$22,658 raised by 104 donors
Achieve Tahoe builds health, confidence, and independence in people with disabilities through outdoor recreation. Since 1967, we have been providing adaptive recreation so that people with disabilities and their loved ones can access the amazing outdoors of Tahoe. Our programs serve individuals with cognitive, sensory, and physical disabilities ranging from autism spectrum disorder to visual impairments to spinal cord injuries. Over the past few years, we have been working to increase our programming so we can serve anyone who wants to participate at any time.
You can help more people, like Milan, build health, confidence and independence through outdoor recreation.
Growing up in a Spanish-speaking household in Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe, Milan does not come from a skiing family. His mom, Angelica, has struggled to find accessible and affordable activities in the Tahoe area that he can participate in with his cerebral palsy, a developmental disability caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain before, during, or immediately after birth. For Milan, this means that he has hemi-paresis, or muscle weakness, on one side of his body.
“His right side of his body, it’s just kind of weak. It affects his brain. One day he can be really good, the next it’s hard,” says his mother, Angelica.
Before they found Achieve Tahoe, Angelica tried to get him involved in other local youth organizations.
“I tried to put him in sports and the Boys and Girls Club, but to be honest … the kids were really hard on him. He would come home crying, saying, ‘This boy told me I cannot do this, I cannot do that. And I’m not good at that.’ Now at Achieve Tahoe, I like it because nobody’s telling him it's not good enough… He's just doing it. He's enjoying it. And you know, every sport that he's been doing here, he loves it.”
Since starting with Achieve Tahoe, Milan has tried many new sports in addition to skiing. This past summer he has done climbing, archery, paddleboarding, sailing, and equestrian.
Throughout his time at Achieve Tahoe, Milan’s smile, laughter, and kindness have enthused staff, volunteers, and participants alike. Every volunteer knows Milan for his Michael Jackson dance moves and his shout of joy whenever he accomplishes something new.
Milan and his family are thrilled there is an adaptive recreation program near their home and are grateful for Achieve Tahoe’s ability to provide financial assistance through the Scholarship Program.
“To be honest, if you didn’t have a scholarship program, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” Angelica says. “You have this program for people who need it, and we love it. At first, I was scared to come because my English is not going to be perfect, but you guys take the time to hear us and listen whenever I talk. We feel comfortable, like we’re with family.”
Angelica says, “Every time I come here with him and do a sport with him, I enjoy it. Every time we work with different people, and they are all awesome. You guys teach my son not to limit himself, that he can do everything. Every day is special."
Over the past few years, demand for our adaptive programs has increased significantly and we’re working hard to keep up. To meet demand, we need to train more volunteers, enhance our facilities and locations, and expand our programs — our continued growth is key to giving people with disabilities from all backgrounds the chance to experience outdoor recreation in the Lake Tahoe region. Your gift today will help us reach these goals!
Your donation will help hundreds of children and adults with disabilities experience outdoor recreation- something they might not otherwise have the chance to do. Our staff and volunteers are dedicated to creating a positive, long-lasting experience for all participants and their family members. Achieve Tahoe is more than an organization; it is a community that encourages and supports its members to believe "If I can do this, I can do anything!"
Thank you for your support!
Achieve Tahoe's mission is to provide affordable, inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health, confidence, and independence.