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WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE RECIPIENTS OF THE 2022 BLIZZARD TECNICA WOMEN2WOMEN SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. IN IT’S 2ND YEAR, WE RECEIVED OVER 500 APPLICATIONS FROM A DIVERSE AND DESERVING GROUP OF WOMEN!

The W2W Scholarship program was designed to support women as they strive to advance their education in Snowsports. From programs such as guide certification and avalanche education, to ski instructor certifications, these women are motivated and driven to learn, advance their careers and share their knowledge with other women. It was inspiring to read their stories and the obstacles they’ve had to overcome to get to where they are.

We’re honored to introduce the 19 recipients that were selected and announce that $20,000 in scholarships and Blizzard Tecnica equipment have been awarded to some pretty incredible humans.
Their stories inspired us.
We hope they inspire you.

“EDUCATION, A KEY PILLAR OF OUR WOMEN2WOMEN PROGRAM, IS CRITICAL TO BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN TO ADVANCE INTO LEADERSHIP ROLES IN THE SNOWSPORTS INDUSTRY. WHEN WOMEN SEE WHAT OTHER WOMEN HAVE ACHIEVED, IT INSTILLS THE BELIEF THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND THAT THERE IS SPACE FOR ALL OF US.”

Leslie Baker-Brown
Global Blizzard Tecnica W2W Program Leader

LINDSAY MANN

usa

PROGRAM: 

AMGA Advanced Ski Guide Course

OBSTACLES:

I have been stagnant with taking more AMGA courses because I must manage taking time off work (this is a 10-day course), training for the course and my finances. This has been a difficult balance.

IMPORTANCE:

Having this continued education will continue to make me an asset as a female guide and to continue to inspire other females to pursue guiding. As of July, 2022 the AMGA will abide by terrain guideline and this course will enable to me to continue to guide for Keely's Camps for Girls.

NOTE:

Keely’s Camps for Girls is a program that is dedicated to providing female mentors and coaches for young athletes and sharing wisdom, positive fun energy, knowledge and experience with the next generation of girls in skiing and outdoor sports.
MARIAM MOUHAJER

CANADA

PROGRAM: 

Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC)

OBSTACLES:

Being a woman of color, specifically a Middle Eastern, Muslim woman in the ski industry, I do not fit the typical image of a skier. It is no secret that skiing is a white dominated sport. Not fitting the picture means I constantly need to prove my worth and ability as a skier. This has not stopped me from progressing and finding fulfillment in the sport. I was on ski patrol in eastern Canada, which I found incredibly rewarding. I’m a Level 2 CSIA ski instructor and am currently training toward my Level 3. Having now moved to western Canada, I need to update my first aid training to continue patrolling.

IMPORTANCE:

I want to increase female representation in positions that have traditionally been male, and inspire individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, in particular BIPOC, to not only ski, but reach higher positions in the ski industry. Being able to patrol here in British Columbia would be a dream come true, allowing me to build on the skills I learned on a local hill back home and patrol on bigger, more challenging terrain.
KAREN MAI

usa

PROGRAM: 

Alpine Level I Exam

OBSTACLES:

My parents immigrated from the southern farmlands of China, so they had never seen mountains covered with snow. The idea of having two pieces of wood coming down “controlled” was simply unheard of to them. I also realized that there were not a lot of female East Asians on the slopes that had a background like mine and slowly felt like I did not fit in.

IMPORTANCE:

Being part of the non-profit organization (YES : Youth Enrichment Services) that provided affordable sport-based youth development and leadership programming opportunities was truly transformative. In my middle and high school years, I volunteered to teach youth who were like me. As I plan to continue volunteering at YES, I want to go through intense training and examination to provide better Snowsports education. There are only a few centers, non-profits, and organizations out there who are making a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Snowsports industry. I want to be part of this change and continue to make an impact in communities by helping these groups with such a mission!

NOTE:

YES is an organization dedicated to serving Boston youth with a targeted focus on reaching low-to-moderate income children and teens and inspiring youth through outdoor experiences and leadership opportunities that build confidence and prepare them to summit life’s challenges.:
Anaïs Favre

FRANCE

PROGRAM: 

GirlsUp Camp

IMPORTANCE:

As a social worker it’s important to me that I can get out into the mountains and ski, ski tour, climb, mountain bike and practice alpinism. I really love to spend moments and share my passion with people and friends that are also passionate about sports in the mountains!
ANNETTE DIGGS

usa

PROGRAM: 

Powder Ski Clinic

OBSTACLES:

Looking for my place in the outdoors wasn’t easy - I would have to climb over mountains of systemic racism, build wealth, and overcome cultural norms to gain the opportunity to take up space in snow sports. As a Black woman on the ski hill, I was isolated. I did not see myself reflected, and my presence was noticed and scrutinized (othered) – which continues to this day. I noticed the lack of racial and ethnic diversity at the guest level and even more apparent in the low rates of BIPOC as certified PSIA-AASI instructors, divisional staff leaders, and examiners. As a PSIA L1 Instructor I have taken note of how fast my white colleagues and peers advance within their PSIA/AASI certifications – this can only be attributed to their early entry in snow sports and privilege of access to outdoors spaces. During clinics on a powder day, I am unable to navigate these conditions and my skiing deficiency is evident.

IMPORTANCE:

Despite hurdles, I am determined to become more than just a PSIA L1 instructor. To achieve my L2 and L3 I need to be able to ski in all conditions and this instruction will help me fast-track my development to achieve my goals, become a better instructor, and give back to Black, Indigenous, Women of Color within my non-profit EDGE Outdoors.

NOTE:

Annette is the founder of EDGE Outdoors, a powerful snow sports initiative designed to address an overlooked segment of minorities: Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC), including Trans-Women of Color (TWOC).
TAMSIN “TAMMY” LANE

usa

PROGRAM: 

AMGA Advanced Ski Guide Course

OBSTACLES:

Originally from New Zealand, I am proud to be Maori (Indigenous New Zealander) and growing up I didn’t see any other skiers who looked like me. I am currently pursuing IFMGA certification, and the Advanced Ski Guide Course will be my sixth course in the program, putting me on track to be one of the fastest women to achieve the certification.

IMPORTANCE:

This accelerated timeframe is closely linked to my goal to be a mother one day. While I understand that there are many inspiring athletes who have successfully returned to performing at an elite level after childbirth, I hope to have fully-completed my IFMGA journey already and allow my life as an athlete to evolve rather than falter. This course is mostly important to me because of the learning, opportunities and inspiration that come out of the certifications that I pursue. With each course I take, I learn the most not about skiing and guiding skills but about myself, what I am capable of, and what I can inspire in others. When I achieve IFMGA certification in a couple of years, I will be the first ever Maori IFMGA guide, and the opportunity to show my Whanau (family) and peers what is possible might just mean the most to me of all.
CHLOE SIGOUIN

CANADA

PROGRAM: 

Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) - Level 4 Academy Program

OBSTACLES:

For me, the first obstacle was the lack of female role models. If I think back about the mentors I have had in my skiing career so far, few of them are women up to recently. As a result, I developed some challenges with my confidence and my sense of belonging. Many women are pushed out of this industry, whether it's due to the industry being male dominant, wanting to starting a family, the lack of sustainability in the work that is available, or the lack of role models.

IMPORTANCE:

If I can be committed to this process, I hope it will empower other women to do the same, in their own way. I want to build a career that can sustain the active, outdoor-oriented, and family-friendly lifestyle I want to lead. The Level 4 certification will allow me to become a Course Conductor, to pursue teaching opportunities around the globe, and to provide training within the snow school - ultimately making this a sustainable career choice.
HADLEY REINE

USA

PROGRAM: 

AIARE Companion Rescue Course

OBSTACLES:

As an open and visible queer woman with leadership positions in the outdoor industry, I aim to be a role model to the kids that I instruct at Outward Bound and NOLS as well as for everyone else who sees me on ski patrol at Bogus Basin.

IMPORTANCE:

Attending a companion rescue course is the next step in my personal avalanche education certifications. It will allow me to take my personal progression while training and mentoring others along the way. Understanding identity, in part, means understanding how we fit into our larger social roles. When young female LGBTQ+ kids can see me participating in the snow space then they can envision themselves in that role as well.
LINDA PROBST

GERMANY

PROGRAM: 

Sporting Women – Winter Camp

OBSTACLES:

It was my plan to continue with the DSV-A trainer directly after the basic level and instructor training in alpine skiing. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the training courses were all cancelled in the last 2 years. Since the circumstances are slowly improving again, now would be the perfect time to tackle the A-trainer training. And as a student, of course, any support is more than welcome and highly appreciated :)

IMPORTANCE:

For me it is important to learn from the best, to improve my own skills and specially to learn new things. I want to use the training to pass on my knowledge to others, to convey the joy and fun of skiing and to get the best out of everyone, whether in the skiing club, during ski courses or on "private" ski days.
DEBS BRIDGE

USA

PROGRAM: 

AIARE Instructor Training

OBSTACLES:

As a woman, I feel we are still underrepresented in the field of avalanche safety and backcountry skiing, and I'd really love to swing that balance a little and be a good role model for aspiring females getting into the sport.

IMPORTANCE:

I love my job as a Ski Patroller, where I am currently part of our snow safety support team and an active member of our Rapid Avalanche Deployment Team (C-RAD).  I would like to become more active in my local community and build a program of free avalanche awareness classes as part of an outreach initiative. I believe the Instructor Training Program will give me the tools and confidence to take the first steps in beginning this community outreach program at our resort and surrounding mountains.
THEORA GRAY

CANADA

PROGRAM: 

Avalanche Search and Rescue Advanced Skills (AvSAR)

OBSTACLES:

As an Indigenous woman, I believe in the importance of equal representation within any profession. To me, guiding is so much more than physical strength and ski ability. It requires responsibility, decision-making, safety, and empathy; all of which transcend gender or cultural identity.

IMPORTANCE:

I want to become a leader in my industry and my community, to create an inclusive environment for all who respect the land. I am often one of few women, usually the only Indigenous person, and I don’t want to be one of the boys. I want to be like the strong, independent women and non-binary people in my life who inspire me through their fearlessness and determination.
VALENTINA DEL CORSO

ITALY

PROGRAM: 

Ski Instructor

IMPORTANCE:

Without a doubt this could be an opportunity for me to share my passion for skiing, to pass it on to other people, and to spread the fantastic world that lies behind this sport. In this project, I also find an opportunity to raise the figure of women in this area, a principle that I believe is very important.
MELISSA FLYNN

usa

PROGRAM: 

Recreational Level 2 Avalanche Course

OBSTACLES:

I lost a close friend to an avalanche which made me afraid of backcountry skiing, so fear stood in my way. As an EMT and volunteer on the search and rescue team in Silverton CO, I’m inspired to explore the San Juan’s, but I feel the complexity of this terrain exceeds my knowledge. I want to be able to safely explore the backcountry and participate on my search and rescues winter response team.

IMPORTANCE:

After utilizing the information gained, practicing the skills I learn and becoming more comfortable navigating the terrain and mitigating the risks, I would ultimately love to be a mountain guide. I want to be able to share this newly found passion with others and take them to see all the beautiful places I’ve been so blessed to experience and know that I have the knowledge to keep them safe.
TERESA YAU

CANADA

PROGRAM: 

ACMG Ski Guide Exam

OBSTACLES:

The main obstacle has been me, and having the confidence in myself to know that I have the skills and ability to accomplish more than I think I can. Part of this may stem from having to justify my life and career choices to others as I am not the typical person that you envision when you think of the word: ‘Guide’. Another obstacle is the under-representation of mentors, colleagues, and friends that share my body size, style of learning, and way of thinking, and can provide feedback on how best to use my strengths as strengths, and strategies to turn my weaknesses into strengths.

IMPORTANCE:

Being successful in the Ski Guide Exam would mean that I can finally be recognized as a full ACMG Ski Guide and be able to guide independently without supervision. It would give me the ability to supervise and mentor other aspiring ski guides who may relate to some of the challenges that I've encountered through the guiding journey. I hope through this ripple effect, that one day, when someone says ‘Guide’, that it would not seem abnormal to picture someone like me.
KRISTIN SEVERSON

usa

PROGRAM: 

Outdoor Emergency Care

OBSTACLES:

There are three obstacles that have stood in my way of progressing toward my goal of being an alpine patroller through the NSP. These three adorable obstacles have the names Lillian, Everett, and Eleanor. I have had the wonderful fortune of being a stay-at-home mom for over a decade. However, this has come at a cost, both financially and personally. They are now in school full-time, and I am currently in my candidate year with Granite Peak Ski Patrol.

IMPORTANCE:

The OEC course is the first step in becoming an alpine patroller through the NSP. I am so excited to serve guests on the hill during their time of medical need. In addition, I am looking forward to seeing what kinds of career doors might open with being a ski patroller. Ultimately my greatest desire is to be a lifelong active member of the NSP.
EUGENIE CATALDO

FRANCE

PROGRAM: 

GirlsUp Camp

OBSTACLES:

I never had the chance to follow a technical course (I learned very young with my courageous and patient dad), today I manage on all types of terrain by dint of having practiced and thanks to the passion, but I lack elements to achieve goals in terms of technics to perfect my practice.

IMPORTANCE:

This course is important for me because having adopted the practice of hiking 100%, I am sure that each training is useful for the good practice and safety (of oneself and of all). The mountain is a hostile environment, and it is advisable to update oneself regularly and to remain humble. If I have the opportunity to carry out this training, I commit myself so that it is not the last one and also to motivate more and more those who are around me to do the same.
ASPEN WILKS

usa

PROGRAM: 

Avalanche Safety L1

OBSTACLES:

One of the largest obstacles that has stood in my way of getting to where I want to be in skiing and winter travel has been myself and overcoming doubts surrounding whether I am capable of gaining these skills and deserving of being in these spaces. My introduction to winter skills and skiing has been through the search and rescue team, Albuquerque Mountain Rescue, that I have been a member of since 2014. During the more than 7 years I have been in search and rescue, I have worked to build my skills, step into leadership roles, and prove to myself that I belong in these outdoor spaces.

IMPORTANCE:

I am still missing the avalanche skills that will allow me to respond to more missions and have greater confidence in my winter skills. This avalanche course will provide the foundational knowledge that I can do things that I have historically not believed myself to be capable of. Being mentored by the incredible women on my team has been instrumental in my growth in the outdoors; seeing women in leadership roles on my team is what initially allowed me to imagine that I could also be a leader in these spaces one day.

NOTE:

Aspen is a co-founder of the Women in Rescue organization whose goal is to increase access, representation, and long-term retention for women in the rescue industry.
RENEE SEAMAN

CANADA

PROGRAM: 

CSIA Trainer Development and Trainer Exam

OBSTACLES:

As a young athlete in Alpine Ski Racing, I only ever had one female coach and she was everything to me. Representation matters and at the age of 13, seeing a woman excelling in a leadership role within the ski industry was the inspiration for me to go "hmm, maybe I could do that one day". One of the greatest obstacles is the need to always fight for space at the table. In order to see better female representation in the ski industry, we need to support women as they pursue qualifications that will bring them to higher levels in leadership. Having a more diverse workforce benefits everyone in the sport, not just women. It brings in new perspectives that will push the industry to keep evolving past the status quo.

IMPORTANCE:

I want to be that role model for young women in the ski industry just like my coach was for me at 13. As a Level 4 Ski Instructor, I would be in the position where I could serve in that role. It would allow me to pursue higher levels of Course Conductor training as well which would, in turn, enable me to take an active role in the education of more women going after certification levels. I would like to create learning opportunities that encourage women to pursue careers in the ski industry. The goal of becoming a Level 4 Instructor is not only a personal achievement but an opportunity to create the space for more women to rise through the industry with me.
HUMAIRA FALKENBERG

usa

PROGRAM: 

PSIA National Academy 2022 at Big Sky, MT

OBSTACLES:

As human beings we have basic needs. This concept is best captured in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow presents a pyramid with the most fundamental (physiological) need to be met first forming the base, progressing up through social and emotional needs (safety and security, then sense of belonging, and self-esteem) until a person can achieve self-actualization. Experiencing belonging in snows sports in complex. Suffice it to say that I have been weaving through largely male dominated cross sections throughout my entire life--from early schooling (I went to an all-boys school in Pakistan), to the study of science, recreation (mountaineering), work (electric sector) to teaching skiing/snowboarding and to designing & building a house. Even more, as a woman of color, the representation and inclusion in any of the above fields is generally rare.  While the intersectionality of gender, race, and immigration status is complicated, I’m acutely aware as a woman of color in snow sports that security and safety are congestion points in my Maslow’s hierarchy of learning. It was evident that people like me: a dark brown woman with an accent, where English was the third language, an immigrant who didn't dress the part were ever intended to be included in snow sports. I came to skiing late in adulthood. I was mocked and heckled as I used skis that were 20 years too old with boots that barely fit and since I was unable to afford a lift ticket, I hauled my tawny body up a snow-covered golf course hill lugging the weight of antique skis on my shoulder just so I could practice a few downhill runs. Since I didn't have appropriate ski clothing, I would wear my newspaper delivery waterproof yellow jersey that said "New York Newsday" with sweatpants tucked in my ski boots. This was my introduction to skiing. When the snow sports community fosters healthy levels of risk taking, where I can feel psychological and emotional safety absent judgment, it’s only then can I truly leap from the experience of a trust-based relationship to an experience of belonging. When we belong, we thrive.

IMPORTANCE:

I was determined to experience the magic of snow. The stillness of winter and the quiet of snow-covered forests are there for me too as a civil right. While security and safety remain a congestion point in my hierarchy of learning, I’m striving within my snow sports community to leap and grow and bring others like me along. Grit would be my middle name. While representation and diversity are valuable, it is inclusion we are all striving for. A place to belong without the shadow of unconscious bias, micro aggressions, verbal assaults, heckling, and hate crimes. My goal is to help the snow sports industry culture become more inclusive—where ALL feel a sense of belonging where a mountain space becomes a mountain home.

NOTE:

Humaira is a PSIA Level 1 instructor at Mt. Hood, the Principal of JEDI Outdoors, has served as the Vice Chair of She Jumps Board of Directors and was just elected to the PSIA Northwest Board of Directors - the first woman of color to serve on the Board in its history. Her motto is “When you invest in me, I invest in others.