EMPOWERING YOUTH TO DISCOVER THEIR FULL POTENTIAL
Only SOS Outreach has the mountain access, proven 10-year progressive curriculum, network of industry partners, and engaged mentors that allow us to provide successful outdoor youth development programs. It’s how we forge powerful relationships and teach life skills that sets us apart and connects us to our supporters.
We use a progressive curriculum that evolves with kids as they advance through our programs. Each year, kids learn new outdoor skills and life skills based on their age and circumstances. For younger participants, this might mean getting along with peers and taking personal responsibility for their homework. For older youth, the focus shifts to developing leadership skills and mentoring younger participants in the program.
PHASE 1: LEARN
SOS programs begin with an introductory ski or snowboard experience. It’s amazing what you learn about yourself by strapping on a piece of wood and flying down a snow-covered mountain. These kids experience a sense of accomplishment that only comes from trying something new — and nailing it!
PHASE 2: MASTER
Next is the mentoring program, a four-year program that combines on-mountain skill building and in-community leadership development. As kids progress from bunny hills to black diamonds, they also begin to experience a shift from “just a participant” to a natural leader. They take risks. They take ownership of their actions. And their newfound self-esteem begins to permeate all aspects of life.
PHASE 3: SHARE
With this newfound knowledge and confidence, older participants graduate from the mentoring program and become a mentor in their own right. Peer mentors are paired with youth in the early years of the mentor program, showing them the ropes during the ride days and other off-hill workshops and activities. These kids pass on the knowledge and joy they experienced to the next generation of SOS participants. From here, classmates and families begin to emulate their success, ultimately lifting everyone in their sphere of influence.
Our summer programs continue to foster a sense of belonging and exploration for our youth. In addition to leading our own experiences, we provide opportunities in partnership with other youth agencies to offer our participants a wide array of summer activities all while integrating the SOS core values.
Our Core Values
We believe that great leaders possess strong values. That’s why we center our curriculum around six core values that guide our kids to live healthy, happy, and successful lives. These values are deeply steeped in everything we do at SOS—from adventures on the hill to helping in the community to learning a new skill to inspiring their peers—our kids are unlocking the potential that’s already inside of them and discovering how they can truly thrive.
Faces of SOS
“As the Community Engagement Manager, I have witnessed, first-hand, the passion that SOS has for providing engaging, educational experiences that allow youth to give back in meaningful ways to their local communities. SOS kids have worked with the League to identify invasive plants, monitor stormwater drains, restore retention basins and participate in litter clean up. Through this partnership, SOS youth feel that they are truly able to make a tangible impact in their home and become ambassadors for Lake Tahoe.”
-Marilee Movius, League to Save Lake Tahoe
“SOS has made a huge impact on my life. It’s my home away from home. I made a little family that I can rely on, as well as many close connections to mentors who I can ask anything from life to school to friendship advice. SOS also gave me the opportunity to do something I probably would never have done coming from a low-income family, no matter how close I lived to a ski resort. I wasn’t just able to experience this new sport, but I was given the chance to continue challenging my skills in snowboarding and create goals to become a better athlete and better person.”
– Mitzi, North Lake Tahoe Program Alum
“I loved that [my students] were willing to try new things. One of my students almost didn’t even give skiing a chance but with a little prodding he loved it, and I think he would do it again. It helped so much that they had all the gear they needed as I was surprised by how many of my students do not have anything they need for playing in the snow even though they live in Heber where it snows every year! I watched how they needed to listen to and trust their ski instructor and that when they did they were able to learn a lot. I think this will translate into then learning to listen to and trust other adults which seems to be a difficult thing for my students.”
– Teacher, Summit County, UT
“I think the impact this program has had on me is as great as the impact it has had on the kids! I have never felt more proud than to see these at risk youth faces light up with joy and laughter when they are on the snow – out of their element – in a completely new environment – an environment they never knew existed. It is life changing. It introduces them to the door that says “there is a big wonderful world out there full of opportunities just for you – now open it” Some do open that door – some don’t, but SOS is working, you should be proud of your organization.”
– Kevin, The Summit at Snoqualmie
“Another incredible ride day. Our students are having an absolute blast, and we’re seeing a lot of progress! Half of our ski groups made it to the chair lift for the first time ever, and it was magical to witness the pure excitement and joy our students were experiencing. Our snowboarders are linking turns, and everyone coming together and forming new friendships.”
– Foley, Detroit Program Coordinator
Join The Family
When we all get behind a singular purpose—to change lives for kids in our communities—our impact is infinite. Join the SOS family, made up of generous donors, committed partners, inspiring mentors, and dedicated volunteers. Together, we encourage youth to unlock the potential that’s already inside of them and discover endless possibility.