North American Ski Training Center helps at-risk students improve their lives

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 22, 2010 12:04 pm

In an area surrounded by some of the country’s best recreational opportunities, the North American Ski Training Center (NASTC) wants to ensure everyone in the community has a chance to enjoy it.

With that philosophy, NASTC has been working with local low-income youth to encourage them to lead more healthy and active lifestyles by teaching better nutrition and introducing them to activities such as skiing and rock-climbing.

NASTC works with area students from the Truckee-Tahoe area that belong to U.C. Berkeley’s Adventure Risk Challenge Program (ARC). This program seeks out to help highly motivated English Language Learners (ELL) by using time outdoors to help build leadership and academic skills.

Partnered with Tahoe-based Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, who donated equipment and lift tickets for all the kids involved in the program and with NASTC who provided professional instructors from their world-class teaching staff, ARC was able to bring nearly 100 students to the mountains to experience some winter fun.

However, the program doesn’t stop just because the snow may have melted. This summer NASTC and ARC will once again partner and bring the students out to learn about the sport of rock-climbing. NASTC will again provide instruction, and also the necessary climbing gear.

“Our goal is to show kids that being active and healthy can be fun,” said NASTC Director Chris Fellows. “Most of these kids have never had a chance to enjoy the mountains that are right in their own backyards and might otherwise be staying home when they could be out skiing or climbing.”

With such an incredible community backdrop, all residents of the community should be able to enjoy its offerings. ARC program organizers hope to grow the program both in size and scope in the future.