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Olympic Skater, Sasha Cohen
Sasha Cohen is an acclaimed U.S. figure skater. She is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World Championship medalist, the 2003 Grand Prix Final Champion, and the 2006 U.S. Champion. In 2012, Cohen was a contestant on NBC's "Tylenol Cold Improv Ice" with other skating champions such as Jeremy Abbott, Mirai Nagasu and Johnny Weir.
Figure Skating in Harlem is the first nonprofit organization of its kind, combining the power of education with the discipline of figure skating to transform young lives and help undeserved girls achieve academic success as well as physical and emotional health. The organization celebrated it's 15th Anniversary in 2012 and is currently looking for a new home for year-round skating and educational programming that will allow them to greatly increase their number of participants.
Interview Conducted Via Email By: Giacinta Pace
Q: What is your cause and how did you get involved?
Sasha: I work with a variety of causes but I have worked the longest and most consistently with Figure Skating in Harlem. We raise money every year in April at our Gala at Wolman Rink. The founder, Sharon Cohen, reached out to me, asked to me to be on the board and lend support through spreading awareness and participating in their yearly event. I believe I have been involved for nearly 10 years now.
Q: There are so many charities and causes out there, why is this one important to you?
Sasha: This cause is dear to me because it is based on skating, and through skating one develops a strong character that will help in overcoming obstacles throughout life. Many of these underprivileged girls have gone on to receive scholarships at schools like Brown University.
Q: What do you hope for the future of this organization?
Sasha: To expand to other sports and other platforms maintaining the same concept. By learning the skills to persevere, sacrifice, and dedicate oneself early on in life, the possibilities for life achievements increase dramatically. This strong mentality, high self esteem and fighting attitude start in ice skating but really will change these girls lives forever.