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Siblings Share Passion for Skiing with Milwaukee-area Youth

Jackson ’24 and Mia ’25 Darr partnered with Sunburst Ski Resorts and local nonprofits to share their love of skiing with more than 45 Milwaukee-area children, coordinating equipment rentals, transportation, dinner, and lessons.

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.

Jackson and Mia Darr pose for a photo with the Milwaukee-area kids they taught how to ski.

After forming a nonprofit called Positive Altitudes, Jackson and Mia partnered with Sunburst Ski Resorts, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, 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 ’12. “Mia’s positive attitude on our team really beams through to others,” said Hoppe. “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.”

Mia Darr

A Triple Threat

Going to state three times in one school year is a rare and exciting feat for any student athlete. Mia Darr ’25 was lucky to experience the state three-peat—as a freshman—when USM’s girls’ tennis, ski, and lacrosse teams all competed at the state championships in the 2021-22 school year, with the lacrosse team bringing home a second consecutive state title this spring (see page 29).

  • Athletics