 underserved youth since 1993. Serving nearly 5,000 youth each year, across 15 locations in 9 states, SOS provides opportunities for personal growth for the kids in our communities who need it most. While providing outdoor recreation experiences for that number of youth is impressive, it’s only a partial demonstration of our impact. Using a unique combination of outdoor adventure experiences, positive adult mentorship, and leadership development opportunities throughout a progressive curriculum, SOS enables participants to unleash their potential to thrive. To learn more, visit www.sosoutreach.org.

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