Hallie Zolynski knows all about facing challenges head on. It’s what she lives for. On her first climb up Mt. Rainier at over 12,000 feet, she awakened to her true self and has been doing what she loves ever since. Every climb has been a lesson in self-reliance and working in harmony with nature. It teaches her about flowing with adversity.
“The youth are the answer to keeping the culture alive.” - Hallie
When she visited Pine Ridge, the people that Hallie met were always very welcoming and happy. But it broke her heart to learn about their struggles with poverty and teen suicide. So she decided to share with them, her passion for mountain climbing. Hallie believes that climbing gives people the opportunity to connect on the same path. It allows them see each other as diverse individuals that have similar aspirations.
In the future, Hallie hopes to take reservation youth on climbs with her. From her own experience, she knows that reaching the mountain summit teaches you that your possibilities are endless. She hopes to inspire Lakota youth to dream out loud and not be afraid of who they are.
By partnering with One Spirit, Hallie’s goal is to raise money and awareness for more youth centers on the reservation. She wants kids to be able to have welcoming places to go after school where they can learn skills for the future. Hallie wants to empower youth to carry on the Lakota traditions, culture and spirit that has been kept alive for so long despite the hardship.