By Sabena D’Souza, Achieve Tahoe Parent

Achieve Tahoe has been a “dream come true” organization for my daughter and our family!! My 13 year old non-speaking autistic daughter loves water. However, other than swimming, we never tried any sports with her because my husband and myself have no experience with any water sports activity. Also, because of her disability, and the challenges that come with it, we were apprehensive of trying anything new that we are unfamiliar with, because of safety concerns. However, thanks to Achieve Tahoe, and their amazing staff and volunteers, my daughter and our family were able to participate in water sports like kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, sea doo riding and tubing for the first time ever in a safe environment! We had so much fun as a family!!

Himani getting ready to paddle with the Kawai’ulu ‘O Tahoe Outrigger Canoe Club

My daughter had such a great experience, that we participated in Sierra Summer Sports for two consecutive months this summer! The staff is very warm and friendly and the volunteers are all experienced in water sports. They took the time to get to know my daughter and were very patient, supportive, and encouraging. My daughter had the BEST possible time!! It was definitely the highlight of her summer!! She was laughing and giggling, and screaming in excitement every time she participated in any of the water sports. Her favorite is tubing.

Achieve Tahoe is a great platform for people with disabilities and their families to enjoy water sports. It truly helps us realize that disability is not a limitation to enjoy life to the fullest! We are very grateful to have this opportunity for our daughter and our family! We definitely intend to participate every year going forward!! We also got the opportunity to meet other families, who have spoken highly about their ski lessons, and we hope to try skiing too in winter. A BIG THANK YOU to Achieve Tahoe and to their amazing staff and volunteers!! You rock!!

Himani put together a photo essay of her experience at Sierra Summer Sports. Scroll through to see Himani’s highlights from her summer with Achieve Tahoe.

Thank you Himani, Sabena, and Hitendra for joining us this summer! We can’t wait to see you back next year, and we hope to see you on the slopes this winter.