January 2023 was a special time of school reunion for Hanna Skelley ’12, a Brewster Lifer and Day Student. First, she was back on campus in Wolfeboro for the Winni Classic hockey game on our new outdoor rink. One week later, she returned to her other alma mater, Sacred Heart University, for an alumni game at its brand new campus facility. Just a couple of days after that, she moved from Boston to Colorado to begin working in the Snowsports Ski School department at Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort.
At the resort, she works alongside the other ski school staff to ensure there are smooth lessons and operations on the mountain every day for everyone—from first-timers to advanced skiers—taking lessons. Hanna’s other duties include handling the payroll for the ski instructors. “I’ve always wanted to live and work in the mountains, I just didn’t know how to get myself there,” she says. “I grew up skiing, and I actually learned how to ski the same time I learned how to walk.” Hanna’s dad spent the winters working as a Professional Ski Instructors of American (PSIA) Examiner, and her parents spent their summers running Bailey's Restaurant in Wolfeboro. “I knew it was in my blood to live and work in the mountains,” she says. She has spent the past four years working as a project coordinator for a construction company in Boston— finding stability and confidence in her professional career while looking for a chance for more adventure as she builds her life of purpose. When this opportunity in Colorado came up, she knew it was time for a change and took the chance!
Hanna says Brewster was a positive experience that she looks back on with great fondness. “Knowing that you always had the support of the community but at the same time you were encouraged to challenge and push yourself in ways that you would never do on your own,” is a feeling she remembers from her days as a Bobcat. This relates to her family as well: Having grown up in a small town with a big family, she knew that she would always have their support, but she also wanted to make something of herself and push herself to do her best. Brewster is a small slice of family that Hanna will always carry with her, and she says that whenever she meets someone who has a connection to Brewster Academy, the conversation always immediately lights up: “It’s a place where you want to be, want to grow, and want to always be a part of.” Alumni find that it’s a small world, and Brewster connections can be found everywhere. For the past year, before she moved out to Colorado, Hanna worked alongside Spencer Forbes P’25, a superintendent for Cranshaw Construction, a general contracting and construction management company in Boston. Forbes’ son Gunner is currently a sophomore at Brewster on the hockey team. The coworkers would talk about Brewster every day, reminiscing about their experiences in Wolfeboro.
Hanna says she lives by two words every day: “Show up.” She likes the two-word mantra because it can look different for everyone. “You define it,” she says. “It could be something so simple like showing up at the gym or for someone close to you in need or something on a larger scale knowing you need a change in your life and taking that chance for yourself.” Most importantly, she says, showing up and being there for yourself every day, acknowledging where you are and meeting yourself there. As she begins her adventure in Colorado, and takes more steps on her own life of purpose, Hanna offers this advice: “Know your community and your people, keep them close but also find your passion and what makes you feel alive and take that chance—you never know what it’s going to lead to and where your life will take you.”
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