November 18, 2010 Luncheon

SOS Outreach Director, Theresa Panpandrea, will be speaking about this SOS Outreach’s work with under served youth and efforts to promote healthy decision making in youth.  SOS Outreach serves between 350-400 youth a season and another 50-100 in the summer/all year round.


Description of SOS

SOS Outreach was founded in 1993 in Colorado’s Vail Valley. As a nonprofit organization, our programs build character and self-esteem in youth through outdoor activities and the SOS curriculum. SOS will serve 5,500 youth across the nation this season.
SOS Outreach began as the “Snowboard Outreach Society,” before expanding to include skiing. This past winter, we began snowshoeing and telemark skiing programs as well. In January 2009, we merged with Meet the Wilderness, which has served a similar demographic with outdoor sports since 1974. The merger has allowed SOS to have year-round programming. So in addition to snow sports SOS now includes activities like rock climbing, teams courses, hiking, mountain biking, sailing and camping.


Each SOS program integrates the five core values of out organization: Courage, Discipline, Integrity, Wisdom and Compassion.

Our curriculum includes consistent adult mentors, community service opportunities, and the adult mentor relationships that are central to our programs. The youth also participate in life skills workshops and plan a leadership panel.


Bio for Theresa Papandrea, Program Director – Summit County

Theresa started with SOS in October of 2005. Her commitment to providing positive role models for youth attracted Theresa to SOS. Prior and during her work with SOS, Theresa applied her passion for children as a Day Camp employee for the Summit County School District and was an aide for the Kindergarten Enrichment program at Dillon Valley Elementary. Theresa has also worked many years as a youth leader in the county and took a group of high school youth to Guatemala to build stoves and plant trees in June of 2009. Theresa was recognized as Summit County‘s Asset Builder of the Month in February of 2005 for her multiple community projects.



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Inspiring youth to make positive decisions for successful lives.


Statement of Need

Research demonstrates that youth with risk factors in their lives are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, are more prone to suicide or teen pregnancy, and are more likely to drop out of school or resort to violence. By building positive decision-making, SOS greatly reduces the likelihood of identified youth engaging in these harmful behaviors. SOS programs build self-confidence so participants are able to live more productive lives. The population SOS serves includes youth in low-income households, with single -parent families who demonstrate poor academic achievement. All participants are aged 8 to 18. SOS partners with schools and youth agencies to register youth who will benefit the most from the structure and consistency of the SOS course.

SOS saw the following demographic breakdown of participants in 2009/2010:

64% minority

70% had a household income less than $40,000 per year 26% have one or less adults in their household

30% had no health insurance coverage.