Instructor Feature – Wesley Adams
Meet Wesley. In his second year at Ignite Adaptive Sports, Wesley finds himself growing in ways he never expected. Not only has his skiing taken a turn for the better, but in his everyday life he feels more patient and understanding. “You just don’t really know what’s going on with other people. Everybody is different, and that extends to all different types of ability levels and disabilities. Everyone has their own struggle, and it becomes more apparent when you’re here and you see the diversity. But this carries into your everyday life and your everyday interactions with strangers.”
A student on his way to Graduate school, Wesley was looking for ways to bolster his resume. Intrigued by an instructor he met doing a ski lesson for the blind, and encouraged by the fact that you don’t need to be a pro-skier to volunteer, Wesley found himself in the hands of Ignite Adaptive Sports, learning to be a ski instructor. He quickly learned the rewarding result which comes from helping people. “The most rewarding part for me is customer satisfaction. A lot of people in these situations are living new lives. They are carving out a path of something completely different from their pre-accident/pre-disabled lives. And to be able to help them develop a new skill and to learn something so beneficial, it’s my favorite thing to know I’m a part of that.”
Wesley talks about the differences of volunteering with Ignite versus other adaptive programs. “For Ignite specifically, it’s the orientation towards detail, and the nuances that get missed at other places. We can ski anyone, regardless of their disability. I have worked with students in the past week who were turned away from other adaptive programs because their disabilities were too risky at the other resorts. But here at Ignite we have the skill in our training force to make it happen for them. That is what sets our program apart from others, it’s accessible and realistic for any student.”
Volunteers like Wesley are the key to Ignite Adaptive Sports’ success. They provide 100 percent of our lessons and support all other aspects of the organization – from program management to fundraising – contributing over 15,000 hours of service to Ignite annually. Many Ignite volunteers have family members or friends who participate in the program and return to Ignite year after year. If you are interested in becoming an Ignite Volunteer, please go to our website and fill out the form under the Volunteer section. We hope to see you out on the mountain!