So many opportunities have opened up for Ryan because of MWVAS – training for and hiking Mt Washington; backcountry skiing; volunteering on trail maintenance days for different stewardship organizations; meeting more and more people in Mt Washington Valley who know him as “one of the ski kids,” versus “the kid that needs help;” and making true peer-level friends. These things have helped build his confidence in himself and his own judgment that he can carry with him into his daily life in school and beyond. That internally developed confidence is critical to his success in adulthood . - Ryan's Mom
Seeing the kids return week after week taught me a lot about determination and resiliency. If they could achieve success and have fun as skiers, then so could I. If they could smile and get back up after a fall, I could too. Working with this program helped me to gain confidence in my own skiing ability and seeing the smiles during
the lessons was the perfect reward. -Pat
My son was born with incredible abilities that allow him to compensate for his significant visual impairment, but in some instances his strengths are not enough to allow him to participate in many sports like friends his age. He was born legally blind, incredibly active, and full of energy. The skilled, trained, and compassionate staff has connected with him, learned about his interests, and identified his strengths in such a way that he is able to harness his energy and zest for life through alpine skiing. What he has accomplished over the past two years is astonishing! He is skiing virtually independently and is able to participate in the ESSC Jr. Ski Program alongside his peers. It is difficult to put into words how incredibly grateful we are for the amazing people who volunteer their time to make experiences accessible to all children. -Boden's mom
We are truly thankful for t his program and for all that it has given our daughter. They have shown that it is not about the child’s disability, it’s about their abilities when coupled with the right people and the right program. MWVAS is a shining example of this pairing. -The Jillette Family
When presented with a child who would not be able to participate in sports in the same way the rest of the family was able to, [MWVAS] stepped up to provide us with the ability to modify her skiing experience and allow her to ski. Maddy has gone from a little girl who fell asleep in the sit ski to a big girl who kicks her feet demanding to “get going” when she has waited too long. A girl who won a gold medal in her first race! Most of all a child who enjoys skiing just as much as her sisters. Seeing her smiles, hearing her giggles, and watching her interactions with her coaches is heartwarming. Our goals for Maddy have been to participate in every aspect of our lives and because of MWVAS, she is able to. -Maddy's family
Natalie often asks to be signed up for the same sports as her sister. Because she has cerebral palsy that affects the use of her left side of her body, and low vision, regular mainstream sports may be too dangerous for her. However, when the family comes to ski at Attitash Mountain, the program allows for Natalie to participate in a sport that her sister does as well. She is able to learn how to ski in a safe and fun environment. The instructors are great in motivating her to do things that she thinks that she cannot do. She loves skiing and the MWVAS staff. We have been coming for three years and will continue to come for many more. Thank you for all that you do for kids like Natalie! And thank you for allowing her to feel like she is just like her sister.
MWVAS is an organization that works to help people with mental and physical challenges enjoy the outdoors of New Hampshire. For my bar mitzvah project I chose to raise money for MWVAS. Through my efforts of hiking Mt. Washington I raised $1,175. When I summited on July 22, (2017) I climbed with a team of individuals whose challenges include autism and recovery from a stroke. The experience really showed me the power of a strong will and the benefits of inclusiveness. -Ethan