LIFTing teens on the slopes


Photo: Student Nik Carman and LIFT associate director Audrey Sharp turn their backs on the wind howling off Lake Michigan and toward The Homestead ski hill on Feb. 10.

From staff reports

This winter The Homestead resort is donating free lift tickets and rentals to area teenagers through LIFT, an out-of-schooltime teen center based in Suttons Bay, which is dedicated to empowering local youth to discover their strengths by investing in their evolution, autonomy, and character.

A lack of snow in January delayed the collaboration, but those teens finally hit the slopes on Friday, Feb. 10.

“LIFT is grateful to The Homestead for their kindness in donating free skiing and rentals to our teens!” said LIFT Teen Center founder and director Rebekah TenBrink. “Our time on the slopes has been such a blast, and the conversations on the way home are full of adventurous stories and laughs. Participating in this kind of activity is a great bond- ing experience for the LIFT teens, and provides them with an opportunity they may not have had the resources otherwise to do.”

The teenagers who skied and snowboarded on Feb. 10 concurred.

“It was my first time snowboarding and it was very fun!” said Alondra Calderon, who is 17 and lives near Traverse City. “The staff was kind and very patient with us. I was asking a lot of questions and a staff member was always willing to answer and give tips. I’ve always wanted to try snowboarding and was excited when the opportunity to go for free opened up!”

“This skiing experience was definitely one to remember. Great memories were made with great people,” said Nina Guillen, an 18-year-old Suttons Bay resident.

“It’s refreshing to see people that really care about improving our community. I’m so grateful LIFT is doing what they’re doing,” said Nik Carman, 17, from Suttons Bay.