Foresight is turning 15!

As Foresight is moving forward, we circle back

Foresight 15 Year LogoForesight Ski Guides is celebrating its 15th season and founder Mark G. Davis recently reflected on the evolution of the nonprofit.

Foresight has tweaked its programs and target audiences over the years to meet the needs of the Visually Impaired Participants (VIPs). But the nonprofit maintained its mission to make recreation affordable and accessible through each shift in VIPs — from the early days when Foresight only guided adult skiers to the current expanded program at Front Range schools.

During the early days of the program, Foresight followed the need of wounded war veterans who wanted to regain their feeling of independence like Army Maj. Scott Smiley. At the time, The Early Show on CBS shadowed Smiley on the slopes with his Foresight guide @VailMtn.

The @CBSThisMorning news crew interviewed Davis who talked about the importance of challenging VIPs so they can discover their “resized” abilities within their visual impairment.

“They learn about what their limits are and they learn to resize their limits and redetermine those limits,” Davis said at the time. “They take those opportunities and they really improve the quality of their lives.”

Foresight continued its goal to improve VIPs’ lives when it introduced a new fitness program a few years later to students at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs.

Studies revealed that obesity was a serious problem among blind youth who are often left out of recreational sports. CSDB students began skiing in the winter with Foresight and the nonprofit helped create an off-season exercise routine to keep them moving year round.

Former Foresight senior program coordinator, the late Randy Witte, was an instructor at CSDB at the time and he noticed a change in the students right away.

“After we introduced the off-season exercise program, the students had a lot more stamina skiing in Vail with Foresight,” Witte said. “Prior to the program, the kids would start to lose their energy by lunchtime, but Foresight’s new exercise regimen really increased their ability to maintain that energy on the slopes.”

Foresight kept its momentum serving younger VIPs and it reached out to Front Range schools in Denver, Jefferson, Aurora, and Douglas counties.

For the past three seasons, Foresight has expanded its youth program to bring visually impaired and blind students age 7-19 from Front Range school districts up to Vail for guided skiing.

The teachers say Foresight gives the teachers “more tools in their toolbox” to assist the students in attaining their education goals as defined by Expanded Core Curriculum from the National Agenda for visually impaired youth, Davis said.

So when our VIPs graduate from high school, Foresight has helped them get a more equal footing to their sighted counterparts, he said.

The VIPs needs may have changed over the past 15 seasons, but the mission remains.

“As Foresight is moving forward we circle back — making recreation affordable and accessible,” Davis said.

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