Introducing Alia, this week’s Faces of HOPE feature!

Favorite Animal – Horses

Favorite Food – Grinders (East Coast Toasted Subs with lots of meat!)

Favorite movie/book/show – The Simpsons

Background / History –
“I grew up in western Massachusetts and was an avid equestrian from an early age. When I got older, I worked as a wrangler on dude ranches in both Colorado and Wyoming. After finishing college, I decided to move to Colorado because of my love of the outdoors. Since arriving in Colorado, I have summited approximately 30 of the 14er’s here and have also back-packed all but 20 miles of the Colorado Trail. I plan on finishing the last 20 miles this year and then I have my sights on doing a 170-mile segment on the Continental Divide Trail. In my spare time, I also enjoy playing ice-hockey.”

Tell us about a unique experience/story that’s happened to you –
“I was hiking in Frisco by myself with my head phones on, which was real dumb, and I was getting a really strange feeling as I was heading up to a creek crossing. As I looked up, I saw a bear stalking me. This of course gave me a start, so I attempted to cross the stream, but the water level was too high as it was spring. I spotted upstream a log that and made way for it while keeping one eye on the bear. When I got to the log I quickly discovered that it was occupied by a porcupine that had no interest in moving out of my way. I thought to myself that they must be working together to make my day extra special. I finally found another log, but as I put my weight on it it to cross the stream, it gave way and I ended up in the ice-cold stream. Needless to say, I wasn’t eaten by the bear or porcupine, but I will never forget that day”.

If you could meet and have dinner with any person who would it be? Why?
“It would be Sir Edmund Hillary because of his love for hiking/climbing or Tom Brady. It’s a toss-up.”

What would you change about the world?
“I just want people to get along and stop being so divided. Just accept one another and reunite around good causes like HOPE!”

Why is HOPE important to you?
“I didn’t realize how many people go without sufficient food until I came to HOPE. HOPE does a great job reaching out to those who are struggling with food shortage and this is really vital to communities”.