Industry News 2/15/2005

New Mentoring Program Proves Snowy Slopes Not an Up-Hill Battle.

New Mentoring Program Proves Snowy Slopes Not an Up-Hill Battle.

SnowMentor launches inaugural season, paring "at-risk" youth and  mentors to learn the sport of snowboarding.

New York, NY- February 15th, 2005- SnowMentor, a new program that gives "at risk" youth and their mentors the opportunity to learn to snowboard, launched it's inaugural season on January 29th, 2005. Funded by a mix of private and corporate donations, including major support from Burton Chill Program, Zoo York, and Forum Snowboards, the program, which is piloting it's Winter 2005 season through Youth-At-Risk, took eight mentoring pairs (mentor/youth) to a local ski resort for snowboarding lessons and a day of fun on the slopes.

SnowMentor's goal is to expose "at risk" youth to new environments and experiences through the sport of snowboarding, allowing them to develop and foster resiliency, determination and success while being mentored by an adult role model. This unique mentoring model allows both the mentor and youth the rare experience of learning a brand new, non-traditional sport at the same time, allowing the opportunity to overcome challenges, develop new skills and enhance communication together, all of which can be translated into life off the slopes.

"I wanted to give at-risk youth and their mentors a supportive and consistent environment in which to learn a non-traditional sport, an opportunity they might not have access to otherwise" explained SnowMentor founder and Program Director, Steve Larosiliere. "Watching your mentor fall down, struggle through and learn, at the same time that a you are, can encourage a deep bond and friendship, as well as leveling the perceived playing field for young people. It's a metaphor for life- we all face and overcome challenges no matter who we are or where we come from."

The initial season will take the mentor/youth pairs on four snowboarding-lesson days at Mountain Creek Resort and four off-site mentoring sessions. SnowMentor plans to expand next year to include eight snowboarding-lesson days and an expanded success-oriented mentoring program, so the pair may formulate a specific goal and purpose while learning to snowboard, as well as develop a close bond.

ABOUT SNOWMENTOR
Snow Mentor's goal is to expose "at risk" youth to new environments and experiences through the sport of snowboarding, to develop and foster resiliency, determination, and success while being mentored by an adult role model. Snow Mentor is piloting the Winter 2005 program with Youth at Risk (YAR), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, volunteer driven organization committed to transforming the chaotic lives of young people through persistent and compassionate mentoring since 1985. 

For more information:
contact Steve Larosiliere
Program Director, SnowMentor
(917) 637-0405 (mobile)
steve@snowmentor.org (email)
http://www.snowmentor.org