ASAP was there for Heltenberg when she needed it most

(11-04-2016)

Article by Alex Hart

Paitton Heltenberg stands in front of the frozen water fall at  Zapata Falls

Paitton Heltenberg participates in the Adams State Adventure Program trips, including ice climbing at Zapata Falls.

The Adams State University Adventure Program was there for sophomore Paitton Heltenberg when she most needed it. She went through a bit of a rough patch as a freshman. She planned to play volleyball, but numerous injuries forced her to stop. Fortunately, she discovered the Adventure Program and the people who helped her through hard times. "Now, I am closer to these people than I ever have been with anyone else."

The Adams State Adventure program (ASAP) focuses on getting outdoors and having fun, all while improving leadership, teamwork and communication skills, things Heltenberg believes changed her for the better. "ASAP basically helped me be more outgoing, like before I would be quiet, calm, collected, kind of shy but now I will just walk up to anyone and talk to them and meet new people regardless of who they are." However, for Heltenberg, the best part of ASAP might be the people involved, mentioning their loving and accepting nature as something she would tell someone looking to join ASAP.

Heltenberg first became involved with ASAP through her freshman orientation when Liz Bosworth, the coordinator of first year immersion, told her about the program. Heltenberg went in the next day, saw they needed a work study, took it, and that led to her joining the program. Heltenberg admits she wasn't very active in the outdoors before joining ASAP, but it's definitely a big part of her life now. Her involvement includes ASAP trips and being on the climbing team.

This summer, the Adams State Adventure Program was named the Top Adventure School by the online magazine, Elevation Outdoors.

The advice Heltenberg would offer any freshman, regardless if they were in the adventure program or not, is very simple. "Go to every class. Do your homework and turn it in on time." She also said the social aspect is important in college. "It is their first year here so they don't really know anyone besides their roommate. Go to dollar bowling on Wednesday, go to the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool, every activity or event that Adams puts on – go to it and meet new people. Do not be afraid to say hi to someone that you don't know."