Her most recent non-profit, K2 Adventures Foundation was co-founded in 2009 with her business partner, along with twenty five board members and a junior board. K2 Adventures Foundation, Inc. is a qualified 501(c) 3 nonprofit, national and international organization whose mission is to care for children, adults and families with special needs and or life changing medical circumstances by providing services, support and funds that will be used for educational and medical enrichment. Kristen also co-founded an adventure travel company called K2 Adventure Travel that combines international hiking adventures with community service in orphanages and schools for the disabled. Kristen is an international mountain guide and NOLS first responder who has led over 600 individuals either climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiking on the Inca Trail, trekking into Mt. Everest Base Camp or hiking across the Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim.
Kristen graduated from Arizona State University in 1992 with a BA in Education and graduated from Cardinal Stitch University in 1997 with a Masters Degree in Education. She started her first non-profit at the young age of 25 in the Sheboygan Area School District, in Sheboygan Wisconsin, helping the less fortunate with basic necessities. Her small idea started in one school and is currently running 21 years later in 26 schools.
Today, Kristen serves the disabled community by changing the lives of individuals in the USA and in orphanages in Moshi, Tanzania; Cusco, Peru; and Katmandu, Nepal. She believes that all individuals, whether they are disabled or not, deserve the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.
Over the past seven years in Tanzania, through Kristen’s leadership K2 Adventures Foundation has provided over 3.5 million dollars of in-kind and monetary donations to rebuild a government school and orphanage that serves 75+ blind, albino and medically challenged kids along with over 500 children from the surrounding community. Today, that orphanage is thriving with a full sustainable program allowing the children to eat three square meals a day, sleep in beds with mosquito nets and blankets, but most importantly each child has medical and dental care; all because of her desire to change a person’s life.
In Cusco, Peru, 75 kids that are medically and cognitively challenged had been left without any type of adaptive care for their disabilities. Over the last five years, Kristen along with others have taken walkers, magnifiers, canes, wheelchairs, blankets, diapers and so much more to the Senora Del Carmen School for the disabled with the mission to make a statement that the kids with disabilities needed to be treated like any other individual that needed help.
In Kathmandu, Nepal, after the last few years of devastation, once again, Kristen and the team launched into a campaign that raised over $45,000 to help support a local orphanage called HAMWAA that serves children that lost a parent in a tragic climbing accident. 100% of all the donations went directly to the rebuilding efforts in Kathmandu and the local villages.
Finally, in Arizona and other locations in the United States, Kristen has made it her mission to ensure that individuals born with a disability have the opportunity to apply for recreational and adaptive equipment through K2 Adventures Foundation. K2 has distributed over $750,000 worth of awards and grants to individuals and programs that serve the disabled community. She has been featured in a local Super Bowl commercial, in magazines and on local TV stations for all of her accomplishments.
Kristen is married to Jeff Sandquist and is the proud mother of four sons.