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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Wild Perspectives: Just Say Hello: Building a More Inclusive Mountain Town

Challenge Aspen

This event was recorded on February 20, 2024 at The Collective Snowmass, as part of the 2024 Winter Wild Perspectives Series, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

About the Presentation

Hear from three thriving adaptive athletes in the Roaring Fork Valley who are using their art, visibility, and voice to remind us that when access for people with disabilities is equal, the possibilities become limitless.

About the Speakers

Jakaline Keller was born in Guatemala and came to Aspen with her twin sister Janette when they were 8 months old. Jakaline worked at Theater Aspen during this past summer. Jakaline starts her Food and Beverage Attendant job with Aspen Snowmass Ski Co on December 12. Jakaline’s goal is to become a ski patroller, ski instructor, or forest ranger.

Adam Lavender has been a resident of the valley for 25 years, starting his woodworking company in the early 2000s. He was a member of Aspen Snowmass Snowboard School for 9 years and began racing mountain bikes in the early ’90s up until his cervical spinal cord injury in 2012. Since, Adam has tried everything within his means to maximize his recovery and optimize his health, in hopes of being a better father and a more involved member of the community. This winter will be his 9th winter of adaptive skiing since his injury. He credits the success of his recovery, in part to the local bridging bionics program, and also to Challenge Aspen for renewing his love for the mountains and sharing that love with his loved ones and his community. Adam co-founded a local non-profit called Mods4Quads to bring solidarity and connectedness to the spinal cord injury community. Adam will share with us his vision for the future, from bolstering the spinal cord injury community as a whole to creating a more robust support network for those in our community.

Sam Ferguson is a Paralympian and X-Games silver medalist who has competed on the international stage and been featured in films such as Warren Miller’s Dynasty. Sam has also worked professionally as a speaker, has served on boards for several non-profits and community groups, and was the race director for Susan G Komen for a Cure Colorado. These days Sam is working as an accountant and is an avid skier, kayaker and fisherman.