Ignite’s very existence is based upon the belief that everyone should be able to enjoy winter sports regardless of ability level. Our purpose is to promote a healthy active lifestyle and a positive outlook for people with disabilities. Each season our volunteers donate around 15,000 hours of their time and energy to provide more than 1000 lessons to more than 200 people living with disabilities in Colorado. This includes wounded military veterans served through a US Paralympic Military Program Ignite developed, in collaboration with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The Junior Instructor program is designed for high school students, ages 16 and 17. It is a unique opportunity to participate in Ignite training, right alongside adult volunteers. When lessons begin on Dec. 31st, the junior instructors are assigned to assist with lessons and learn from the more experienced instructors. With each lesson, the junior instructor is filling his/her “toolkit” with experiences that helps them take the lead on a lesson once they turn 18 years of age. Our senior instructors LOVE having a junior assigned to their lessons. These high schoolers are typically strong, enthusiastic, and fun. And, our students really love having a teenager on the lesson to help. For the student (Jr volunteers, this is a really meaningful volunteer experience that shows very well on college applications and in job interviews. They attend 1 all day classroom training session, as well as 2 on snow clinics and they have meetings throughout the year as well as just fun get-togethers. Two of the returning Jr.’s take a leadership role in recruitment, retention and communications to the group. (one from Fairview High School and one from Boulder High school) Most of our Jr’s volunteer 3-6 days a season (that is about 21-42 hours a season, + another 14-20 training and other volunteer actives generally,35-65 hours a year with Ignite). There are 2 adult volunteer leaders who oversee the program.
Funded by Boulder, CO (August 2016)