In Love With Belleayre for 10 Years

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Words by: Steve Larosiliere

Photos by: Paul Tucker

Ever feel like you promised the impossible?

The type of promise that if you failed, everything was at stake?

If you failed at this one thing, your name was ruined.

People wouldn't trust you any more and you’d never be able to work in your field again.

For me 10 years ago, that’s what I was going through.

Most importantly, If I failed, I would’ve disappointed 40 high school students.

These students were promised participation in a new snowboard mentoring program and get to meet new mentors who would help them in life.

It’s all on the line…

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After meeting with and proposing this idea to 4 different local mountains and getting rejected, Belleayre Mountain seemed like a long shot.

But to the mountain and the marketing director at the time, we were a perfect fit.

When I got word that they’d partner with us, my heart burst.

It was like falling in love with someone instantly!

Snowboarding was everything. At that moment in life, it was all that I wanted to do.

I wanted to share my love of snowboarding with all underserved and low income students in New York City.

For a resort to say that they’d partner with us and donate lift tickets and lessons for this sliver of an idea, I was completely humbled and thankful.

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Our signature program, Snow Mentor, now had a home….

A resort that we’d call home for 10 years this year!

We’ve taken thousands of students snowboarding there. We’ve enabled students to have happy and productive weekends.

We’ve grown as an organization because of this partnership.

We’ve also known that without the partnership and our snowboard program, it would’ve been impossible to maintain our 100% high school graduation rate.

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Our students have used their experience on that mountain to create a new versions of themselves.

The stories of being on a chairlift and looking at the mountain, shaped their college essays.

Making it to the black diamond, gave them the confidence to take the SATs or apply for scholarships.

The relationships were made on the bus with other students and mentors define their future.

We’re so grateful for the 10 years at Belleayre and look forward to helping them grow the same way they helped us grow.

Check out Belleayre Mountain.... and when you do, please tell them STOKED sent you.

blog postSteve Larosiliere