As fresh powder coats the mountain tops across southern Colorado, a magnet-like force draws numerous Colorado College students and their peers to skiing and snowboarding wonderlands where the college hopes safety and fun can intersect.

Recently, in light of professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce hosting a discussion about his Love Your Brain campaign, the Department of Neuroscience along with the Office of Accessibility Resources and the Freeriders Union of Colorado College (FUCC) held a pledge in the Worner Campus Center for this cause.

The pledge took place at the end of January and had students sign their names on a brain in exchange for their vow to lead safer lifestyles.

Due to high volumes of CC students frequently engaging in high-risk sports on a fairly regular basis, this campaign and pledge was one that had deep roots within the CC culture.

One of the driving forces behind this pledge was Connor Sample (’17), a member of the FUCC who felt a personal connection to this cause.

“Starting from a young age, my parents always encouraged me to wear a helmet and I always have,” said Sample. “Last year at Winterfest, I also gave myself a concussion skiing. Luckily, I was wearing a helmet. Had I not been, I think it would have been a very different injury.”

Love Your Brain is a campaign that encourages those who pledge to understand the effects of concussions as well as other traumatic brain injuries and, as a precaution, to wear a helmet.

Their mission states: “LoveYourBrain Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life for people affected by brain injuries. We are a growing family of like-minded individuals who believe that the brain is our most important piece of equipment. Our message—LoveYourBrain—embodies our positive approach to brain injury prevention, recovery, and brain health.”

The campaign was started after Kevin Pearce suffered a critically traumatic brain injury as he prepared for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Consequently, he had to relearn essentially everything, including how to talk and walk. His inspiring road to recovery is captured in the HBO documentary “The Crash Reel.”

Four years after the accident, Kevin Pearce and his brother, Adam Pearce, began this foundation to help others optimize their brain health by building a supportive, educational, and empowering community.

Their efforts have spread across the country and have affected and inspired millions of fans and viewers to always make the safer choice.

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