June 15, 2023

Five years ago, the Chance Copeland-Ladd Scholarship was established in honor of the young son of former Mountain Recreation board member Bobby Ladd.  Chance was born in February 2018 with a heart defect and was able to breathe the pure Rocky Mountain air before losing his battle. His memory lives on, and is honored through this scholarship, which is awarded each year to up to two Mountain Rec employees or volunteers pursuing either an undergraduate or graduate degree and who embody our organization’s values of courage, joy, community, learning, and excellence. 

“I was honored to work with Bobby on the Mountain Rec board because his passion for recreation and this community was unmatched. When his son Chance passed, we all wanted to do something to support the family and community by creating a scholarship to honor his son,” said Chris Pryor, Mountain Rec former board member. 

The Chance Copeland-Ladd Scholarship is in the amount of $2,500 and for 2023, Mountain Rec is pleased to announce the winners: Caden Johnson and Jeremiah Kehoe.  Both Caden and Jeremiah have worked at Mountain Rec for the past few years, both are excited about continuing their education, and both are passionate about helping our community. 

Caden Johnson, a lifeguard and personal trainer based out of the Gypsum Recreation Center, is focused on becoming an Orthopedic Physician’s Assistant.  He’s headed to Colorado Mesa University to pursue his degree in biology.  “Working at Mountain Rec has provided me the ability to do this job.  I learned how to communicate effectively with my co-workers, bosses, and patrons, and how to form a good community around my job.”  Caden is excited about being a recipient of the Chance Copeland-Ladd Scholarship saying, “It’s really amazing to be selected for a scholarship from an organization that I’m a part-time employee for.  I’m honored and grateful to everyone who made this possible.” 

Jeremiah Kehoe is headed to Montana State University in the fall and plans to study software engineering and computer science.  He says, “For two summers, I’ve worked for Mountain Rec’s summer camp programs as an Outdoor Rec attendant.  In that role and in that department, I’ve received the opportunity to share my enjoyment of outdoor challenges and outdoor activities with young kids.  It’s given me an opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills while doing things I love outside.” 

Mountain Rec wishes Caden and Jeremiah all the best on their academic pursuits, and invite all District staff who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs to apply in December. 

Check out previous scholarship recipients below! 

  • Lauren Rumley & Maddy Callis (2022 recipients) 
  • Erik Forbes (2021 recipient) 
  • Lorena Martinez & Holly Post (2020 recipients) 
  • Jillian Byron & Sam Diaz (2019 recipients)

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