Alumni Spotlight

Sofi Leroux, a Vancouver, British Columbia native, came to Community School for her postgraduate year in 2012. Since then, she has fostered a lifelong love of skiing and found a way to integrate it into her college career. She took a moment this fall to reminisce on her time in Sun Valley, and catch us up on what she’s up to now!

What made you apply to Community School?

In high school I was a competitive ski racer and raced for the British Columbia Alpine ski team which required that I miss close to 100 days of school a year. I had no driver’s license, hadn’t even thought about applying to university but knew that I wanted to continue ski racing. At the time, my coaches on the provincial ski team were not very supportive so I went looking for a better environment where I could continue taking classes while racing at a competitive level. Our family friends encouraged me to look into Community School.

My senior year in March I visited and skied with the team over the weekend and went to school on Monday and loved it! The town is amazing, Sun Valley is just so welcoming. While other small towns sometimes seem too close knit, Sun Valley and Community School are incredibly inclusive and I just thought I’d have a great year there. And I did!

How did Community School help you orient yourself within your future in skiing and school?

Prior to attending Community School I had not applied to any university. In Canada I went to a general public school and there the university application process is much less stressful. Had I gone to a Canadian university I would have been choosing between five large universities based on what I wanted to study and their applications take a grade, a sample paragraph and your name, that’s about it.

The American process is so much more complicated and the assistance Bags Brokaw and Bob Brock was amazing for me in sifting through those multiple-page applications, SAT and ACT testing and choosing a college that fit my personality and skills in addition to what I wanted to study.

How did Community School positively change the way you balanced skiing with academics?

Community School most impacted my relationship with the outdoors. In my time there, I went from an environmental bystander to an educated agent. I went from having never backpacked or using a camp stove to protecting microbiology and mapping my own adventures. Thanks to Community School, I’ve become a conscious explorer with a philosophical and passionate connection to the outdoors.

How did Community School positively change the way you balanced skiing with academics?

After my senior year of high school on the BC ski team I felt like I had pushed myself too far and Sun Valley really brought back a love for skiing for me. With the help of CS and Jonna at SVSA, I considered my NCAA options and ultimately decided that I’d rather ski to enjoy myself and commit myself to school work. At University of Colorado I’m not on the NCAA ski team, I’m on the USCSA ski team, which is the secondary ski team. It’s not as competitive but I still love it and get to race every weekend in the spring.

I think that SVSA prepared me in the sense that it gave me my love for ski racing back, and made me want to continue to ski race at any level that I could.

What are your favorite memories from your year in Sun Valley?

I really liked living in the dorm. Being a post-grad student, I was the oldest in the dorm and I really liked having younger girls look up to me. I got to spend time with them and be like their older sister. Today, those girls are still some of my best friends from Sun Valley.

I also would say that the inclusivity I felt coming to Sun Valley stood out to me. Community School was such an inclusive and amazing experience and I think the ski academy is similar in the sense that they cater to a wide variety of athletes. Depending on your goals, whether it’s USSA, NorAm or World racing, the coaches and teachers help you find your fit and make it work. That was such a cool experience for me and I’ve not heard of anything like it anywhere else.

What are you up to now?

I’m a senior at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying mechanical engineering. I’m receiving two certificates, one in international engineering in French and the other in engineering management. I’m also part of a sorority and the co-captain of the USCSA ski team here. After two summers of corporate finance internships and success in my major I’m not totally sure what I want to do after I graduate. I’m doing a lot of research into masters programs for biomedical engineering in Canada or maybe taking the year off and traveling to figure out what to do.