Bridging the transition through mentoring and parent support.
Krissy has had 15 years of experience in the wilderness therapy and adolescent treatment field. She graduated from Middlebury College with a joint undergraduate degree in environmental studies and geography. She started in the therapeutic field as a wilderness instructor at Aspen Achievement Academy, working with both adjudicated and at-risk youth in 1996. She then worked at Montana Academy when it was first launched.
Krissy completed her graduate training in clinical social work at both Smith College School for Social Work and at N.M. Highlands University.
Krissy returned to wilderness therapy, first at Aspen Achievement Academy, working with both adolescent boys and girls and their families. She then worked at another Wilderness Program in Duchesne. Krissy's clinical experience includes the treatment of adoption issues, trauma, self-harming behavior, substance abuse, personality disorders, and family system problems. Krissy also worked at True North Wilderness Program in Waitsfield, Vermont.
Krissy is the author of: The Parallel Process: Growing alongside your adolescent or young adult in treatment, published by Lantern Books, 2010.
Krissy grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and went to school in New Hampshire and Vermont. She lived in the west for 10 years working in adolescent programs, and now lives in Vermont with her two daughters.
Known for his calm and collaborative personal style, Jeff has been engaged as an adolescent and family therapist since 2005. A licensed psychotherapist and substance abuse counselor, Jeff is the founding director of Peyton Adolescent Therapy in Portland, OR, and maintains a thriving private practice supporting the emotional wellbeing of adolescents, young adults and their families.
Jeff was born and raised outside of Fairbanks, Alaska and has spent much of his life in the Pacific Northwest. As a result of his personal experience with the power of wilderness as a young man, Jeff began his counseling career as a wilderness therapist. Jeff joined Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs in Oregon in 2005 as a lead therapist.
Jeff is highly regarded for his ability to quickly build rapport with teens and young adult clients, while bringing astute clinical skills and understanding of the unique challenges young people face. Jeff's areas of specialization included substance abuse and addiction, social anxiety and difficulty with interpersonal relationships; developmental trauma (including adoption); depression and low self-worth, and clients who struggle with emotional and behavioral self-regulation. In particular, Jeff is passionate in helping teens access their innate capacities of resilience while fostering the traits of honesty, integrity, self-efficacy and confidence.
In 2008 Jeff accepted the position of Family Services Clinician at Catherine Freer, a position he held for five years prior to joining 360 Transitions. While at CFWTP Jeff was instrumental in expanding the parenting curriculum and family resources, and was a frequent regional and national speaker on topics of interest to parent groups and industry conferences. An experience parent coach, Jeff utilizes a collaborative, strength-based approach and strives for a balance of compassionate support and practical, concrete solutions.
Jeff received his Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Prescott College (AZ), holds a second Masters degree in Music from the Juilliard School in New York City, and pursued doctoral studies at the University of Oregon.
In addition to his counseling career, Jeff is a nationally recognized orchestral percussionist, and continues to regularly perform with the Oregon Ballet, Portland Opera and Oregon Symphony orchestras. Jeff is an award winning composer, an orchestra conductor, and has held leadership positions in artistic administration with several major symphony orchestras.
Jeff is the father of two college age boys, and enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with his family, including his dogs Maggie and Oliver. He lives in Portland, OR.
Following a period of professional river and mountain guiding across the northern Rockies and northeastern Canada, Jon found his way to Aspen Achievement Academy where he worked as a Field Instructor; at the time, the field of wilderness therapy was young - as was Jon - but he knew he had found his calling. Eventually tiring of living out of his pickup across the mountain west, Jon moved to NYC where he shaved, rented an apartment and earned a Master of Science in Advanced Clinical Practice from Columbia University (*04); he has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2006.
Jon has specialized in treating children, adolescents and young adults living with psychiatric, substance related and behavioral disorders, ADHD, emerging personality problems and complex trauma and conflicted family dynamics. He has worked extensively with parents and families to improve systemic health. Trained in sophisticated technique and sound practice, it's Jon's capacity to connect with skeptical clients that has distinguished his practice. He has eight years of experience as a wilderness therapist (and two as Director of Risk Management); two years as a Clinical Director of therapeutic boarding school; four years in private practice, specializing in Parent Coaching, child and adolescent psychotherapy and therapeutic wilderness retreats for families. As a 360 Transitions Parent Coach, Jon is looking forward to applying his experience and skills in his work with parents as their child returns home from treatment.
Away from the office, Jon competes nationally in endurance mountain bike racing for Asheville, NC based Pro/Am cycling team. He and his wife, two daughters and coonhounds enjoy time together in the mountains. Jon is involved in animal rescue, loves chess and knows how to French braid hair, draw unicorns and make bracelets out of blooming clover.
Jodi was born and raised near the Sawtooth Mountain in Idaho where she and her family camped at the mountain lake with their horses for weeks at a time. This is where Jodi's love of the outdoors and of horses was developed.
Jodi graduated from Boise State University in 2003 with her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology K-12 and Health Education. Upon graduation, Jodi became a full-time high school teacher for the next three years where she taught Strength and Conditioning, Health, Dance and Physical Education to high school students. Jodi received an email during the summer before her fourth year of teaching advertising a need for wilderness therapy guides for Entrada wilderness program and felt like this was a good fit for her due to her love of the outdoors and her passion for working with youth. Jodi and her husband both decided to work for Entrada (now Evoke Entrada) and made the long commute from Southern Idaho to Southern Utah for a year working as a wilderness guide for both Entrada and Aspiro Adventures. Jodi knew that she wanted to do more with this type of work and decided to pursue her master's degree.
While working as a teacher, Jodi had already begun her Master's in PE Pedagogy and Exercise Science and so she finished this degree first while working as a developmental specialist and PSR coordinator for several mental health agencies. Jodi was then accepted into the Boise State Masters of Social Work program while she also worked as an adjunct professor for Boise State, the College of Western Idaho and the University of Phoenix. Jodi completed her internship at the Boise VA Medical Center where she worked with homeless veterans to assist them in finding housing.
Upon graduation in 2011 with her Masters in Social Work degree, Jodi accepted a position as a summer clinical therapist for SUWS wilderness program and loved being outdoors and working with families and teenagers. Jodi then moved on to work at Northwest Academy in Naples, Idaho as a clinical therapist and eventually moved into a position with the VA Medical Center which allowed her to be closer to family again. Jodi is also a Wilderness First Responder and is certified in EAGALA where she uses horses as therapeutic tools and has found this to be a highly affective form of therapy for families, veterans and teenagers.
Jodi is married and has 5 hourses, 3 dogs, and 2 cats that she considers to be her "kids for now." Jodi loves working with families with 360 Transitiions and she feels like her journey has come around full circle and feels blessed to have this opportunity.
Jason has 15 years of experience working with adolescents, young adults, and families, in a variety of settings after discovering wilderness therapy at SUWS of the Carolinas in 2006. Jason comes, first and foremost, from a small town in Maryland playing in the fields and dreaming of mountains. He would later graduate from Towson University studying the Bauhaus system of fine arts and receive a BS in Graphic Design.
Jason relocated to Asheville, NC in 2006 to work for SUWS of the Carolinas hoping to help others in the wilderness. SUWS of the Carolinas was a massive shift that fueled the desire to nurture the growth of others. Jason spent many years working tirelessly to improve as a guide, mentor, senior, master instructor and supervisor.
When it was time to take some space and reset, Jason hiked 1,300 miles of the Northern portion of the Continental Divide Trail in 2012, and after a truly profound and spiritual experience, Jason made a decision to enter into a life of sobriety having recognized a dependency on alcohol. With years of uninterrupted sobriety and a desire to bring support to others, Jason facilitated groups and provided support for every program he has worked since from young adults in foster care, to residential and transitional programs throughout his career.
Jason made the decision to move to Boston in 2016 to work as a Sober House manager while building his skill set in an area of the world steeped in researching trauma work and recovery. Jason studied recovery coaching and trauma-informed practices while in Boston with Firefly Yoga International and CCAR. Jason has 4 years of experience facilitating trauma-informed Hatha Yoga, and meditation. Jason is also a host with NamaStay Sober facilitating movement, yoga, and meditation for people new to recovery.
Jason worked as a Program Director with a transitions program in Boston, Pacia Life. He worked with families to encourage parents and students to grow together redefining their relationships. It was also a place for teaching young adults systems to aid with problem-solving, decision-making, and self-calming to help them thrive in environments new or old.
Jason decided to build his business "Gr8fulMoves" to continue this type of work more closely with families in transition and place more emphasis on the one-to-one coaching aspect. After having experienced a vast array of programs and positions, Jason has amassed and extensive toolkit for supporting both parents and students with 360 Transitions. Opportunity to thrive, through fierce compassion, consistent works, deep breaths, powerful pause, patience and empathy is Jason's strength.
Kelsey Morell, LMSW, spent the last three years working as a family consultant for PRN For Families. Recently relocating to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kelsey joined the 360 Transitions team providing both Mentor and Parent Coaching support in the Midwest region. Most recently she also headed up the PRN partnership aftercare program with Voyager Outward Bound Intercept.
Kelsey earned her master's degree from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2016. Her prior clinical experiences include working with at-risk youth and families in the New York Public School System; with psychiatric patients and their families at Bellevue Hospital of New York City; and with incarcerated youth within the juvenile justice system.
Kelsey earned her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Education from Colorado College in 2012, where she also played lacrosse. She continues to make outdoor activities and exercise a priority in her life, and is a certified teacher and practitioner of yoga. Kelsey also enjoys traveling to immerse herself in other cultures, where she feels the most growth for a person happens.
Jenna grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she loved learning, playing soccer, and going camping with her family. She had always loved being outdoors and was a bit of an anomaly from her family who loved the city. Self development has always been important to her and she has infused that love into many positions she's had as a counselor, mentor and leader. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from UCLA, where she also competed at the national level for the UCLA triathlon team and served as the race director for the team. She held leadership roles in her sorority, was a backpacking guide for UCLA Unicamp serving under-privileged youth and helped conduct published studies in biological anthropology and psychology. She lived in Spain for a semester and traveled throughout Europe connecting with people from all walks of life. She also discovered her love for the practice of yoga when she went through a traumatic loss at a young age. Yoga and therapy helped her heal and set her firmly on the path of helping others.
She was recruited right out of college to Entrada wilderness program in Utah (now Evoke Entrada) and she developed into a Senior Field Instructor. She brought mindfulness practices to the clients in the desert and grew immensely herself. Living simply and having everything she needed on her back was so liberating for her and she watched the clients transform before her eyes in wilderness. She worked extensively with clients suffering from severe trauma, dual diagnoses, self harm, low self efficacy and self worth and many other struggles. To her, healing must be done from the inside out and she believes that we all have the ability to heal ourselves if given the right tools.
After Entrada, she left the field and traveled to India and Nepal to deepen her studies of yoga, meditation and yogic philosophy. Upon her return, she started school to become a holistic health coach and is now board certified and helps her clients discover their innate resilience, strength and ability to heal themselves. She became certified at the 500 and 800 hour levels in yoga by her yoga teacher Sri Dharma Mittra. Jenna earned her Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and is a licensed therapist in Bend, OR.
Jenna takes a holistic approach to her work: no part of her client's life goes unturned. It is vitally important to her to help her clients not only survive, but thrive and she helps them create a life they are excited to live. In her work with parents, Jenna has the unique perspective of having worked as a field guild and then therapist in wilderness and as a Mentor and now Parent Coach for 360 Transitions. She loves to hike, cycle, ski, cook, read, eat vegan food, travel, be outdoors, share her favorite essential oils with others and, of course, practice yoga. She lives in Bend, OR.
Tess joined 360 in 2017 after 13 years as a wilderness guide. She has worked with youth and young adults in both wilderness and residential settings. She understands the unique intricacies of transition for children and families. Her work in wilderness was foundational for her own personal and professional growth and she believes that wilderness fosters opportunities for the most authentic version of our self to come forward.
The wilderness has always served as a grounding touchstone for Tess. Having experienced her own difficulties as a teen and young adult, she has always found healing in relationships with peers and mentors and through spending time in the outdoors. Looking back, these difficult childhood experiences are alchemized in her work in wilderness therapy. She found that her past challenges and self-knowing through struggle could serve as a strength in her work with others.
Tess worked in wilderness therapy at Open Sky Wilderness for six years as a senior field guide, field director and family quest facilitator. She has led remote whitewater, backpacking, and dogsled expeditions in the US and Canada. She has spent time abroad studying yoga, Ayurveda and Tibetan Buddhism.
Following her time living and working in the outdoors, she completed her master's degree in clinical social work. She has been a transition mentor at Aim House in Boulder, CO and at Gould Farm in Boston, MA supporting teens and adults. During her graduate studies, she worked as a middle school social worker in Harlem, NY supporting children and families. As part of her studies, she traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel, where she studied clinical practice with children and substance use. She is socially active in her community and dedicated to educating herself and supporting others in their anti-racism work.
Tess has worked with individuals and families for the past nine years and is dedicated to this work. She works as a Parent Coach and Mentor and practices individual psychotherapy. In her free time she is learning how to kayak, enjoys cycling, and is trying not to kill her houseplants. She still enjoys carving spoons (rocky mountain juniper all the way) and connecting with friends and family outside. Tess holds a BFA from George Washington University, studied clinical social work at Smith College, and completed her MSW at NYU. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
Cassie is a native of Ozarks, Missouri (yes, like the Netflix show Ozark), where she was first introduced to the field of social work when she became a coach at a residential treatment center called Calo Teens. Calo is nationally recognized for their work treating adolescents overcoming developmental trauma and attachment challenges, specializing in children who have been adopted. At Calo Cassie became proficient at providing trauma-informed care through a relational, attachment-focused model.
After spending three years at Calo, Cassie took a year to travel with the World Race and visited 11 countries in 11 months. Cassie chose this trip to visit countries where children she had worked with had been adopted from. She had the opportunity to visit several orphanages, foster homes, and hospitals that were providing services to disadvantaged children in these countries.
Upon returning to the United States, Cassie worked with young adults and animal-assisted therapy with golden retrievers. She facilitated transferable attachment through a canine foster to adoption program at Calo Young Adults in Winchester, VA. Most recently she worked at a girl's therapeutic boarding school in Flat Rock, NC called Lake House Academy where she completed an internship and gained skills in Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.
Cassie is currently finishing up her Masters in Social Work, interning at an Asheville outpatient counseling clinic, and providing Mentor support to her clients with 360 Transitions. She is passionate about seeking to understand others' experiences and helping them make meaning from those experiences to become the best versions of themselves. Cassie is a travel and cultural enthusiast with 46 states and 40 countries under her belt. On weekends she can be found exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, rivers, and lakes and creating her own adventures.
Rob grew up in Roswell, GA where his earliest memories are of setting up campfires in his backyard with his dogs. He was drawn to the outdoors and athletics as a child. These interests continued to shape him through high school where Rob played football, wrestled, and ran track. By the end of his junior year of high school he felt the need for a more challenging environment and requested that his parents send him to Marion Military Institute, a military academy in Alabama.
After graduating from Marion, Rob attended junior college for 3 semesters but felt like there was more to be done at that time and had little interest in pursuing a college degree for an unknown purpose. He left school and started a specialized concrete construction company in Panama City, FL. The company flourished for 3 years where Rob and his partner experienced the trials and pleasures of building a business. Rob sold out his partnership in the company and set off to begin a Thru Hike of the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. This experience was foundational in shaping his understanding of the power of time spent in nature and the bonds formed among those you share it with. The sense of freedom, adventure, and fellowship awakened an identity within him that continues to grow to this day.
Following the Thru-Hike, Rob spent some time thinking about his next career move, knowing that somehow he wanted to incorporate nature and helping people into this next step. In speaking with a friend he learned about Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and was immediately intrigued. He was hired on as a field staff, moved to Clayton, GA and spent the next four years working at Blue Ridge. Knowing he had discovered his career passion, Rob returned to college and completed a degree in psychology.
Rob has settled down in Clayton, GA with his wife, dogs and chickens. Gardening and endless home improvement projects keep him connected to his love of working with his hands. In addition to guiding backpacking trips with a company he started called, Walking in the Woods, Rob also mentors clients with 360 Transitions. "There's nothing more exciting and fulfilling than helping young people take the skills they've learned in treatment and learning how to apply them in their real world context," says Rob.
Megan's life experiences culminated in a whimsical, serendipitous way that has led her into doing what she loves: helping others and writing. She often says that she wishes she could have been a student at a wilderness program her tumultuous teen years. Luckily, Megan still drew from her difficult experiences a mindset of abundance, and a passion for helping young people see that they matter, that they can do hard things, and that life is worth living.
Megan carried her love for others and the natural world into undergrad as she studied Environmental Policy and Economics at UNC Asheville. She enjoys using her knowledge of the local flora and fauna to help young people widen their knowledge of their forested environment. While at UNCA, Megan wrote quite a bit, and now loves to channel her knowledge of the English language to write copy and content for multiple companies.
Megan's journey working with struggling teens began when she became a Field Instructor at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness in April of 2018. She knew quickly that wilderness therapy came with a meaningful, honest mission. Megan became a Senior Field Guide in April 2019 and was presented with the Jumping Mouse Award from the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council in April 2019 which honored her work in the field, and encouraged her to continue to grow, learn, and seek feedback.
As a wilderness Transitions Program staff who has also participated in Parent Workshops, Megan has a special understanding of both the parent and student experience. She is grateful and humbled to work closely with families in the tender, vulnerable setting of transition into their next steps together. Megan believes that the family environment can be one of the most difficult places in which to remain vulnerable, present, and patient, and she's consistently amazed by the work that parents and their children do to embody their values together.
when Megan isn't working, she enjoys reading books, eating great food, listening to podcasts, planning adventures, and swimming in the great outdoors.
Bill grew up in Northern New Jersey (Bergen and Sussex Country). Since Bill was a child he grew up camping with family and friends. Camping was a way to see the great outdoors and escape suburban New Jersey in the summer. As a teenager Bill was introduced to snowboarding at the local ski resort by his friends. Snowboarding is a key component of Bill's winters in Central Vermont to this day.
After high school Bill attended college in Central Pennsylvania at Lock Haven University where he studied Sport Administration and minored in Aquatics. During his time at college Bill was a regular at the Recreation Center. He played club rugby and was part of the Sports Administration Club with his fellow peers. Sports has made up a lot of Bill's summers, whether it was baseball, basketball or football, you could always find him active in sports to keep busy and create meaningful connections.
After his summer internship at a YMCA camp Bill relocated to Vermont to work for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps as an Americorp member. Bill did a 10 month long-term program where he worked closely with the US Forest Service, Water Restoration Alliance, and other state agencies. During the 10 month term Bill learned the in's and out's of trail building, water restoration practices, leave no trace principles, and working together as a team to do many things he did not think were possible in the back country.
After this 10 month period Bill moved back home to Northern New Jersey as a ranch hand on a large scale horse farm where he furthered his carpentry and outdoor skills. After a year and a half on the farm Bill was seeking a more meaningful career path. He signed on to be a field guild in wilderness therapy at True North Wilderness Program. Bill guided for almost two years before being promoted to a Operations Support role. Bill learned the logistical side of True North Wilderness before then being promoted again to the Director of Operations.
With all the different roles in Wilderness Therapy and the outdoors, Bill has gained a greater appreciation of how the outdoors can change the narrative on mental well being and further connect individuals to stepping outside of their comfort zones in ways that they never thought was possible.
Bill continues to live in Vermont and loves this beautiful area. In addition to Mentoring clients with 360 Transitions, Bill also is a delivery driver and loves the adventures that the roads of rural Vermont provide.
In his free time, Bill stays active by snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, and rooting for the New York Yankees and Giants. Bill also enjoys sunsets from his porch and hanging with his cat, Fiddle.
Lauren is an ambitious, outgoing, and caring individual. She grew up in California and lived there for most of her adolescent life. Growing up, she made the choice to move to Alabama while pursuing her degree in Psychology. Once she finishes her bachelor's this year, she will be diving straight into her master's in adolescent and family counseling.
Lauren has a love for the outdoors that started at a young age. Her family home was in the backyard of the state park of Nisene and Marks in Aptos, California. Her days consisted of exploring the outdoors, surfing, and camping often. Her yearly trips to Yosemite were the highlight of her childhood. Once Lauren hit her teenage years, she was fortunate enough to take her own 15 week journey through a Second Nature program in the Cascades mountains. This was a life-changing experience that helped prosper her ongoing love for the wilderness and therapy.
While attending college, Lauren has spent time in the field as a Senior Field Instructor for Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. Unfortunately, college life became too much to continue the lifestyle required to work a wilderness job. Mentoring for 360 Transitions is an amazing way for her to still experience the fulfillment of the work while still focusing on her ambitious overall goal of graduating with her master's and becoming a wilderness therapist!
Before her time as a field instructor, Lauren was a store manager for GameStop. During her time as a retail store manager, she was able to re-discover her love for helping people but also her need for the outdoors. She was able to see that an indoor lifestyle was not fulfilling enough to be a long-term career for her and found her way back to school to complete her degree in Psychology.
In Lauren's free time, she occupies herself hiking, camping, discovering coffee shops in every town she travels to, and playing video games. Lauren considers herself a bit of a nerd, enjoys making friends, socializing with others who are interested in video games, sciences, and other intellectually stimulating topics. While she has become a very outgoing adult, the shyness she experienced as an adolescent really helps her to connect with both introverts and extroverts.
The youngest of three kids, Isaac grew up in Durham, North Carolina taking advantage of the distinct mix of urban and rural spaces within the Piedmont. Playing in the creek, trudging through the woods, and learning to transform natural spaces with creativity were hallmarks of Isaac's early years, building his reverence for nature and pursuit of an embodied life. Isaac attended a K-12 Quaker school where Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) principles, outdoor education, and the arts were incorporated into a holistic approach to education that laid the foundation for who he is today. Through high school Isaac spent most of his time playing soccer and practicing modern dance.
Isaac spent a year after high school developing his Spanish, working and traveling abroad between Chile and Nicaragua. Beginning in Santiago, Isaac spent four months backpacking to different work exchanges and homestays through the WWOOF network and learning about sustainable farming. He then traveled to the small coastal town of Las Salinas in Southwest Nicaragua, where he spent 6 months working as an after school coordinator in the town library. This was Isaac's first experience working closely with kids - teaching, leading art projects, and coaching sports teams. He relished this opportunity to encourage kids to explore their passions and find contentment in themselves as they become young adults.
Isaac graduated from Occidental College in 2018 with a BA in Urban and Environmental Policy and a minor in Interdisciplinary Writing. A creed of social justice and grassroots community organizing was central to this degree, collaborating and interning with different community based organizations across Los Angeles working to combat social injustice throughout his four years. Isaac conducted his senior thesis on critical place-based pedagogies in public schools at the national, state and local levels, highlighting the benefits of SEL curriculum and environmental education in child development.
With dreams of becoming a chef, Isaac decided to work as a line-cook for two years after college, taking a deep dive into the stressful and fast-paced life of restaurant work. Two years on the line taught Isaac many important lessons and has been a defining experience of adult life. Although no longer interested in becoming a chef, Isaac still cooks with gusto and regularly hosts dinners for friends and family.
In 2020 Isaac began working as a wilderness mental health technician at SUWS of the Carolinas in the Pisgah National Forest. The demands of this job were many, and offered a window into direct care and mental health services that Isaac was (and is) enthusiastic to pursue. Building rapport with students, creating and facilitating emotionally safe spaces for group processing, and teaching social/emotional skills were newfound strengths that gave Isaac purpose and solidified his interest in therapeutic work. He hopes to return to school in the next couple of years to become a licensed clinical social worker and ultimately set up a private practice. A future goal is to utilize the culinary arts and local food systems as a somatic therapeutic framework for individuals needing both vocational and psycho/emotional support.
Isaac is committed to living an examined life, prioritizing health and wellness, and living in line with his values. An avid proponent of simple pleasures and "self-care", his his free time Isaac enjoys frisbee golf, foraging edible and medicinal mushrooms, cooking with loved ones, learning new skills/crafts, enjoying live music, and building up his "library."
In addition to working as a Mentor with 360 Transitions, Isaac volunteers with the Durham Crisis Response Center, offering emotional support and resources to individuals experiencing domestic, sexual, and family violence and human trafficking.
Katie was born and raised in Durango, Colorado. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains has a way of igniting a love for outdoor adventure in the soul: she spent her childhood hiking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, cross-country skiing, mountain bike riding, rock climbing and water skiing, among other things.
Katie attended Hamilton College in mid-state New York where she studied Psychology and Spanish. During this time she traveled abroad to study for one semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina and another semester in Dunedin, New Zealand. It was during this year abroad that Katie recognized the value of being outside of one's comfort zone and the opportunity this provides for personal growth. In her senior year of college, Katie discovered her passion for coaching and assisting others. She started volunteering teaching English to refugees at the Refugee Center in Utica, New York as well as volunteering at a center for Equine Assisted Therapy. In both of these places Katie discovered the rewards of helping others and realized that sometimes a little support goes a long way. Additionally, Katie worked as a tutor for Let's Get Ready where she coached at-risk youth to prepare them for the SAT test and to apply for college. She felt that she served as a life coach for her students as much as a tutor. Katie gained a lot working with these teens and began to better understand the power and impact of active listening, coaching and genuinely caring for someone.
Following college, Katie found the best place on earth to combine her love for the outdoors with her passion for therapy; she became a field instructor at Entrada (now Evoke Entrada). Katie believes she learned more during her time as a field Instructor than in all her time at college. At Entrada she found her own style for working with clients which consisted of building a strong, open relationship and then with this connection and empathy offering a safe environment for her clients to grow and change.
Katie worked her way up to Senior Field Instructor before leaving the field to return to Colorado. Although it was a difficult decision to transition from the work she loves, it was great for Katie to be able to return to Colorado and continue mentoring clients with 360 Transitions. Working one-on-one with adolescents and young adults has always been Katie's favorite part of her work as well as her greatest strength. While in Colorado Katie also earned her MSW degree.
In 2018, with her MSW completed, Katie decided to rent her house in Durango and bought a house on wheels! The idea was to live simply, explore the country and have an adventure. Following these months on the road she ultimately landed in Driggs, Idaho where she is now settling in again and planting roots.
Tierney grew up in Gainesville, FL and enjoyed spending much of her time exploring nature, playing volleyball, and volunteering with youth in after-school and summer camp programs. She received a scholarship to play Division 1 volleyball at Davidson College, where she achieved her B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish. In her final summer of college, Tierney taught underserved youth in Atlanta, GA. This experience revealed her passion for teaching and mentoring adolescents and serving disadvantaged communities, and after graduating she accepted a position as an AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellow in Charlotte, NC.
This role brought Tierney into a unique position to work together with students, families, and teachers within their community to enhance and empower the lives of her students. Her work was humbling and eye-opening, and Tierney saw firsthand the need for presence, compassion, and understanding to support mental and emotional development in today's youth. While completing her fellowship, she achieved her M.A. in Education from Lesley University and found clarity that serving others would be essential in her future work.
Tierney's ardor for mental, emotional, and physical well-being led her to a wilderness therapy field guide position at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. She immediately fell in love with the wilderness therapy community, therapeutic model, and lifestyle, and she found that she was able to positively impact the lives of her students and coworkers in a deeply fulfilling and personally transformative way. Supporting her students' processes of self-discovery and healing and then watching them rebuild healthy relationships with their families was a life changing experience.
After almost two years in the field, Tierney left her beloved "woods life" to pursue her heart's calling to create an impactful career as a therapist. She moved to Portland, OR and is finishing her Master's degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy at Lewis and Clark College. She is completing her internship year at two sites, a Community Mental Health agency working with children, adolescents, and their families, and a non-profit Equine Therapy agency supporting clients through experiential therapy with horses. She is delighted to bring her empathy, compassion, patience, natural therapeutic skills, and intuitive nature to her work supporting others to move through healthy and balanced transitions with 360 Transitions.
Families of 11 are few and far between, however, Caleb McClain has always been proud to have 8 siblings backing him. He was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia and moved around to Massachusetts, Texas, Florida and California all before the age of 10. During his senior year Caleb was asked to mentor a 5th grade student who was having academic and behavior problems at school. The encouragement and belief from his high school counselor were the gifts that helped him solidify his role as a positive mentor to others. He graduated from Vanguard High, a small IB school in Ocala, Florida.
Bug Juice, a popular Disney show highlighting the life of camp counselors, was enough for Caleb to apply for Camp Ridgecrest for Boys. Over the next 12 years he would give 10 summers, and one full school year to the camp, serving in many of the roles there, including Program Director. This was the catalyst to his love of the wilderness. He became comfortable sleeping on the ground and most importantly role modeling life for campers.
During the school year Caleb attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL where he earned a Bachelors in Recreation Management. His internship was with the Campus Recreation, Rez, where he co-lead trips with college students and was integral in re-accrediting the program on its American Camp Association standards.
After graduating in 2010, Caleb moved to Manson, North Carolina to work with Eckerd Youth Alternatives, where he served adjudicated youth in a wilderness alternative school setting. Caleb attributes this experience as the beginning of his training for a career in the mental health field. Following this experience Caleb spent some time in Baltimore with the Board of Child Care canvassing the streets and working with urban youth.
Caleb soon realized he was yearning for the outdoors again and wanted to get back to his headlamp and campfires. He was encouraged to look into Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness and within a week was setting up to begin the training. Caleb was privileged to work as a senior field staff for 3 years. It was at Blue Ridge where Caleb developed the understanding that he was able to gain rapport easily with students, leading him to be empowered to set boundaries and challenge student's patterns, while remaining compassionate and empathetic. Amongst the brilliant, life-altering ideas he learned at Blue Ridge, Caleb also recognized that living in the wilderness was not sustainable though he absolutely loved his time out there. Following Blue Ridge he relocated to Washington D.C. for a period of time to fulfill a lifelong goal of living in the big city like his little brothers.
Recently marrying the love of his life, Elizabeth, and becoming a father to his son, Henry, have topped any life experiences to date. His family of 3 moved to Greenville, SC to settle in for a while and to enjoy all that life has to offer.
Aubre grew up in the heart of Indiana, running through the forest, fossil hunting by creeks, and chasing sunsets on horseback. This adventurous, free spirited young girl grew up appreciating the natural world and the special feeling of peace it offered. As her family suffered from addiction, mental illness, and poverty, she has felt a strong desire to be independent, successful, and to be of service to those in need. Compassion, acceptance, and resilience were instilled within Aubre at a young age and carried with her throughout her life.
As she attended Indiana University, her studies and hobbies evolved into what would become the path for her career. She studied Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management, inspired by being a Camp Counselor in the Rockies. Beyond her studies, Aubre felt a strong desire to be a part of the community, volunteering her time to working with people with disabilities, assisting them in Equine Therapy. She also volunteered with the University by planning and implementing benefit concerts in support of raising funds for hunger awareness.
Aubre completed her time at Indiana University and moved to the Virgin Islands to Intern with Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park as an Environmental Educator. Aubre then relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, NC where she continued to teach hands-on experiential earth science field trips to PreK-9th graders at the North Carolina Arboretum and Colburn Science Museum.
Aubre transitioned from a career in Environmental Education to being a Mentor as she shifted her focus towards working with youth in a residential treatment center in Asheville. This position at Solstice East allowed Aubre to share her love for nature and the therapeutic benefits, by assisting in the planning and implementing of the therapeutic recreation component of the program. She became involved in planning service outings, church outings, and creating enriching activities while on campus. Aubre's passion to work with youth and guide them towards self-love, confidence, and pursuing their dreams enabled her to assist many young women in their treatment at Solstice East.
Aubre's love for the West pulled her to Colorado for a summer opportunity leading a Youth Corps team with Boulder County, and 5 years later, she's grown roots in Boulder, CO. Aubre spent time in direct care working with homeless youth at a drop in clinic in Boulder. As she continued to gain the skills to assist young adults in transition, she took a role at Urban Edge-Denver, where she worked her way from Mentor to Assistant Program Director. Aubre managed client intake and departures by assisting young adults in transitioning from wilderness therapy, residential programs, and failure to launch circumstances until the completion of their stay. She helped clients get acclimated in the Denver Metro area by providing resources towards achieving their specific goals. Building rapport, planning and implementing recreational activities, and living with the clients half of the week allowed Aubre to connect one on one with each client as they worked together towards their desired outcome. Once it was time for clients to depart, Aubre would help clients create transition plans to assist in a smooth, thought out transition.
Aubre's desire to empower others to pursue their passions, create meaningful and productive lives, and work towards a life of fulfillment are why she does the work she does. Aubre is an outdoor enthusiast, musician, and adventurer. She values having a work life balance that enables her to help others, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle for herself. Her friendly nature, openness, and genuine desire to help others are what she has to offer her clients at 360 Transitions.
Ari was born and raised in Northeast Seattle, WA. From 8th to 10th grade he lived with his family in Jerusalem, Israel, where he learned to speak fluent Hebrew and adapted to a new culture. After high school Ari attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Two years into his studies Ari was challenged with his first major depressive episode. He left McGill and returned to Seattle to heal. Through is own therapy and rehabilitation Ari was exposed to the field of mental health. For the next two years Ari worked and traveled extensively in Southeast Asia and Nepal, discovering climbing and meditation. In 2016 Ari completed his B.S. in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.
After graduating college Ari professionally entered the field of mental health, working as a Donor Coordinator for Sightlife, a nonprofit that coordinates the recovery and distribution of corneas and various tissues for sight giving and life-saving transplantations. His role was to speak with families within an hour of losing their loved ones and walk them through the delicate process of donation. At Sightlife, Ari developed an interest in connecting with and supporting people experiencing powerful emotions and immense life challenges.
In the fall of 2018 Ari accepted a job as a Field Guide at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy in Durango, Colorado. At Open Sky Ari thrived at building consistent, meaningful relationships with students in nature. In his guiding, Ari balances lightness and joy with authentic and direct mentorship. As a Mentor Ari is committed to helping his clients find and cultivate what they are passionate about and supporting them in following through on their goals.
When Ari is not working he enjoys playing live music around Durango, cooking, yoga, meditation and, of course, all of the mountain sports.
Kate grew up in Edenton, a small, quaint, town in eastern North Carolina. She spent her childhood swimming the Albermarle Sound, climbing trees and riding bikes with her neighborhood friends.
She attended UNC-Wilmington where she studied biology. After two years of labs and lectures she decided to take a break to pursue passions outside of academia. This change of pace was a turning point in her life. She traveled to Costa Rica where she lived on an off-the-grid permaculture farm in the middle of the jungle. Living in a community where people from many different walks of life gathered, changed the way she saw and interacted with the world. Here she discovered the healing powers of nature and community. Living in the jungle was no easy task. It taught Kate the importance of open and honest communication, and vulnerability. She realized it was a necessity of community. Living closely with nature brought new discomforts - from bugs to bruises - but also instilled in her a new understand of nature and the strong belief that growth only happens when you step outside your comfort zone.
After leaving Costa Rica, Kate moved to Asheville, North Carolina to attend Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. She quickly fell in love with the rolling mountains and began section hiking the Appalachian Trail with her father and sister. Kate now attends Warren Wilson College, a small work college of 1,500 acres of land in the Blue Ridge mountains. It had two things that were very important to Kate: community and connection wit the natural world.
Kate got involved in wilderness therapy after hearing a friend passionately talk about his experience as a field instructor at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. The mission of Wilderness Therapy that he described lined up perfectly with Kate's values and passions, and her experience in the field has only strengthened and confirmed her desire to be a part of it. Wilderness therapy was something that Kate wished she had been able to experience during her turbulent and defiant years as a teenager. She is excited to graduate from Warren Wilson in December of 2021 and plans to attend graduate school to become a licensed expressive arts therapist. Kate believes she will be able to offer a compassionate, relatable and understanding perspective for struggling teens going through a transitional phase in their lives.
Alistair (they/them) is a black wilderness guide. They have spent several years working in wilderness, residential settings, recovery and foster care. They have a deep passion for restorative justice and creating equity around them. Wherever Alistair goes they leave an impact for the greater good.
Alistair has a Bachelors of Science in Child and Family Studies as well as a wealth of life experience that they bring to their work with others. They have a nuanced understanding of what it means to provide trauma-informed care and working with attachment struggles. They enjoy working with adolescents and young adults who have marginalized identities and holding space for them to explore who they are. They believe in allowing the whole person to come forward and be heard and seen.
Alistair is known for their ability to provide direct, honest and caring feedback. During their experience as a Senior Field Instructor at Blue Ridge Wilderness, Alistair met with students from all backgrounds and situations and made them feel heard, safe and supported. The students would leave their time with Alistair feeling more at ease because of their conversations. As one wilderness therapist put it, "Simply put, Alistair is an unsung hero. Alistair is humble yet confident, professional yet easy to connect with." Alistair's experiences, combined with their innate ability to connect and understand youth brings the perfect combination of expertise to their work with their 360 Transitions' clients.
Alistair is currently working on creating accessible nature quests for QTBIPOC people. They spend a lot of their time reading, writing, creating and dreaming. They have a strong dedication to doing their own personal work and believe that this must be done in order to role model to youth what it means to lead by example. They currently reside in Asheville, NC on Cherokee Land.
Sky grew up in a unique international family, based both in Berlin, Germany and Portland, Oregon. Inspired by the cultural variety, she decided to major in Fine Art and received her Bachelor's from Portland State University in 2013, creating artwork about the people and places she had encountered all over the world.
At age 16, Sky created a high school graduation plan and part-time work ethic that enabled her to graduate a semester early and travel Europe at age 18. Her travels inspired her to attend an international university in Lugano, Switzerland where she studied language psychology and communication systems for one year before transferring to Portland State University to pursue her degree in Fine Art.
Following the completion of her Magna Cum Laude Bachelor's degree in 2013, Sky chose a new orientation of travel - into the wilderness. Though she was an avid day hiker in the Pacific Northwest, making the leap to thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail - 2600 long wilderness trail through the west coast's mountain range - was quite the leap. Beginning her long trek at the Mexican border, she spent nearly five months backpacking through desert, snow, and lush rainforest to complete her thru-hike at the Canadian border in September of 2014.
Missing living close to nature, Sky was elated to find a career as a field instructor with Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, dedicated to helping adolescents benefit from deep personal work and nature's humbling elements. She worked there for several years, witnessing profound changes in the students and their families. This opportunity developed Sky's resources as a compassionate communicator and listener, a strong role model, and positive resource to her community.
Most recently, Sky became interested in helping students transition back into the lives waiting for them following treatment. Drawing upon her own experience of overcoming the difficulty of integrating lessons learned, she is happy to work with 360 Transitions to support students after their treatment experience. Her intension is to help students remember ways in which they felt empowered and healthy during treatment, and to help carry these moments of both confidence and vulnerability back into their lives at home, to continue to grow stronger and more resilient.
Sky now lives in Asheville, NC and in her free time loves going hiking with her dog, learning about plant identification, and weightlifting and CrossFit!
Ethan was born and raised in Memphis, TN. He developed a love for the mountains at an early age as he and his family traveled to the Rocky Mountains every winter to ski. When looking at universities for college, Ethan didn't hesitate to make the move to Fort Collins, Colorado where he knew his love for the mountains would be met at Colorado State University. He began his undergraduate career as a biomedical sciences student at CSU as he had known he wanted to be a veterinarian since he was ten. However, during Ethan's sophomore year his interests began to change, shifting away from veterinarian medicine and towards wildlife, and the outdoors. As a result, he changed his degree to Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology where he would learn about the ecosystems across the Rocky Mountains.
Ethan loved this change in studies but it wasn't until a summer internship at the Memphis Crisis Center that gave Ethan a better idea of his future; social work. Ethan spent that summer working the crisis and suicide hotline, or survivors of sexual assault. He leaned into the field of social work throughout his remaining two years of college serving youth and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in a variety of roles. Ethan completed his undergraduate degree in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology in May of 2014. Following his graduation, he spent the next two years as a Senior Field Instructor at Blue Ridge Wilderness Program, combining his love for the outdoors with his love for human connection, and helping others. His time spent in the wilderness assisting young men in their struggles with addiction remains one of his favorite roles he has held.
After his time at Blue Ridge Wilderness Program, Ethan decided that he'd like to expand upon his social work experience with youth. He joined the Peace Corps where he served 27 months in a small Peruvian town in the Amazonas region of Peru as a youth development specialist. During Ethan's time in Peru, he work many hats as he worked as a facilitator, mentor, teacher, and community organizer. He worked alongside local stakeholders to create youth-led programs on topics such as sexual and vocational education. Ethan's favorite project during his time in Peru was partnering with a local environmental NGO and high school to create youth-led trips to the Peruvian jungle. During these trips, Ethan was facilitating classes to Peruvian youth that he had once taught to adolescents at Blue Ridge Wilderness in the Georgia mountains. After returning to the states, Ethan knew that it was time to return to Colorado, and this time he landed in Denver.
At present, Ethan works as a case manager for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. In his current role, he assists adult homeless clients in accessing public benefits and permanent housing. Ethan also works with many monolingual Spanish speakers and assists them in the immigration paperwork process, and advocating for their needs to community partners. Ethan is passionate about advocating for others and he works daily with clients who face many challenges and barriers surrounding mental health and addiction. While Ethan enjoys his work with the homeless to the fullest, he is thrilled about the opportunity to work with youth again with 360 Transitions. Ethan believes in the power of human connection and the opportunity for others to be seen and heard. His wide range of interests from the outdoors to movies to music accompanied by his vast experience with youth allow him to easily build rapport with adolescents. Ethan resides in Denver, CO with his german shepherd enjoying everything the city and mountains have to offer.
Michael was born in Charleston, South Carolina then shortly after moved over seas. The next few years were spent in Athens, Greece and Rota, Spain. When he was eight years old his parents moved his family stateside, where they settled down in Western North Carolina. Upon arriving in Asheville, NC Michael quickly fell in love with all things outdoors. He spent a lot of time in the woods with his father and older brother mountain biking, climbing, jumping off waterfalls, enjoying various paddle sports, and snowboarding. He grew up playing some organized sports, the most notable being soccer. He also grew up enmeshed in the world of arts with the wilderness heavily dictating and influencing his reading, writing, painting and drawing. Now his art is mostly in multimedia and writing. If you're walking around Asheville you'll see Michael's art on the buildings downtown.
Michael's athletic potential, scholastic promise, and artistic aptitude were substantially put on hold during his high school years where he began to deviate from the true creative nature of his soul. Being passively misdirected by clinging on to unhealthy paradigms and nonessential social narratives, Michael found himself battling with substance abuse.
After being given many chances to succeed - a stint at division 1 soccer, three different full rides to universities, and with familial support running thin - he took a break and stepped away from society to really dig into what was essential for his life and to figure out who he was, to find his purpose, his vocation, his true self. During this time he began his own personal process of recovery from drugs and alcohol.
After having acquiesced to his recovery process, his life began to flourish in many meaningful ways. One of the most notable was his opportunity to work in the wilderness for a primary care facility outside of Asheville, NC. While out in the woods, having fallen in love with nature and the power of change that people are capable of, he recognized that one of his gifts was working in macro and micro mental health settings. Bridging gaps between communication, raising awareness, and reducing stigmas came naturally for him. He thus decided to leave the woods after a few years and finish his bachelor's degree in hopes of getting a Masters in Social Work.
In tandem with his 360 Transitions mentoring, you can now find him studying on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill (or a nearby coffee shop), translating Latin or painting, or applying to graduate schools. His undergraduate major is a double major in Classics and American Studies with a Minor in Studio Art. You may find him at the climbing gym, running in the woods, or playing soccer. In the research triangle, Michael also works closely with mental health in prison systems, the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, and the Chapel Hill teen crisis center. He also does international research on successful mental health approaches in hopes of disseminating it back into local settings.
Taylor was born and raised in the greater Salt Lake City area. From an early age, her parents instilled in her a love for the outdoors, and she considers Salt Lake City to be a city for mountain people.
Taylor received her B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern studies, and spent several months living and studying in Jerusalem, Israel. While there, Taylor found a passion for working with and serving people, and learned very quickly that meaningful employment was going to be something that involved direct human interaction.
In search of that meaningful work, after graduating, Taylor moved to Washington D.C. to work for Congress on Capital Hill. Among other things, she helped to draft legislation and conduct research on mental health policy reform, in hopes of bringing awareness to the importance of mental and emotional disorders. One day, a co-worker gave her a book of famous political quotes, and one in particular stood out: "We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." Reading this quote struck a chord, and Taylor realized working with people on a macro level in Washington would never be impactful in the way she had hoped it would be, so she moved back to Utah to begin all over again.
She started working at a wilderness program in Duchesne, UT and immediately felt connected to the community of wilderness therapy, and felt her work as a field instructor was making an impactful difference on individuals. The process of seeing adolescents reconnect with themselves, and build meaningful relationships with their families was a life changing experience. Being a part of that experience is something she hopes to be involved in for many years to come.
Hoping to obtain a more sustainable schedule after over a year in the field at Uintas, Taylor began working as a Mentor for 360 Transitions. She continues to find passion and meaning in working with young people and their families. In a continued effort to bring awareness to social injustice policy issues and mental health policy reform, she plans to begin work on a joint Masters in Social Work and Juris Doctor Degree.
Graham was born and raised in rural eastern North Carolina. He spent many hours playing in the pine woods growing up, enjoying Boy Scout trips, and was also involved in sports. Being born into a family of nature-loving artisans, it was only natural that he quickly grew to enjoy making art and playing music. While in high school Graham spent three summers working at a Presbyterian sailing camp as a camp counselor. He facilitated water sports games and other activities.
After graduating from high school in 2004, Graham left the small town of Pink Hill and attended UNC Asheville to pursue a music degree. Majoring in jazz guitar and saxaphone, he studied and played music intensively for 3 years. Prior to his final year at school Graham decided to take a detour and gain some life experience. He moved to Hawaii and worked on an organic citrus farm in the Hawaiian jungle and explored his surroundings and the culture. While living in Hawaii he became interested in working as a field staff at Pacific Quest and began his career working with teens in a therapeutic environment. He was a natural at building rapport and supporting teens with their emotional process.
Though Graham was very much enjoying his life and work in Hawaii he knew it was time to head back and complete his college degree. Graham graduated in 2010 from UNCA with a BA in Jazz Studies. Upon his return to North Carolina Graham volunteered regularly with a community called Heart Sanctuary. The volunteer initiatives included helping groups of people with stress management skills and teaching them to live a more heart centered life. This became an important focus for Graham ove the next few years and continues into the present.
Following graduation once again he found himself back in the woods working with adolescents and young adults at Blue Ridge Wilderness Therapy. This was a great fit for Graham. The experience was challenging, enlightening and fun and Graham felt right at home!
Lauren grew up in Southeastern Tennessee near the Ocoee River and Cherokee National Forest. Living in this area provided plenty of opportunities for her to explore the natural world, which built the foundation for her love of the outdoors from a young age. As a teenager she spent most of her time playing sports including softball, volleyball, and running cross country. She mainly focused on her softball career and received a scholarship to play softball for a Division 1 school, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).
During her time at MTSU, Lauren began to explore yoga and meditation which led her to view the health of individuals holistically. This idea of integrating all aspects of one's health prompted her to pursue her bachelor's degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Upon graduation, Lauren moved to Chattanooga, TN where she became a Certified Nursing Assistant, working with elderly people in their last years of life. In 2016 she became a high school biology teacher and was the rock climbing coach of their school team.
Lauren loves working with adolescents, which led her to take a position as a wilderness therapy field guide at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. She found incredible meaning in this work because it combined her passions of helping people connect with themselves and spending time in nature. During this time, she observed tremendous growth in her students which was facilitated by the challenges that being in the wilderness forced them to face. She watched her students open up in ways they never had before which deeply connected them to each other and their field staff. Most of her time was spent with high school girls and middle school boys on the spectrum.
It was through wilderness therapy and her own experiences in mental health that she developed her philosophy of healing: in order to heal, we cannot run away from the emotions and thoughts that deeply affect us. We must fully accept ourselves just as we are in order to change. She continues to hold this open, non-judgmental, and loving space for all the students she mentors. Her interest in connecting mind, body and spirit was deepened by her pursuit of a 200-hour yoga Teacher Training certification in 2017. She now integrates her knowledge of mindfulness when teaching others coping strategies to deal with the stresses of life.
In 2018, Lauren decided to take her love of the outdoors to the extreme by hiking the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail. This was an intense period of growth for her, and she used the stressors placed on her by the wilderness to overcome emotional obstacles and find a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Lauren is currently pursuing a second bachelor's degree in nursing at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC). Her hope is to get a master's degree as a Nurse Practitioner and to integrate mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing to help her patients achieve optimum wellness in all areas of life. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, going to see live music, spending quality time with friends and family, rock climbing, hiking, and trail running.
Shelby Spade grew up in Rochester, NY right on Lake Ontario which borders Canada. Her life long passion, since the age of 4, has been skiing. She spent most of her time as a kid skiing and continues to do so today. After high school she attended college in North Carolina at UNC Wilmington where she studied Marine Biology. During her time there she spent a semester in Homer, AK working as an intern for U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
After graduating college, Shelby moved to Vermont where she worked on an AmeriCorps chainsaw crew for the U.S. Forest Service. During her time working on a crew she was able to foster a passion for backpacking and spending time in the back country. As someone that didn't grow up camping it was a hard adjustment period that challenged her both physically and emotionally. After this work she went on to ski instructing and then wilderness therapy. She worked at True North Wilderness Program in Vermont as a field guide and was later promoted to Transition Coordinator. As the Transition Coordinator she worked directly with students to facilitate a comfortable and supported transition to their next steps following wilderness treatment.
After her time in Vermont, Shelby moved to Colorado to work as an outdoor children's program supervisor. While in Colorado she was able to obtain valuable work experience and ski as much as possible. Between her transition from Colorado to Portland, OR she worked at various guiding companies along the west coast. Her time working at a wilderness therapy program and supervising a children's program deeply impacted her personally and paved the way for her future career path. These accumulation of experiences are the reason she is now enrolled in a graduate program and working towards her master's degree in Professional Mental Health Counseling at Lewis and Clark College. She loves combining her mentor work with 360 Transitions with her education through her masters program and feels it's the perfect combination of learning and application.
When she's not mentoring or studying she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, camping, backpacking, singing, crafting and meeting new people.
Alex was born in Athens, GA to a military family and spent his childhood persistently on the move. He took an early interest in music and performance which led to touring with several acts throughout the United States. The seeds of wanderlust planted, he has continued to travel and find new and challenging adventures both personally and professionally.
After attending classes at UNC Chapel Hill for Biology and Journalism, his interests in wilderness and psychology aligned in finding a place at SUWS of the Carolinas. There he became a Senior Field Instructor and discovered a passion for medicine through his wilderness medical training.
While living in Asheville, NC, Alex also taught music and mentored teens while simultaneously becoming involved with the local Search and Rescue team. He led rafting and kayaking trips down the French Broad River, and was invited to become an instructor of wilderness medicine for the very same company that taught him. In 2019 he became a member of North Carolina's statewide Search and Rescue team.
He continues to teach emergency medicine, write and record music, and help adolescents transition from treatment to home as a 360 Mentor. His dream is to some day attend medical school and join Doctors Without Borders/MSF to provide care in challenging environments throughout the world.
In his free time, Alex enjoys reading, meditation, yoga, poetry and cooking.
Mary was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is grateful to have grown up in a community that valued the outdoors, education and support for each other as they survived through the extreme Alaskan elements. The coldest temperature she has ever been in is -65 degrees.
She could see the Alaska Range and Denali from her porch and this instilled a great love for big peaks. Camping, biking, climbing trees, sledding, snowboarding and playing in forts were an essential part of her childhood. She is most at peace in the outdoors surrounded by mountains.
Mary's younger brother had severe medical concerns when he was born. Her deep empathy, compassion and patience was instilled at a young age as she watched her parents care for him.
Mary's mother was an educator of nearly 50 years; Mary witnessed and learned from her mom's passion how to educate students well. She knows that her brother and mom played an important role in her path to helping people.
Mary received her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University with a major in Family and Child Sciences and a minor in Psychology. She began teaching after college at a small school that specialized in working with students in grades 1-12 who had dyslexia, ADD and ADHD. She taught all grades and subjects and her largest classroom size was eight children.
Mary then went to teach in the public school system and had a position an hour away from her home in a neighboring county that was impoverished and rural. At the time, it was the lowest academically county in the state of Florida. It was during this experience that she realized she wanted to help people on an emotional level.
Mary decided to return to the Land of the Midnight Sun and drove 6000 miles from Florida to Alaska. It took two weeks and her favorite parts of the trip were caving in Tennessee, camping in Banff National Park, going to a dinosaur museum near Calgary, relaxing in Liard River Hot Springs in British Columbia and coming upon a herd of bison crossing the road in the Yukon.
Mary embarked on a Master's Degree at the University of Alaska and studied counseling. She worked at a children's hospital. Ultimately she became depressed during the long, dark Alaskan winters. Her soul is fed by being outside and it was difficult to be active when it was dark both going to work and coming home from work.
she discovered wilderness therapy and drove to Nevada to begin a life in the woods. She has worked at four wilderness programs in the southwest and southeast and has completed over five years in the field. She moved to the east coast to be with her ill mother three years ago and has fallen in love wiht her community of Western North Carolina and the Smokey Mountains. She lives in a small town with her dog, Sage, in the foothills of the Smokies and is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Patty was born and raised in Miami, FL. She spent her childhood on the beach with sun rays and beautiful sea life surrounding her. She grew up speaking both English and Spanish, and practicing the customs of her family's native home of Cuba. Being immersed in such a diverse culture is something Patty is extremely grateful for.
Following high school Patty attended Miami Dade Community College. This sparked a creative eye and she decided to explore this avenue with hairstyling. In 2005 she attended Paul Mitchell School in Orlando, FL while apprenticing at a salon. Once licensed she was asked to stay and become an instructor. While there Patty mentored students on the craft of hairstyling and also ran the honors program. Her love of American Colonial history and wanting to explore new places drew her to move to Boston, MA in 2007. Here she acquired a position at APAC, a well known non profit, where she worked with underprivileged clients as a case manager for seven years.
In late 2014 Patty returned to Miami, FL to support her family. She then chose to move to Atlanta, GA to live with her best friend. During all her travels she had picked up running as a way to stay fit and mentally active. In 2015 she decided to expand her knowledge of running and attended The National Personal Training Institute. She received her certificate from the National Academy of Sports Science/Nutrition Consultant.
In early 2016 heard about Blue Ridge Wilderness from a good friend. Patty applied and was hired as a wilderness therapy field guide. She fell in love with the woods, the community and comradery between staff and students alike, as well as the therapeutic bonds created in the great outdoors. She had finally found something that fulfilled her heart. She learned skills from great mentors, all while establishing a new found community. She found deep purpose in the work with adolescents and staff and became a senior field instructor in 2017. She was constantly challenged in ways that she did not think were possible and it has made her who she is today. She continues to find value in the skills and lessons the woods taught her, even after she decided to leave her beloved woods life. Patty also worked as a PRN mentor at Solstice East for a short time. She appreciated getting a better understanding of the steps that came following wilderness with her students.
Patty currently lives in Asheville, NC and continues to explore the outdoors, educates open people on the power of good communication skills, and applies those lessons in her own life. She practices Hot Yoga 5 days a week while working on a degree in Horticulture at Blue Ridge Community College.
Sarah was born and raised in Ellwood City Pennsylvania, a small town 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh.
As a child she could be found outside playing with her sister and neighbor in the muddy stream and woods behind her home. She met her life long best friend at girl scout camp as a young teenager. She realized she lived in walking distance from her, through the woods. They spent hours constructing a trail and met in the woods to hang out almost daily.
After graduating high school, Sarah moved to Burbank, California where she went to film school and earned a certificate in Screenwriting. She is still moved to continue her passion for writing and is currently working on a book.
She moved back home when she completed film school and worked for her family's food distributing business. Deep down she knew there was something much more to life than sitting behind a computer taking orders from customers.
In the spring of 2014 she began her thru hike on the Appalachian trail at Springer Mountain in Georgia. 5 months, 19 days and 2,185.3 miles later she was on top of Mount Katadhin in Maine bursting into triumphant tears of joy over what she had accomplished.
She found it hard to transition from living in the woods for almost six months to being thrown back into society. To make her transition smoother she started landscaping to continue being outside. Eventually she had her own freelance landscaping company.
The Appalachian trail community provided so much help and support that it inspired her to give back and start helping others the way she was helped. She would go to trail towns and feed the hikers, volunteer at roadside garbage pick ups, and give back any way she found.
That winter she returned to her family's business but, again, found herself struggling with the work. She looked into what steps she needed to take to become an outdoor guide. She got her Leave No Trace Trainer Certificate and Wilderness First Responder. At her first responder course she learned about a field called wilderness therapy and started doing her research.
She found her passion for working with at risk youth as a field guide at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness in Clayton, Georgia. This job fulfilled her, it was difficult and super rewarding. She loved seeing the progress of her students and loved being a positive role model while holding strong, healthy boundaries. Following her work at Blue Ridge she took some time off and traveled Europe for 5 months while volunteering from Italy all the way to Serbia. In Serbia she received her Psychological First Aid certificate.
When Sarah returned to the US, that summer she worked in Jackson Hole Wyoming at a kids summer camp and lived out of her van camping out each night. When this seasonal job ended she applied and was hired to be a field guide in Hilo, HI at Pacific Quest.
Most recently Sarah is back in her home state of Western Pennsylvania where she plans to stay for a while and grow some roots. She continues to apply all of her amazing travel, adventure, school and work experiences to her work with her clients with 360 Transitions. She knows, first hand, the difficulty of transitioning from living in the woods to living back home in society. In addition to mentoring her clients with 360 Transitions she is also currently studying to be a Master Herbalist and Meditation Teacher.
Colin joins 360 Transitions after working three years as a wilderness therapy field guide. Colin believes that staying in touch with nature helps him stay in touch with himself. The wilderness has always played a vital role in Colin's life. Growing up in rural Iowa, he found solace and comfort in the natural world that helped support him throughout his upbringing. Knowing that many people do not grow up with easy access to nature, he decided to dedicate his life to helping individuals find ways to reconnect with themselves by using the outdoors as a tool.
After graduating from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with a BA in Sociology, Colin began his career as a guide and Mentor. For the last five years, he has worked with young people with special needs, in after school and summer school programs, as a youth development specialist, and a wilderness therapy guide. Throughout this time, he has acquired skills and knowledge that has helped him connect with and understand his clients and the challenges they face. Having gone through his own personal challenges, he's also developed the capacity to support others with compassion and empathy. He believes it's important to teach and help individuals learn how to meet their needs in a way that aligns with their values, something he has been doing for the past three years as a senior field guide at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy.
Colin is currently living in Berkeley, California, attending a masters program in California Institute of Integral Studies for Somatic Psychology. With his degree, he plans to continue to help individuals face their challenges, regain a vision for their lives and learn how to thrive.
In his free time, Colin enjoys staying active through multiple forums of movement including; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, paragliding, mountain biking, yoga, dance, running, and snowboarding. He also appreciates spending time with friends and being a part of a supportive and healthy community.
Meghan, while born and raised outside of Columbus Ohio - is from many places. She has spent seasons of her life in Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Vermont and South America but most recently landed in Asheville, North Carolina.
She has always had a sense of adventure and has been a competitive athlete - never shying away from a challenge. While younger she may have seemed precocious, as a young adult she is fun, inquisitive and wise.
She had her own treatment experiences throughout adolescence; attended a wilderness program and a therapeutic boarding school. She then spent some time determining her own path and finding her very own passions. One that began in the woods still remains today. After receiving her bachelors degree and becoming a certified educator, Meghan worked for two years as a field instructor at True North wilderness program. More recently Meghan worked as a teacher at a therapeutic boarding school continuing her passion of enriching the lives of adolescents and young adults.
Meghan is perfectly suited to support adolescents and young adults as they transition home having had both her own personal experience managing her own transition from treatment and now having worked for a number of years in the treatment setting. She brings her insight, warmed, strength, fun and bright energy to her work with her clients. Meghan lives in Asheville, NC.