Student Profile: Gabriela in NYC

Words by Romney Lewis gabrielagomez

NYC Student Profile

Student: Gabriela G.

Grade:  Junior

School: IHS - Union Square

Program: STOKED Year 1

Event:  Snowboarding at Belleayre, February 28, 2016

Gabriella is a shy 16 year old junior from IHS-Union Square. When she started the program, she separated herself from activities frequently. Recently, she has became more talkative with her coach and with her peers. She was hesitant about going on the trips that we offer but finally decided to partake. Gabriela went snowboarding and enjoyed every moment. She stood out this weekend because of her willingness to sacrifice. She assisted me with setting up lunch, taught me some Spanish and also gave me some tips about snowboarding.

The transition from going to the beginner mountain in New Jersey on Saturday to a more advanced mountain in Belleayre on Sunday was extremely tough for her at first. Belleayre was overwhelming and structured for independent snowboarders. It took her a while to get accustomed to a different environment because the mountain was full of various people at different levels. She chose to take an early break before lunch and relax with a few of her friends. During this time she spoke to me about her aspirations in life and also taught me some Spanish. After lunch was over, she quickly went with her coach and group.

Her coach challenged her to try a harder mountain and she agreed. She pushed herself to get better and succeeded. She kept falling, laughing and persevering through her previous negative thoughts about snowboarding.  She progressed to the green mountain and did a great job! Her coach spoke about the leadership she showcased when they were top of the mountain. She lead by example and motivated her entire group to try harder as well as taught them how to connect their turns. The mentors and coaches spoke about her at the end of the day and she was awarded a long board.

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