For siblings Jackson ’24 and Mia ’25 Darr, skiing has long been one of their favorite recreations. “We’ve been skiing since we were little,” said Mia. “It’s a great way for us to be ourselves and not have to worry about school or whatever else is going on in our lives.”
They wanted to share their passion with other kids in the Milwaukee area, and remove the barriers that might prevent kids from accessing the sport of downhill skiing. Thanks to their efforts, more than 45 students ages 8 to 17 enjoyed four days of skiing with rental equipment and gear, transportation, dinner, and lessons provided.
After forming a nonprofit called Positive Altitudes, Jackson and Mia partnered with Sunburst Ski Resorts, The Boys and Girls Club of SE Wisconsin, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the COA Family and Youth Center to make the event happen. “The kids really wanted to be there and ski as much as possible, and it was so fun to watch them improve,” said Jackson. The kids skied a total of four days spread throughout the month of February, and Jackson and Mia were on hand to provide coaching and assistance.
Jackson and Mia participate on University School of Milwaukee’s varsity ski team, and both have competed at the state championships (Jackson in 2021 and Mia in 2022). In addition, Mia was presented with the Sportsmanship Award at the 2022 state championships after being nominated by the team’s coach, Cassie Hoppe. “Mia’s positive attitude on our team really beams through to others,” said Hoppe. “She takes pride in her teammates’ runs, regardless of her own performance. She hasn’t come down the hill yet without a smile on her face, and she always stays until the last racer is done, cheering them on.”
Their work was recently featured in a news story by FOX6 Milwaukee.