From an early age, Sarah Duprey craved a deeper connection to nature and the outdoors. Some of her fondest childhood memories are learning about local wildlife and playing on the trails at an Audubon Society summer camp as a six-year-old. When she discovered Colorado Mountain College Leadville, she knew it would be the perfect place for her to align her personal passions and professional goals. Today, Sarah is enrolled in both the Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies programs.
“That connection with the natural world has continued throughout my whole life,” says Sarah, “but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I wanted to pursue a career in the environmental field. I want to be able to pass on my love and respect of the earth to others, and fight to protect the environment. It’s something really close to my heart, and if I can spend my life fulfilling those goals, then I’ll feel that I have lived my life well.”
Sarah’s double major allows her to find synergy between the recreation-based Outdoor Education program and the Environmental Studies curriculum rooted in science. She recently completed a summer internship working on Weathervane Farm in Buena Vista, Colorado. In August, she was promoted to a more permanent position living and working on the farm about 40 minutes from Leadville.
“One of my passions is my desire to build sustainable communities that work with – not against – nature,” says Sarah, “where the level of living creates a minimal ecological footprint on our environment. Being this close to the elemental processes of producing food – from planting to maintaining, harvesting, packaging, and selling our produce – my respect for the importance of local farms and farmers in each community has been solidified.”
Sarah, like many other professional women in the outdoor industry, is working towards dispelling stereotypes and breaking down gender barriers.
“It can be intimidating knowing there is often a bias towards women in leadership positions,” she says, “but I believe that this mentality has begun to change, as the outdoor industry is starting a movement to hire more and more females in their workforce.”
“It’s a perfect time for us gals to get our hands dirty in the field and hone our outdoor skills and, most importantly, learn positive leadership strategies to not only make an impact in our future careers, but also be an inspiration for younger girls and other women.”