VAIL, CO – Winter brings along with it another season of SOS Outreach outdoor adventure-based leadership programming, providing at-risk youth in Eagle County and across the nation the opportunity to take to the slopes. While providing an introduction to outdoor adventure sports like skiing and snowboarding is a component of SOS programs, it is not the program’s core. SOS programs promote the long-term success of youth through the life changing aspects of achievement in outdoor recreation, positive adult mentorship, service learning, and leadership development. Currently, SOS offers programs across 30 mountain resorts in 7 states with full-time offices in Edwards, Frisco, Denver, Lake Tahoe and Seattle, WA.
This winter alone, SOS will serve over 4,000 youth across 10 locations. With a wildly successful expansion last year in Park City, SOS is thrilled to continue to provide opportunities for underserved youth. Specifically, SOS programs in Park City have doubled this winter and the organization embarks upon a pilot program at Mt. Brighton Ski Area benefiting inner-city Detroit youth. For over 5,000 youth across the nation each year, SOS is closing the opportunity gap by providing them the positive intervention necessary for success.
SOS Outreach celebrates several milestones this season. With the start of winter programs, over 50,000 youth have benefitted from SOS programs since the organization’s inception in 1993. Also, over the next 7 days, SOS Outreach launches its largest program week of the year; serving 1,600 youth across all locations! As excited as the organization is to report recent expansion and our exciting milestone of 50,000 youth completing SOS programs since our founding, our greatest satisfaction stems from the firsthand impact of the SOS curriculum. SOS participant Mitzi recently shared, “SOS 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 is a testament to the strength of the communities in which we operate. Without the support of like-minded community members, mountain partners, volunteers, and organizations, this level of impact would not be possible. Executive Director Seth Ehrlich adds, “When you’re a part of SOS, you are a part of something much larger than yourself. In the past month, the strength of the SOS family has been reinforced through meetings with the team of adults, mountain contacts, schools and youth agencies who give so much of themselves to the success of our participants. The results of our programs are significant and can be seen in the stories of the youth we serve.”