Meet Our Team

Who are we?

Anyone look familiar? Say hi at the next event!

Anyone have skills/experience in an area you would like to improve on or learn more about? Reach out!

Thank you for being a part of our family ~

Pilar

(she/her)

Co-Founder & Managing Director of Sending In Color

Hometown: Medellin, Colombia

Occupation: Graphic Designer

Hobbies besides climbing: Being a plant mom, Photography, board games, and traveling. 

Years/experience climbing: 12 years with multiple breaks in between

Favorite discipline of climbing: When I started it was sport climbing, but since I moved to Chicago I fell in love with bouldering.

Favorite gym or crag: Gym – FA Humboldt, Crag – Rocktown in GA and Little Rock City in Chattanooga | Chickamauga, Cherokee territories. 

Goals: Stay injury free for as long as possible, and take up rope climbing again. 

Goals: Stay injury free for as long as possible, and take up rope climbing again. 

What does Sending in Color mean to you: SO MANY THINGS.

When I started I had no expectations for Sending in Color to grow and get to where we are now.  I wanted to create a space specifically for people of color coming from different backgrounds to meet each other, learn and climb together.


Now, it is a space to hang out and climb with friends that have become family, and  meet other amazing people to help introduce them to the sport, and keep growing and fostering a diverse and inclusive community in Chicago.

Instagram: @pily.climbs

Justin

(he/him, they/them)

Co-Founder of Sending In Color

Hometown: Southside of Chicago 

Occupation: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager at NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School)

Hobbies besides climbing: Exploring abandoned buildings; reading about anything and everything; photography & cinematography

Years/experience climbing: 10 years ~ I’m mostly a sport climbing and boulderer? But I’ve been trying to get more into trad climbing and ice climbing (occasionally). Additionally, I’ve been engaging in mountaineering  

Favorite discipline of climbing: Crag napping ~ 2nd favorite would be bouldering with lots of friends

Favorite gym or crag: I love FA (First Ascent) gyms because of the community and FAmily that I’ve found within them. The Red River Gorge holds a special place in my heart as my home crag.

Goals: Have an extraordinarily silly amount of fun everytime that I’m climbing ~ work on finding a consistent and lively breath while climbing ~ 

What does Sending In Color mean to you:

SIC is more than I could have ever dreamed of ~


Unfortunately, I’ve been away from our community for awhile now but I see each and every person who is a part of SIC as family.

Indira

(she/her)

Manager of Program Partnerships

Hometown: Chicago

Occupation: Social Worker

Hobbies besides climbing: nail art, dancing, karaoke, running, CrossFit, sleeping

Years/experience climbing: a little over 3 years

Favorite discipline of climbing: bouldering

Favorite gym or crag: gym – BKB, crag – Hueco Tanks in El Paso, TX

Goals: overcome my fear of leading, get strong

What does Sending In Color mean to you:

SIC means more to me than I can put into words. As a woman of color, it can be easy to doubt myself as a climber and whether or not I belong at a gym or at a crag. SIC has helped create a community that lets me know that this space is for me.


It has also brought me much joy to see friends and family come out to events and feel comfortable entering an intimidating space. SIC is a family that lifts me up in many different ways.

Instagram: @goldaclimbs

Trevor

(he/him)

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Occupation: Organizer

Hobbies besides climbing: Photography, music, reading, camping, hiking.

Years/experience climbing: 4. Sport, a bit of trad, a couple multi-pitches, lots and lots of bouldering. My first serious climbing experiences were serious scrambles! Climbing up the backside of two 14’ers in Colorado (Castle & Conundrum Peak) and soloing the second flatiron in boulder while wearing tennis shoes. After being scared shitless all this, I knew I had to get into climbing.

Favorite discipline of climbing: Technical face climbing. 

Favorite gym or crag: Horse Pens 40, Devil’s Lake

Goals: v6/5.12 outside, 100 lb pull up, 7 outdoor climbing weekends this fall, share more of my climbing, photography, and myself with others through social media.

What does Sending in Color mean to you:

A network of people that want to share the experience of climbing with each other and invite new climbers to join them.


Instagram: @trevorlately

Christine

(she/her)

Hometown: Chicago/suburbs (Andersonville, Morton Grove/Skokie)

Occupation: Medical Speech Language Pathologist (swallowologist)

Hobbies besides climbing: eating, snowboarding, dancing, car karaoke-ing, being a hedgie and cat mom, Filipino/Fil-Am community things, hopefully gonna get back into aerials, and learn how to surf

Years/experience climbing: 3 years; I have experience bouldering indoor/outdoor, top rope/lead indoor/outdoor, multipitch (trad follow), ice climbing, DWS (deep water soloing)

Favorite discipline of climbing: lead, DWS, LWC (laughing while climbing)

Favorite gym or crag: My favorite gym is FA Avondale. My favorite outdoor climbing area is Payahuunadü (Bishop, CA) and Alabama Hills, CA!

Goals: Generally – continue to get stronger while preventing injuries, improve my “anti-style” aka “burly” climbs, work some outdoor projects, continue to expand my repertoire of climbing/outdoor skills and knowledge, and be happy with my work-life-climbing balance. Numbers/grades-wise – indoor 5.12’s, V7/8; outdoor 5.11+/12-, V5-7.

What does Sending In Color mean to you:

“it’s easy”


In a sport that can sometimes be so difficult and frustrating due to the inherent challenges of climbing as well as the historic/current demographic of the sport… this community, this family makes me feel safe, warm, validated, and completely stoked!!

Instagram: @cjoy_climb

Roger

(he/him)

Hometown: Chicago

Occupation: Healthcare Consultant

Hobbies besides climbing: Outdoor activities – hiking, backpacking, mountaineering. Eating all the foods, Yoga 

Years/experience climbing: Been bouldering and sport climbing for about 4 years. In the last 2, really shifted into going outdoors for bouldering and lead. Dabble in ice climbing and did my first multipitch this year.

Favorite discipline of climbing: Bouldering outdoors

Favorite gym or crag: Favorite area is Bishop. Favorite local crag is Governor Dodge 

Goals: Develop more rope management, knot, and anchor building skills, go on more multipitch trips. Train 1 arm pull up. Climb v6+ outdoors. 

What does Sending In Color mean to you:

Building a respectful and knowledgeable community that ensures both climbing and outdoor recreation is inclusive to everyone no matter their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.


Instagram: @rogpogli9

Emily

(she/her)

Hometown: Newark, Delaware

Occupation: Director at a non-profit that hosts service-learning projects throughout the city, focusing on social justice advocacy and educating volunteers on the history and current state of the city

Hobbies besides climbing: ultimate frisbee, traveling, hiking, coffee, brunch

Years/experience climbing: 5 years; bouldering, top rope, lead




Favorite discipline of climbing: the mental aspect – giving space for each person to have a clear state of mind, but also challenging them to overcome fear as well as being willing to make mistakes and learn from them

Favorite gym or crag: gym – First Ascent Uptown; crag – Stone Fort (Little Rock City) in Chattanooga, TN

Goals: Send a true V7 before 2019 ends

What does Sending in Color mean to you: SIC is one of the most beautiful communities I have been a part of.

The support of the community is hands down the strongest I have experienced while climbing – not only through cheering each other on while on the wall, but also in life outside of climbing. Each person genuinely cares about the next and is pushing to make the gym/climbing realm a safe, equitable, affordable place for all people to enjoy.


We could honestly use a lot more of this influence in our world, and I’m honored to be a part of and learn from such a powerful community.

Ae

(he/his)

Photo Credit: Edward Yu

Hometown: Bloomington, MN 

Occupation: Social Policy Researcher (Survey Analyst)

Hobbies besides climbing: Ultimate frisbee (mostly goaltie), reading, aimlessly walking around, oh! Food!.

Years/experience climbing: about 4 years

Favorite discipline of climbing: both sport climbing and bouldering — will go into phases liking one over the other.

Favorite gym or crag: FA uptown because of proxy of home, FA avondale for rope climbing, Costa Blanca area for favorite crags so far.

Goals: Climb outside as much as possible in 2019 – 2020 – Specifically, getting out to the Red at least twice this fall. Getting reps and sends outside, starting with base grades of 5.10 – 5.11. One day send 5.12a outside (not a 2019-2020 goal currently).

What does Sending In Color mean to you: It’s a safe place for people who look like you to come together and share their passion for climbing.

It’s a home where you can be yourself and tell stories of you. It’s a common place for you to listen to others’ stories, may they be similar or different.


Instagram: @asengmavong

Leicester

(he/him)

Hometown : Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

Occupation : Art Director 

Hobbies besides climbing: Playing drums and photography

Years/experience climbing : 6yrs

Favorite discipline of climbing : Bouldering

Favorite gym or crag : favorite gym- first ascent avondale, favorite crag- I just want to be outside. 

Goals : Finally pick up lead climbing. Do a multi pitch climb

What does Sending in Color mean to you :

Creating a strong community that looks more like the world we live in.

Mandy

(they/them)

Hometown: Moved from Toronto to Chicago about 3 years ago

Occupation: Software developer

Hobbies besides climbing: Eating/cooking/travelling

Years/experience climbing: 3+ years

Favorite discipline of climbing: I love sport for the intensity, and bouldering for the social aspect 

Favorite gym or crag: Indoors: FA Uptown. Outdoors: Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, since it was the first time I ever climbed out doors, and when I got hooked on climbing, and where I worked my first hard outdoor boulder. Red rocks, for it’s incredible rock, awesome landscape, and one of my favourite climbing trips with my favourite crew. RRG because. Well you know Devil’s lake for all those delicate glassy-ass boulders, and for the talus fields. Shoot every place I climb is my favourite!

Goals: Long term – stay healthy and climb into my old age, and travel all over the world to do it. 5.13 sport outdoors; Short term – Some personal sport and bouldering milestones, indoor and out. Try my hand at crack climbing. Learn how to do top rope anchors. Learn multipitch. DWS. Do the front and side splits. Get a scuba cert.

What does Sending In Color mean to you:

Having a community in my favourite hobby, that is supportive, relatable, and uses climbing for something bigger than climbing.

Alex

(he/him)

Hometown: Chicago (Lakeview/Uptown/Avondale)

Occupation: Transportation and student

Hobbies besides climbing: Photography, Film and Brazilian Jiujitsu

Years climbing: 2

Favorite discipline: Bouldering

Favorite gym or crag: First Ascent Humboldt Park and Devils Lake

Goals: Lead climb outside.

What does sending in color mean to you?

A group of passionate, dedicated people. Who are sharing their love of the sport to make their community a better place, bringing people of various cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds together for a fun cause.

Jenny

(she/her)

Hometown: Chicago born and raised. Actual Chicago… not the Suburbs! (I’m one of those sticklers haha) West Rogers Park to be exact

Occupation: Software developer

Hobbies besides climbing: Dungeons and Dragons, Scifi and horror novels/tv/movies, Board games, Old school FPS (CounterStrike), Old school RPG (Final Fantasy), Travelling, Hiking, Teaching

Years/experience climbing: 1 year

Favorite discipline of climbing: Sport climbing — I’m terrified of heights, and feel safe on the rope

Favorite gym or crag: Favorite gym is Avondale because it’s close to my current home (I’m up at Irving Park), and it’s the only FA gym with ropes. Favorite crag has to be Markezina Greda in Split, Croatia. The views are insane, the temperature is perfect year round, the rock is an amazing texture, and you can see into ancient abandoned buildings that were built into the side of the mountain.

Goals: Short term – learn to lead belay and be able to lead belay outdoors; Long term – build strength, continue to have fun, and keep up with my hecka strong homies!

What does Sending In Color mean to you:

SIC to me means making a space intentionally comfortable for everyone regardless of any background

Wanjiru

(she/her)

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Occupation: Student

Hobbies besides climbing: Reading, Podcasts, Plants, Music, Food, Traveling, and Creating Art

Years/experience climbing: About 3 years

Favorite Discipline: Sport

Favorite gym or crag: Gym- First Ascent Avondale/ Humboldt it is a tie. Crag- Hell’s Gate in Kenya is my favorite so far!

Goals: Definitely want to do some multi-pitch climbs within the next year and try trad. Also trying to get better at bouldering, I enjoy it for the social aspect but I struggle most with my head game and the fact that I am just not good at it. Grades wise (outdoor only): Would love to eventually rope 5.13 and boulder V6.

What does Sending in Color mean to you: Community! A beautiful community that took me in and encouraged me to be a better climber and the enjoyment of climbing with more people who look like me.

I feel safe to fail and consistently feel like I can come as I am and be accepted.


Instagram: @coffeeandhumans