SOS students work hard off slopes in Vail Valley |

SOS students work hard off slopes in Vail Valley

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Some 175 SOS Outreach students this weekend will spend their final days of the season riding at Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado.

In addition to learning how to link turns on the hill, students have been busy with off-hill requirements of the SOS curriculum.

“Students this year have been heavily involved in giving back to the community,” said Dan Ben-Horin, regional programs director for Eagle County. “They’ve pitched in with the U.S. Forest Service, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, as well as job-shadow programs with everyone from forest rangers to physical therapists to county officials.”

Michelle Hartel, director of education and on-hill mentor for SOS Outreach, said this year has been the most successful to date in terms of the off-hill components of the curriculum, with more students involved in a wider variety of opportunities.

“They’ve taken part in nutrition and fitness courses, college prep courses, and service components,” she said. “This year we’ve really seen a carry-over of the core values we teach on the hill, and how it translates to their daily life.- The students have developed leadership skills and have been building confidence throughout the year.”

The students will officially graduate the SOS University program on May 3, and Hartel said some would continue with summer programs.

“This year we get to offer summer programs to many of the same students who have participated in SOS programs during the winter months,” she said. “They’ll get a chance to master outdoor activities while learning about the importance of giving back to the community, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

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