Hi my name is Cassandra Lee. My long time passion is for adventure travels. I have had the chance to experience black water rafting, glacier hiking and backpacking in all different countries. My bucket list includes visiting the Nairobi National Park, backpacking the Silk Road, volunteering for a turtle reserve in South America and hopefully eventually being able to say I have visited every continent on earth.
I have had the opportunity to participate in the Climb to Conquer Program starting from 2012. I am a volunteer with KidStart and mentor a youth once a week. KidStart connected us with this great program and we have been to at least 8 or more events. We started at the Cliffhanger gym in Richmond and eventually have joined events at the Hive boulder gym. We have learned to climb with ropes with the help of the volunteers belaying for us. They taught us how to check and tie the ropes, where to place our feet and which holds to use and continued to challenge us in a safe and friendly environment. This ‘family of volunteers’ really made each visit special and the volunteers ended up feeling more like new friends at the end of each visit than someone there supervising our safety.
I have watched my youth change from a shy, quiet little girl to an animated, interactive, playful little girl. She has really come out of her shell in this environment. I have spent 3 years volunteering with her and I was unable to open her up to talking or to motivate her more than with climbing. This program was able to make her feel confident, connected socially and in her element. She really has become a climbing monkey and this program has helped her to feel fearless and part of a supportive and encouraging group. The volunteers at the Climb to Conquer Program are the main reason why we have had such a great experience. We are lucky to have such a dedicated and supportive group in our community. I would recommend Climb to Conquer Program to all youths and for adults as well. I think I have enjoyed climbing just as much as my youth and we always look forward to our next visits. I hope this program continues to grow in the community as it’s a great outlet and experience for kids of all ages.