Kate Citron is a freshman at Wake Forest from Aspen, Colorado who plans on majoring in business and enterprise management. Throughout high school, Kate volunteered for a skiing program called Challenge Aspen where she taught kids with mental and physical disabilities ranging from ages 8-13 how to ski.
Her Campus: How did you get involved with Challenge Aspen?
Kate Citron: In high school, I skied through a club team called Aspen Valley Ski Club (AVSC), and they sponsored Challenge Aspen one year, so I started volunteering and loved it from there. That was in sophomore year of high school, and I kept volunteering until my senior year, meeting with the kids a few times each month.
HC: What was one of your favorite experiences while volunteering at Challenge Aspen?
KC: Usually once a season, we set up a race for the kids with a course on a mountain, and so it’s always really fun to go out and support them as they compete for fun against one another. We all bring out bells and cheer as they go through the course and the gates.
HC: Were there any challenges?
KC: It’s really difficult to try to support the kids when they get really down on themselves and emotional, it can be a challenge to help them get through it and understand what they are going through, but also really empowering to know we can offer support and be there for them.
HC: Did it influence any programs you are now doing in college?
KC: It helped me get involved in community service at Wake and get involved in Best Buddies. I want to continue my service with kids and kids with disabilities and setbacks because it’s important to me.
HC: Were there any specific values you taught the kids, and they actually taught you in the end?
KC: I taught them the importance of being persistent and not giving up when it can be easy to become frustrated when learning a new sport, and I think they taught me the same by being super motivated and showing so much excitement on the mountain. They also showed me the value of physical activity and the simple happiness from spending time outside and in nature. Seeing how much they enjoyed Challenge Aspen also helped me appreciate where I live and how lucky I am to have opportunities like this.