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SOS Outreach

December 12, 2018
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December 3, 2018 – Beaver Creek, CO – This past weekend, industry leaders from founding partner Vail Resorts, Smartwool, Spyder, Head, and the Beaver Creek Ski Patrol, joined forces at Audi Birds of Prey FIS World Cup to provide insight and guidance to several of SOS’s oldest participants as they prepare for their junior and senior years of high school and what will come once they graduate.


The day began at Beaver Creek Sports, where our corporate partners gathered around the fireplace in front of several of our participants to introduce themselves and share about their jobs and the path they’ve taken to get where they are today. They also tied Birds of Prey into the discussion, explaining what it takes to make the race weekend run. Scott Bowers, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Smartwool, Brady Collings, Vice President of Marketing with Spyder, Drew Roberts, Uniform/Group Sales Coordinator with Spyder, Jon Rucker, Vice President of Head USA Wintersports, Jared Goldberg, Olympic and Birds of Prey ski racer and Spyder Athlete, and Drew Dodd with Beaver Creek Ski Patrol, all shared their experiences in the industry and gave advice to eager, long-time SOS participants who have been through programs for at least seven years. Senior Seth Bretta, who also attended our last industry day in 2017, credited the experiences with already knowing what he wants to do in college and beyond, saying, “I think it was opportunities like this that helped me figure out that I want to work for the National Forest Service one day.”


Goldberg, a two-time Olympian who has been through many obstacles throughout his professional career, gave the kids career advice and words of encouragement on staying level and using two of SOS’s core values, courage and humility, to help them push through when they experience hurdles. “You just have to keep working. Nothing usually comes easy, and I think it’s easy to get caught up in how other people are doing”, he continued, “but if you actually broke down what everyone goes through, everyone has these big ups and downs and it’s all about fighting through the downs, getting back to the ups, and enjoying it while you’re up there.”


Following the Industry Day Q & A, participants headed up the mountain and over to the Birds of Prey race finish area. There, they were able to enter the VIP watch area and even meet Vail Valley local River Radamus, right after he finished his run. They enjoyed watching several racers finish, building relationships with new people and enjoying the World Cup atmosphere. Throughout the day, the kids had the opportunity to interact with the people who have helped SOS get to where it is today, including Bowers from Smartwool. Smartwool greatly treasures our relationship with SOS Outreach, their purpose, and our opportunity to partner and make a difference in young people’s lives,” he noted, and mentioned that the Industry Day was “especially gratifying, as we were able to share our experiences to inspire, mentor, and empower the next generation of leaders”.


SOS Outreach, a national youth development organization founded in partnership with Vail Resorts 25 years ago, empowers 4,000+ youth each year to reach their full potential - in education and in life - through an intensifying curriculum comprised of caring adult mentors, outdoor adventures, and long-term life skills development. As many SOS students embark on college applications and others progress towards the career path of their dreams, Industry Day provided an opportunity to peer into future career possibilities where their passions can translate into professions.  


“Industry Day is an amazing opportunity for SOS Outreach students to think about how they can make a career out of their passion for the outdoors and advance their skills in critical thinking and leadership,” shared Nicky DeFord, director of community engagement at Vail Resorts. “Seeing students take what they have learned from the SOS curriculum and using it to create meaningful future opportunities is why SOS is our longest-running non-profit partnership – a fact that we are incredibly proud of here at Vail Resorts.”


SOS Outreach introduces youth to a wide variety of outdoor adventure activities like skiing, snowboarding, backpacking, and rock-climbing through a dynamic and progressive curriculum to equip youth with the confidence and skills to unleash their potential to thrive. With such experience and passion for the outdoors, SOS youth are ideal candidates for positions in the outdoor industry.


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About SOS Outreach

SOS Outreach (SOS) is a multi-state organization entering its 25th year of programs, that empowers the most at-risk youth to access the recreation and resources to achieve their optimal potential - in education and in life - through equal parts leadership development, positive adult mentorship, and responsible outdoor adventure. Utilizing a progressive curriculum with each year building on the previous, SOS, with help from Founding Partner Vail Resorts, uses outdoor adventure as a vehicle to provide a values-based, leadership curriculum that promotes self-respect, positive relationships, social skills, and life-skills development and community, contributing to the long-term success of underserved youth between the ages of 8 and 18. To learn more, visit www.sosoutreach.org, or call 970.926.9292.

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