Sonya is a seasoned teacher, advocate, artist, climber, and is also a member of the Deaf community where she currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Sonya has always been a wild child of the 70's, grew up on the family ranch in Las Vegas with Red Rock Canyon nearby. She attended Azusa Pacific University earning a BA and MA degree. At college, she took classes which focused on outdoor recreational activities such as rock climbing, hiking, mountaineering, where her passion for the outdoors grew.
Over the years, she has completed various outdoor courses via REI, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), PCGI and Red Rock Rendezvous (RRR). She started a Deaf climbing group at RRR in Las Vegas where she also recruited and trained ASL Outdoor Adventure Interpreters (OAIs) to create more accessible outdoor space for the Deaf community. She also hosts the annual ASL Climb and Camp weekends in Joshua Tree, CA for the past four years. It grows every year and took on a life of its own!
In 2012, Sonya started a Facebook group called ASL Climbing Network, for Deaf and hearing climbers who know American Sign Language (ASL) and those learning. Members can share resources, ideas, support, and connect. ASL Climbing Network has hosted ASL Outdoor events, ASL Climb days and weekends in Southern California and hope to resume these again in the near future.
Sonya's vision is to elevate and connect the outdoors, recreation industry, and the Deaf community. This helps raise awareness on what true access, equality and inclusion looks like. It is important to create a culture where these key components are a given and not an afterthought.What's your favorite Mountain House meal?
Picking only one favorite is too hard, so I am going to pick two! The 1st favorite is the Creamy Macaroni & Cheese, the 2nd is the Yellow Curry.What's your favorite place to hunt/hike/fish/camp/be?
Joshua Tree National ParkTop three pieces of gear that you never leave home without?
In-Reach, Headlight, and nail clippersWhat's one bucket list item you plan on checking off this year?
Climb Mt. Rainier!