Athletes for Hope would not exist without the drive, passion and dedication by athletes all over the world to make the world a better place. In our Member Athlete Spotlight series, it is our hope that the public will get to know our athletes, learn about the philanthropy and advocacy work they’re doing and understand what motivates them to use their platform for good.
What is your name, sport, team?
My name is Laurenne Ross, my sport is Alpine ski racing. I raced on the US Ski Team for 15 years.
What inspired you to give back to your community?
What inspires me to give back is when I see kids’ eyes light up with joy. To know that I can have a positive impact on children’s lives and help serve my community — to be a part of something bigger — is what drives me!
What cause(s) are you passionate about? Why?
I’m really passionate about equality and getting more underprivileged kids into sports…especially girls! Sports have impacted my life incredibly in so many ways, and I want to be able to give every child the opportunity to play and find purpose.
What are some of the things/activities you’ve done in your community in terms of service (AFH related or not)?
In my community I have most recently connected with a program called Every Kid Sports, who “levels the paying field of youth sports” and makes sports more accessible to all kids by providing grants, covering team and participation fees, etc. I’ve also spent a lot of time with my local ski club, MBSEF, coaching and interacting with the kids on the hill and off. I’ve done a few visits with the Boys and Girls Club of Bend, and visited local elementary schools to give talks and try to inspire the next generation of athletes.
How do you balance being a pro/Olympic athlete and participate in a service?
It’s tough to balance being a pro athlete with giving back. Giving back takes time and energy – and as professional athletes we often have little of these to spare. But every moment I’ve spent serving kids in my community has been unquestionably positive, and has in turn given me so much fulfillment and a feeling of purpose.