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30 Years of Empowering Youth & Bridging Community


For three decades, SOS Outreach has been a guiding light for thousands of young people across the United States. Founded in 1993 by Arn Menconi, a snowboard instructor at Vail Mountain, and Ray Sforzo, founder of Vail Snowboard School, SOS Outreach began as a mission to change lives through snowboarding while supporting local charities.

Grantee Featured Interview: SOS Outreach Grantee Interview


Seth Ehrlich and Elizabeth Williams of SOS Outreach join Kamal Amirneni of the NMRC Youth Advisory Council to share SOS Outreach’s experience with NMRC Technical Assistance, the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS), their collaboration with the NMRC Research Board and use of other NMRC resources.

SOS Outreach and Keystone Resort teach local youth about career paths


Keystone Resort has partnered with a local youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach, to connect teens and young adults to jobs in the ski industry. SOS Outreach connects young people to positive adult mentors and delivers a progressive multi-year curriculum using a combination of skiing/riding and off-hill skill building workshops.

Appreciating our valley’s volunteers: Yasmin Guerrero with SOS Outreach


The reason I decided to volunteer for SOS Outreach is because my mom put my siblings and I in the program as kids. I was in third grade when I started the program, and since I had such a great experience in the program as a kid I thought it would be nice if I could try and give that experience to other kids in my community, too.

Ridgelines: Sharing love of the mountains


On a bluebird day at Park City Mountain, two young snowboarders darted through the trees off Detonator under the watchful eyes of their SOS Outreach mentor, Vicente Flores. Now a University of Utah mechanical engineering student, it wasn’t that many years ago that Flores was doing the same thing as a young boy, picking up a passion for the mountains through sport.

DEnver Mentor/Mentee Interview


Denver mentor and mentee, Jamie and Jace, talk about the importance of mentorship through SOS and other opportunities that have been made possible through the program.

The ross kaminsky show interview


Seth Ehrlich, Executive Director, speaks with Ross Kaminsky about SOS Outreach and how the Denver community can get involved in its mission.

Azul Latin Kitchen raises $17,000 for SOS Outreach


Azul Latin Kitchen, located in the Heavenly Village, recently awarded a check for $17,000 to the SOS Outreach. Every year the team at Azul selects a local nonprofit that supports kids and families. The Azul team volunteer with the organization throughout the year during various events.

SOS Outreach in Colorado uses skiing to change young lives


One after another, Juan Carlos, Jamal, Chase and Jair slowly descended a black diamond ski run at Beaver Creek, navigating huge moguls and a steep pitch as they struggled to stay upright on snowboards in a foot of fresh snow.

‘Miraculous,’ second annual SOS Outreach First Tracks event at Park City Mountain spreads word about nonprofit’s programs


SOS Park City Alumni Vicente Flores, Jamie Rosales and E Romero gathered upstairs in Legacy Lodge during the SOS Outreach First Tracks event Tuesday morning at Park City Mountain. The three had been invited to speak during the breakfast for supporting attendees, and they were giddy following a serene morning on the mountain.

SOS Outreach at 30 years of making skiing and snowboarding accessible for kids


Eimee Meneses, a senior at Park City High School, got involved with SOS Outreach, a nonprofit that helps drop the barriers to entry for kids interested in skiing and snowboarding, when she was in sixth grade. “I was always excited to try new things, especially if it was outdoors, and I never really did anything in the winter,” she said. “So joining SOS was a good thing for me.”

10 Colorado Nonprofits to Help You Get Involved This Year


First founded in 1993 in Vail, SOS Outreach is a youth development nonprofit that teaches kids from fourth to 12th grades essential life skills, all while having fun on fresh powder. Budding Mikaela Shiffrins are encouraged to ski and snowboard as a way of stepping out of their comfort zones and becoming more confident in themselves.


SOS Outreach, CO, a youth development nonprofit, expanded its Career Development Program to serve participants across Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Through this summer program, teens aged 15 and up were placed in paid apprenticeships with industry partners, including Vail Resorts, evo, Sonnenalp, Epic Mountain Gear, Oberalp, and Optic Nerve after completing a two-week training intensive

Ridgelines: What’s your mountain town New Year’s resolution?

Avery Rognan, one of the youngest U.S. Ski & Snowboard employees, has been skiing for 10 years, moving from cross country to downhill because she loves riding chairlifts! She is grateful for her opportunity to be a junior mentor for SOS Outreach, helping introduce the next generation of kids to the sport she loves.

What happens when business, art and philanthropy intersect? Vail Symposium takes a look


Doing good isn’t just common sense, it also makes financial sense. At least that was the case for Zeal Optics, which partnered with pro-snowboarder-turned-artist and mental health advocate Pat Milbery to design Zeal’s Open Hearts Collection.



There are many organizations across Colorado working to break down barriers to accessing the outdoors. And in 2021, the state created a program to help boost the efforts of such organizations. On Friday, Dec. 15, Gov. Jared Polis, the Outdoor Equity Grant Board and Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced that it would award over $2.2 million in outdoor equity grants to 35 organizations across the state.

SOS key to snowboarding, life


Growing up in Park City, I always wanted to learn how to snowboard but was not given the opportunity until I joined SOS Outreach. Learning to snowboard was hard, way harder than I had imagined. There were many times I wanted to give up, but my mentor and peer group motivated me by making every ride day fun. This first year also reinforced SOS’ core values, including discipline to keep getting up after falling and courage to take risks safely.

LIVE PC Give PC gears up for 13th annual celebration of community


Park City Community Foundation hosts the 13th annual Live PC Give PC, the annual giving day for local nonprofits, on Friday, November 3rd. Last year broke records with $5.2 million raised from 6,600-plus donors, and this year they hope to engage 7K to support 122 nonprofits in Park City, Summit County, and statewide. Mike Lewis, Senior Director of Base Operations, Park City Mountain joined us along with Palmer Daniels, Program Manager, and Heidy Hernandez, SOS Alumni and Mentor for the details.



Last winter was a special one. Sure, it was Steamboat’s second snowiest year on record, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Last season, over 120 kids and teenagers from Routt and Moffat counties participated in SOS Outreach’s Mentor Program for its inaugural year here in Steamboat. SOS has been engaging young people in our community since 2006 through its Introductory Program which gives youth, who have not previously had the opportunity due to socioeconomic barriers, a chance to participate in snow sports.

more folks on the slopes


Organizations and events in New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming have been and are making strides, working to bridge the opportunity gap for a wide variety of snowsports athletes. “People are born with an equal distribution of talent,” says Seth Ehrlich, executive director of SOS Outreach, which gets kids on the slopes. “What is missing is connection to resources and connection to opportunities.”

Ehrlich: 30 years of empowering youth by connecting them to snowsports


It was 30 years ago out of Golden Peak that an idea was born. An idea that brought forward the power of sliding down a mountain on snow to create real and lasting change. That idea was SOS Outreach and the result was connecting youth to the mountains, to snowsports and to their community.

The push to make winter sports accessible


Ski season is right around the corner, and there’s a push happening right now to make it more accessible to kids who may not usually get a chance to hit the slopes.

Vail area teenagers build work ethic, confidence through SOS Outreach’s career development program


This summer, five local high school students were given the opportunity to participate in paid apprenticeships as part of SOS Outreach’s Career Development Program. In its third year, the program helps connect students with opportunities to explore careers in the outdoors and hospitality industries.

The Power of Community with Seth EhRlich


Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Seth Ehrlich learned early the value and opportunity that exists within a strong community. He has engaged for more than 20 years in community engagement and building. Projects include multiple collaborative efforts and his professional work with SOS Outreach over the past 15+ years.

SOS Outreach launches second annual career development program


The Park City based nonprofit SOS Outreach has been involved in providing children powerful experiences in the outdoors since 1993. For the second year in a row, SOS Outreach is launching their career development program for local teenagers. Through the summer program, local teens aged 16 and up are placed in six-week long paid apprenticeships across the outdoor industry.

Brass Elementary students plant flowers for Uptown businesses in Kenosha


Brass Elementary students were busy Friday morning planting flowers and writing inspirational notes for Uptown businesses. The “Planting Their Roots” effort was a collaboration between Uptown Kenosha Inc., Brass Elementary, The Traveling Trunk, SOS Outreach and Kenosha Firefighters Care.

Letter to the Editor: Increasing mountain access to youth is important


As we all know, skiing and snowboarding are a significant part of our culture, but unfortunately, many local residents do not have access to these sports due to various barriers. That’s why it is so inspiring to see SOS Outreach’s commitment to increasing mountain access for local youth while also delivering a multiyear curriculum focused on social-emotional learning, service to the community and developing a sense of belonging.



What does it take to make it long term in this valley?  What does it take to put down roots in this place and see them grow?  Erik is joined by Bratzo Horruitiner, Executive Director of My Future Pathways and Seth Ehrlich, Executive Director of SOS Outreach to talk about the idea of BELONGING in this community.

A locally sourced way to address single-use plastic litter


Earlier this week, the South Lake Tahoe City Council received a report from the League to Save Lake Tahoe about a collaborative, grassroots program to tackle local litter through outreach to local businesses.

Letter: Helping young people connect on the mountain away from screens


The mental health crisis among young people is at an all-time high. The global pandemic, along with increasing reliance on social media and smartphones, has only made things worse. It’s clear that we need to take action to support the mental health of our youth, and one organization that is doing just that is SOS Outreach.

Kids from the Goshute Tribe hit the slopes in Park City


After a two-year break, the Christian Center of Park City took children from the Goshute Reservation for some snow fun at Park City Mountain this month.

Kenosha area students celebrate accomplishments made on and off the slopes with SOS Outreach


Kids and teens from Kenosha and Chicago recently completed a winter season of growth and accomplishments with SOS Outreach at Wilmot Mountain.

SOS, a youth development nonprofit, uses skiing and snowboarding in tandem with positive adult mentorship to help young people gain leadership skills, learn social-emotional skills and develop a sense of belonging.

sos outreach appointed six new board members


SOS Outreach appointed six new members to its board of directors to represent commitment to across the industry to make snow sports more accessible to all youth.

Brass Community School teacher helps give local students an opportunity to learn downhill skiing


Deleting junk email without giving it a second thought is a common occurrence for many people. Thankfully, Terri McGuire was intrigued by a too-good-to-be-true email she received during winter break last year. A fourth and fifth grade teacher at Brass Community School in Kenosha’s Uptown neighborhood, McGuire responded to the email sent by Tarah Waters, the National Program Operations Coordinator for SOS Outreach in Vail, Colo.

SOS Outreach announces appointment of new members to board of directors


SOS Outreach, a Colorado-based charity that aims to make snowsports more accessible to all youth, has added six new members to its board of directors, according to a news release from the charity. The new members include Gerilyn Davis of Inclusion on the Slopes, Rebecca Houck of GERBER, Charlotte Moats of Wasatch Peaks Ranch, Damon Morris of Elevate Outdoor Collective, Anne Wiper of Smartwool and Travis Tafoya of Vail Resorts.

Mentoring in the Mountains – An Impactful Approach to Positive Youth Development


Since its inception in 1993 at Vail Mountain, SOS Outreach, a national positive youth development organization, has evolved from humble roots of providing youth access to skiing and snowboarding to now offering a robust multi-year group mentoring curriculum across 24 mountain resorts in 9 states.

MTN TV Summit
SOS Outreach & Christy Sports | Exclusive Skis


This limited-edition ski is available in sizes 162, 168, 174, 180, 186, and 194 cm and is available only through Christy Sports.

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Christy sports releases exclusive nordica unleashed outreach ski to Help Underrepresented Kids Step Outside


Christy Sports, the premier outdoor retailer helping people #stepoutside, in partnership with Nordica and SOS Outreach, today announces the release of the limited-edition Nordica Unleashed Outreach Ski.

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Truckee’s Quintero designs custom Nordica skis to raise money for youth


Local teenager, Frida Quintero, received an opportunity that would make even a professional graphic designer green with envy: to design a custom limited-edition ski in partnership with Nordica.

Custom Ski Collaboration Benefits Youth


A speaking engagement at a golf outing brought Seth Ehrlich, Executive Director of SOS Outreach, and the CEO of Christy Sports together to discuss the SOS Outreach mission.



Nordica, one of our favorite ski brands at SPL, just partnered with SOS Outreach and Christy Sports to bring $$$ to underrepresented kids and get them outside.

SOS Outreach named US Ski and Snowboard’s DEI Champion


SOS Outreach, a sport outreach and mentorship program serving 15 communities and 24 mountain resorts nationwide, was awarded U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion Award.



In its 30th season, SOS Outreach introduced hundreds of Eagle County students to skiing and snowboarding. However, during one of the last weekends of the season, the nonprofit did things a little differently and extended the opportunity to families and guardians instead.

Slushy snow, sunny skies greet Closing Day skiers at Beaver Creek


Beaver Creek shut down its lifts for the spring on Sunday amid 70-degree temperatures at the base village, where party-goers put a cap on the resort’s 44th season. Good snow conditions greeted skiers on the mountain; Beaver Creek boasted a 61-inch base on Closing Day following 287 inches of cumulative snow this season.

SOS Outreach; Heavenly Mountain teach local youth about career paths


Heavenly Mountain is partnering with local youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach, to connect teens and young adults to jobs in the ski industry. SOS, which engages over 350 youth from South Lake Tahoe, connects young people to positive adult mentors and delivers a progressive multi-year curriculum using a combination of skiing/riding and off-hill skill building workshops.

Continuing the Commitment to ‘Doing Good’


Over the course of the last two years, Steamboat Resort has rolled out a number of exciting and nuanced sustainability initiatives and community/social commitments. An example of this is the resorts partnerships, like the one with SOS Outreach, which is dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive winter sports community in Routt and Moffat counties. In the 2022/2023 season, Steamboat Resort provided lift tickets, rental gear as well as lessons to over 130 kids who would have otherwise been unable to experience the sport.

7 Organizations That Are Actually Doing Something About Skiing’s Diversity Problem


Over the last few years, the ski industry has begun to have some long overdue conversations about making the sport more inclusive. It’s no secret that skiing is expensive, with the price tag of participation being a key barrier to the slopes. But the price of lift tickets and gear isn’t the only thing keeping diverse communities from taking up skiing.

The Milwaukee Bucks Community Hero Salute presented by Jockey


SOS Outreach is a national non-profit organization that was founded with a mission to change young lives while building character and leadership through mentoring outdoors. Through its program, Seth Ehrlich and Terri McGuire of SOS Outreach aim to make skiing available to disadvantaged youth who typically may not have this opportunity otherwise.

SOS Outreach celebrates 30 years of providing youth with opportunities — both on and off the mountain


In December 1993, a conversation between four people at a Beaver Creek snowboard shop spurred the creation of SOS Outreach. Thirty years later, the nonprofit has impacted the lives of over 80,000 kids across the country. On Monday, Jan. 29, SOS Outreach celebrated its history and impact at a First Tracks event at Beaver Creek Resort with some of its Eagle County partners, supporters and alumni.

Hydro Flask’s Parks For All Giving Program Commemorates 2024 Grantees


Hydro Flask an award-winning leader in high-performance, insulated stainless steel flasks and soft good innovations and a Helen of Troy (NASDAQ: HELE) brand, proudly announces the selection of fifteen impactful grantees for its Parks For All giving program in 2024. Building on its success in 2023, Hydro Flask is contributing over $395,000 in grants to national, regional, and international organizations dedicated to fostering more positive and equitable outdoor experiences.

SOS Outreach Celebrates 30 Years of Mentoring Denver Youth in the Outdoors


For three decades, the youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach (SOS), has been engaging Denver youth in a multi-year curriculum focused on building life skills and connecting participants to their communities. SOS Outreach began by taking 15 Denver youth up to Vail Mountain to snowboard for their first time ever.

Small Town Stories: SOS Outreach


Ever wonder what happened to your old summer camp counselors? The whole experience was so gratifying for Palmer Daniels that it sparked an entire career. “I learned so much about myself as and grew as a young person at camps,” says the Program Manager at Chamber partner SOS Outreach. “I wanted to continue to be part of that for others.”

How an sos outreach graduate is working to grow opportunities for other alumni


Since its start, SOS Outreach has worked with youth in grades 4-12 to introduce them to the outdoors and provide them with valuable life skills needed to unlock their potential. In recent years, however, the nonprofit organization has started to reach beyond high school and help support and provide opportunities for its alumni.

christy sports giving tuesday deals


Christy Sports offers a Giving Tuesday deal on the limited edition, Nordica Unleashed Ski to raise money for SOS Outreach and help everyone #stepoutside.

sos outreach launches career development


National youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach, launched an extension of programming called the Career Development Program, an opportunity for high school aged participants and alumni to further develop their skills and connect with outdoor brands via paid summer internships.

The Visionaries Diversifying Ski Culture


The ski industry is having a glow-up: an abundance of change-makers on a mission to diversify snow sports. From brands and nonprofits to athletes and artists, these visionaries are paving the way toward improved  inclusivity, representation, and accessibility in skiing and outdoor culture.



My focus on racial disparities in the outdoor industry over the past 10 years, has been at times, promising and discouraging. Promising because of all the conversations and social boasting of what the industry will do, discouraging because there’s very little follow up behind the “black squares”, and the “Black Lives Matter” quotes.  Reports on racial progress in the outdoor industry are no different than reporting on racial progress in this country, fragmented at best.

TV8 Vail: Conexion Latina


La Cordinadora de Ex-alumnos de SOS Outreach, Fernanda Landeros, habla con Julio Garcia de TV8 Vail Conexion Latina sobre los programas de SOS Outreach y noticias recientes. (SOS Outreach alumni liaison, Fernanda Landeros, speaks with Julio Garcia of TV8 Vail’s Conexion Latina about SOS Outreach programs and latest news.)



It was 30 years ago in the Rocky Mountains that an idea was born, an idea that brought forward the power of sliding down a mountain on snow to create real and lasting change. That idea was SOS Outreach and the result was connecting youth to the mountains, to snowsports and to their community.

Colorado Snowsports Museum inducts 2023 Hall of Fame honorees


On Sunday, Aug. 27, the Colorado Snowsports Museum celebrated its newest Hall of Fame members. Vail Veterans Program founder Cheryl Jensen, ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson, ski resort executive John Norton, trailblazing female ski racer Sandy Hildner, and ski writer and historian Seth Masia made up the class of 2023. SOS Outreach, which was founded and is headquartered in the Vail Valley, received the Top of the Hill Award for its contributions to the development of skiing, introducing children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to ski or snowboard to the mountains.

Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame announces 2023 annual awards


Tickets are on sale now for the 2023 Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Celebration this August 27th. The institution proudly announces the Annual Award recipients for the year, representing snow sports advocates and some of our state’s greatest athletes.

Women’s Giving Fund to award $100,000 in grants


Three finalists have been selected from more than a dozen applicants for the annual Women’s Giving Fund grant that supports local women and children. The fund is run through the Park City Community Foundation. The chair of the grants committee is Dalia Gonzalez.

Be the constant in a young person’s life


Growing up isn’t easy and the past few years certainly haven’t been kind to young people trying to find their way. For better or worse, our world is rapidly evolving and times sure are different from when I was a kid.

Young people need the outdoors more than ever


It’s not an easy time to be a young person. Without diving into it, the past few years have been tumultuous at best; we’re glued to our devices more than ever, and mental health issues have become an epidemic among adolescents.

SOS Outreach receives $45,000 grant to expand its career development pipeline


For over three decades, the nonprofit SOS Outreach has been dedicated to increasing opportunities for underserved youth through outdoor recreation. And in March, the organization received a $45,000 state grant to grow its Career Development Pipeline program, its latest effort to extend its impact.

SOS Outreach paving way for Lake Tahoe youth to turn passion into careers


Last weekend, about 300 South Lake Tahoe youth celebrated the end of their winter season with the youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach. Now in its 13th year of operation in the Tahoe region, SOS Outreach uses a combination of mentorship and mountain access to deliver a core values based curriculum focused on service to the community, social-emotional skills, and developing a sense of belonging.

SOS Outreach partners with Northstar California


Youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach, has impacted 170 local youth this year through its Learn to Ride and Mentoring programs which consist of five ski/ride days at Northstar California.The Learn to Ride program began in 2010 with a Vail Resorts Epic Promise grant to provide season passes, rentals and instructors to 25 local youth. Shortly after, SOS Outreach expanded its reach by offering its multi-year mentoring program to keep youth engaged year after year until graduation.

Polis Administration Continues to Boost Colorado’s Robust Outdoor Rec Workforce & Make Sure All Coloradans Can Access World-Class Outdoors


Today, Governor Polis and the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced nine new recipients of the Colorado State Outdoor Recreation grant across the state. These grants will provide professional development for over 200 students and workers across Colorado as they prepare for or further their careers in outdoor recreation, including organizations that provide outdoor experiences to youth who might otherwise experience barriers to outdoor recreation.

Kenoshan of the Week: Terri McGuire (video)


Video interview of Kenoshan of the Week & SOS Program Coordinator of Chicago/Kenosha: Terri McGuire

Nonprofits Give Metro Detroit High Schoolers Chance to Visit Northern Michigan, Learn How to Ski


Nonprofits across the state have teamed up to give high school students from Metro Detroit a chance to hit the slopes here in Northern Michigan. The Crystal Community Ski Club has teamed up with SOS Outreach, Share Winter Foundation and the YMCA to bring students from Hamtramck High School up to Crystal Mountain. Many of the students that visited have never had the opportunity to ski or visit Northern Michigan all together. One student, Mohamad Dagena, says he’s had a blast on the trip.

SOS Outreach celebrates its biggest season of impact in Eagle County


Community supporters gathered at Vail Mountain’s Sarge’s Shelter for a luncheon to celebrate the local youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach, for its most successful season of impact in Eagle County. This season over 490 youth, from Gypsum to Red Cliff, enrolled in SOS programs, which use a combination of mountain sports and mentorship to deliver a multi-year curriculum focused on social-emotional learning, service to the community, and developing a sense of belonging.

SOS Outreach alumnae design limited edition Nordica skis to support organization’s mission


Combining life skills, a love for the outdoors and big ambitions, four SOS Outreach alumnae recently got the opportunity to design a pair of skis for Nordica.

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Kenosha Unified fourth-graders hit the slopes with Jockey and SOS Outreach at Wilmot Mountain


Kenosha Unified students hit the slopes Monday afternoon at Wilmot Mountain for the first of many ski lessons as part of the “Learn to Ride” ski and mentor program.

Park City college student designs custom limited-edition ski with Nordica


Park City college student Heidy Hernandez recently had an opportunity some can only dream of, to design a custom limited-edition ski in partnership with Nordica.

Silverton Standard
Philanthropic Community Gathers in Silverton to Raise Money for Youth in SOS Outreach


Over MLK weekend, change-makers from across the outdoor industry gathered in Silverton to rally support and raise funds for over 3,000 young people across the country in SOS Outreach programs.

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Nordica, Christy Sports, SOS Outreach Aim to Raise $50,000 With 50 Pairs of Skis


Social, societal, and economic barriers often prevent underrepresented kids from getting to participate in the outdoors. There’s a lot of expensive gear involved, knowledge that people need, and often, accessing the wilderness itself can be a challenge.

Nordica, SOS Outreach, Christy Sports Release Ski for Under-represented Kids


Nordica, SOS Outreach and Christy Sports have released a limited-edition Nordica Unleashed Outreach Ski.

SOS Outreach prepares for winter with new programs manager


SOS Outreach is looking forward to starting the winter season with new mentoring programs feeding into the organization’s continued efforts to bridge gaps for underserved youth.