“I’m still sore all over my body,” laughed 15 year old KeKe. “I sure took a few tumbles down the mountain.”
For KeKe and 10 other UrbanPromise StreetLeaders, snowboarding and skiing on a mountain this past weekend was a first time experience.
“We got connected with a really great organization, Winter4Kids,” shared StreetLeader Director Tony Vega. “And with the grant we received through the Community Foundation of New Jersey, all the equipment, instruction and lift tickets were provided. Really amazing.”
Day one our teens learned cross country skiing. Day two a little downhill skiing. Day three snowboarding. Everyday a new adventure—and challenges with a few bumps and bruises.
“I just like trying new things,” added KeKe. “I may never do it again. But at least now I can get down a mountain.”
Exposure to new opportunities is a critical piece of UrbanPromise’s vision and mission. As humans, when placed in new situations where we are forced to confront our fears and limits, we learn vital life skills like perseverance and team work. Self confidence grows and blossoms.
“I love watching the evolution of the students over the weekend,” continued Tony. “It begins with hesitancy and frustration. By the end, they are showing high levels of proficiency. And then we eat meals together and talk about our experiences. It’s a formative weekend. Life changing.”
And yes, after a morning of crashes and unsuccessful attempts, KeKe cruised down the mountain without falling! (watch the video).
“I’m pretty proud of myself,” she added with a big smile. “I won’t be going to the olympics, but I can say I’m a snowboarder.”
With all the tragic, discouraging news in the world, I imagined a good news story this Friday might encourage your soul.