Transition Specialist and Mentors
krissy pozatek, m.s.w., l.i.c.s.w., parent coach
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 Second Nature 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 of 10 years working in adolescent programs, and now lives in Vermont with two daughters.
jeffrey peyton, ma, cadc-LL, parent coach
Jeff has been working with young people and families for more than 25 years. Since 2005 he has committed himself to the healing and empowerment of adolescents and their families as a counseling professional. Jeff is known for his calm and caring personal style, while also providing clear direction and feedback in support of the goals of the family and the client.
Jeff was born and raised outside of Fairbanks, Alaska and has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He learned to cross-country ski at the age of 6 and had his first overnight solo backpacking trip at the age of 9. As a result of his personal experience with the power of wilderness as a young man, Jeff chose to enter the counseling field as a wilderness therapist. A licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC-II), Jeff joined Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy programs in Oregon in 2005 as a lead therapist. Jeff is recognized for his astute clinical skills and treatment interventions with adolescents, and his areas of specialization include substance abuse and addiction, co-occurring disorders, developmental trauma (including adoption), depression and low self-worth, and clients who struggle with emotional and behavioral self-regulation. In particular, Jeff is passionate about supporting young men and women as they access their innate capacities of resilience to move into young adulthood with honesty, integrity, self-efficacy and confidence.
In 2007 Jeff accepted the position of Family Therapist at Catherine Freer, a position he held for five years prior to joining 360 Transitions. Jeff utilizes a strength-based approach with parents, finding solutions and strategies the entire family can access to move forward and create change. With the ultimate goal of family reunification, Jeff was actively involved with parents in aftercare planning, relapse prevention planning, the creation of home contracts, as well as assisting families with communication, parental relationships ,family systems and conflict resolution.
Jeff received his BA from George Fox University, his MA from Juilliard School in New York, and Doctoral studies at the University of Oregon. He is in the final thesis phase of his second Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Prescott College.
Prior to his counseling career, Jeff was a nationally recognized classical percussionist, performing with symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles across the country. Jeff is also an award winning composer.
Currently living in Portland, Oregon, Jeff is the father of two teenage boys and enjoys cycling, hiking, exploring the Oregon coast, writing music and spending time with his family, including his dogs Fisher and Oliver.
Jon stang, l.c.s.w., parent coach
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 tequnique 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 a 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 warthen, msw, parent coach
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 Second Nature Entrada 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 Second Nature and made the long commute from Southern Idaho to Southern Utah for a year working as a wilderness guide for both Second Nature 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 is so happy to again be working with families with 360 Transitiions as she feels like her journey is starting to come around full circle and feels blessed to have this opportunity.
jenna pacelli, mentor and parent coach
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 Second Nature Entrada in Utah, now Evoke Therapy, 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 servere 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 Second Nature, 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. She is currently at the California Institute of Integral Studies, earning her Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology. In addition to mentoring her 360 clients, she teaches yoga, works with clients from all over the country in her private practice, and teaches classes, workshops and retreats on holistic healing.
She takes a holistic approach to her work: no part of her client's life goes unturned-from their diet and lifestyle to their relationships and physical activity, the entire person is honored and seen as important. 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. She loves to hike, cycle, ski, cook, read, eat vegan food, travel, be outdoors, and share her favorite essential oils with others. She lives in San Francisco.
Jen bruno, mentor
In a small town tucked away in Northern Appalachia, Jennifer grew up on the edge of a New York state park. Moving "off the mountain" and graduating from a high school outside of Philadelphia, Jennifer looked for every opportunity to take to the woods, and spent her early twenties completing the Americorp SCA Parks and Services program and then teaching 5-8th grade experiential outdoor education in New Hampshire and Connecticut.
At some point, Jennifer left the woods to gain an education, and began pusuing her associate studies with an Indian college in Iowa. Having an opportunity to join a world theater company in New York City, Jennifer then travelled the world for a number of years as a vocalist, puppeteer, mask maker and performer. This enormously rich and creative experience led Jennifer to pursue an undergraduate degree in Health Arts and Sciences, studying expressive arts therapies for survivors of trauma and oppression. Authoring a handbook for therapists, she then traveled to India where she worked with survivors of human trafficking.
Returning to the states, Jennifer continued her studies as a graduate student, while also traveling to US human trafficking care centers, training counselors in expressive arts therapies and trauma-informed care. Noticing the importance of environment of care, Jennifer turned the lens of her studies towards organizational health and therapuetic community.
All the while, Jennifer recalled the nurturance and power that nature offers, and could think of nothing better than returning to woods. Jennifer began her search for the perfect work environment, and found that Second Nature-a wilderness therapy program-had a site in her backyard. Jennifer worked for two and a half years with Second Nature in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.
Jennifer is presently working as a research fellow within the field of anti-human trafficking, researching best practices within aftercare for survivors. She is also looking fora place to get her docorate so that she may continue gaining understanding about the effects of oppression and abuse, and how we might better support people reclaiming personal power and creative self-expresssion.
The opportunity to mentor young women with 360 Transitions is the perfect complement to her other pursuits and she is excited to share her varied experiences in creativity, education and therapeutic community with the young women she works with.
Jennifer lives in Providence, RI and spends much of her time enjoying her friends. She is also an avid reader and a scholar of the German language.
tess riabokin, Mentor
Tess comes to 360 Transitions after 13 years of working as a wilderness guide. She believes that wilderness fosters the opportunities for the most authentic version of ourselves to come forward and feels drawn to facilitating experiences of self-discovery and healing for others in the wild. She began guiding while finishing her BA at George Washington University in Washington D.C. After working in architecture and design for five years she shifted her career to guiding full-time, year=round.
The wilderness has always served as a grounding touchstone for her. She grew up canoeing, backpacking, playing in the woods and studied survival skills with the Tom Brown school. As a 14 year old she opted to be homeschooled so that she could dogsled-working in the dog yard in exchange for running and racing dogs. Following college, she guided for six years at her childhood camp in Minnesota where she solo-lead whitewater canoe expeditions in the Boundary Waters in the U.S. and Canada as well as backpacking trips in the Rockies. A highlight of this time for her was a 45 day solo-lead backpacking trip in ANWR, Alaska. She has also worked as a dogsledding guide, leading winter camping expeditions in northern Minnesota and Canada.
Tess worked in wilderness therapy with Open Sky Wilderness for six years as a senior field guide, field director and family services facilitator. Her time in wilderness therapy in the desert inspired her to pursue her graduate studies at Smith College in clinical social work focusing on psychodynamic theory and she is currently a middle school counselor in Harlem, New York.
During her time off you can find her back in Colorado on her mountain bike, solo hiking or enjoying a good porch. In addition to her outdoor pursuits she is a big fan of classic hip-hop music, museums and art, last minute flights, HBO and crime novels. She has also been a registered and practicing yoga teacher for the past 8 years.
katie garlick, Mentor
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 Second Nature Entrada. Katie believes she learned more during he time as a field Instructor than in all her time at college. At Second Nature 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. Working one-on-one with adolescents and young adults ha always been Katie's favorite part of her work as well as he greatest strength. Now she continues this work amid the great Rocky Mountains and spends her winters riding powder on her snowboard and her summers hiking the beautiful trails.
Tierney hodge, mentor
Tierney grew up in Gainsville, Florida and enjoyed spending much of her time actively outside, 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. She studies abroad for a summer in Spain, as well as a semester in Argentina, living with a homestay family each time and immersing herself in the language and culture. While in South America, she hiked the Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu, gained Spanish fluency, and discovered her enthusiasm connecting in open heart and mind with people from various walks of life.
In her final summer of college, Tierney taught underserved youth in Atlanta, GA. This experience revealed her passion for teaching and mentoring adolescents, and empowering disadvantaged communities, and after graduation she accepted a position as an AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellow in innercity 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 disadvantaged students. Her work was humbling and eye-opening, and Tierney saw firsthand the real need for presence, compassion, and understanding to support mental and emotional development in today's youth. While she completed her fellowship, she simultaneously achieved her M.A. in Education from Lesley University, and found clarity that serving others would be essential in her future work.
Tierney's ador 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 rebuld healthy relationships with the 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 Clinical Psychologist. She followed her intuition and moved west to San Diego, CA, where she and her dog, Scylla, live happily on a sailboat, as she prepares her graduate school applications. 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 out of treatment with 360 Transitions.
eric johansen, mentor
Eric was born in New York, NY and lived most of his life in the suburbs of New Jersey. The lack of wilderness areas near the city gave him a great appreciation for nature and the peace it offers. Sporadic opportunities to hike, climb, fish, or ski were met with happiness and enthusiasm for the sheer joy it offered and the respite from the frenetic energy of the city.
After high school, he chose to pursue a film degree from Brooklyn College. This appealed to his observant nature and innate ability to understand and articulate the experience of others with depth and feeling. Wanderlust set in after receiving his bachelors and Eric moved with his partner to the west bank of Palestine, drawn by the opportunities for social work and the rich history of the land. He worked for several NGO's including USAID, as a grant writer, journalist, and English test proctor.
After returning to the states, several years were spent working in IT and communications for a biotech company. As more time was spent sitting at a computer for work, Eric began to feel depressed and unfulfilled. His emotional suffering got worse until he accepted that this type of work was not meant for him. A few days later, he saw mention of wilderness therapy on a TV show. After researching the field, he applied to Elements Wilderness Program and was offered a job as a field instructor. With no experience backpacking or camping more than one night at a time, he set out from New Jersey to Utah in his two door Honda.
Eric has now spent close to three exciting years working in wilderness therapy. He made his way from field instructor to group lead and for the past year and a half has worked with families at Elements Wilderness Program. He is continuing his education in social work through the master's program at the University of Utah while serving as an outdoor experiential educator for the therapeutic boarding school, Gateway Academy.
His therapeutic and experiential work with families, adolescents, and young adults - both in and out of wilderness - give Eric the experience required to provide effective and impactful support. Equipped with the knowledge that positive life change is possible and having the firsthand experience of enacting such change in his own life, Eric has the ability and passion to show others that change is possible.
michael gilpin, mentor
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 substancially 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 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.
graham posner, mentor
Graham grew up in New York state. Throughout his early education, Graham struggled in a traditional classroom environment, and attended an alternative school from grades 4th - 8th. After high school, Graham attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatrical Design and Production Management. Graham moved to New York City where he was a successful freelance lighting designer and assistant designer Off-Broadway. He later went on to work abroad as a lighting engineer and designer on some of the world's grandest cruise ships. In 2012, the opportunity for Graham to fulfill his dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail presented itself, and he leapt at the opportunity. For 5 months, Graham lived in the woods as he walked from Georgia to Maine.
In early 2013, Graham began working as a field instructor for a wilderness program in Central Oregon at Evoke Cascades. Graham lived and worked outdoors with clients ranging in age from 12 to 28 years old. Clients that Graham worked with had a broad range of difficulties including Autism Spectrum Disorder, addiction, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, learning differences, trauma, failure to launch, Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, and other behavioral concerns. Graham's patience and empathy helped to safely support each client in succeeding. After two years as a field instructor, Graham moved into a management position. As an Assistant Field Director, Graham oversaw the development of 20-35 staff as well as training and hiring of new staff.
Graham loves to backpack and hike in the mountains, and enjoys sea kayaking. When not working or on an adventure, Graham is usually out in the park with friends or walking along the river with his dog. Graham enjoys theatre, arts, and design and is currently in the process of creating a theatre education program for teens and young adults. He excels in helping clients find their passions and fostering success. Graham currently reside in Bend, Oregon with his dog Petey.
Caroline beckwith, mentor
Caroline was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. As a child, she went camping, rock climbing, and backpacking with her family. After high school Caroline attended University of Wisconsin-Madison to study art and art history. While living in Madison, Caroline took frequent trips to Colorado to try to accomplish her goal of hiking all the states' 14,000 foot peaks. She has so far climbed 29.
After college Caroline moved to Asheville, NC to work as a wilderness guide for Four Circles Recovery Center. The experience of working directly with young adults struggling with alcohol and substance abuse had a profound impact on her own recovery from anorexia and addiction. Caroline has been in recovery for many years now and enjoys supporting others on this path. Tapping into her own story and journey has been a powerful tool for supporting others and allows her to relate to the challenges her clients face.
After working at Four Circles, Caroline moved back to New York City to attend graduate school at Columbia University Teachers College. Today, she works as a program manager at an elementary after school program on the Upper West Side. She has created the curricula and lesson plans for outdoor classes that take place in Central Park. Caroline also volunteers as a recovery coach online for clients struggling with anorexia. Caroline is very well suited to providing mentor support to her clients with 360 Transitions. She loves combining her personal and work experience as she guides her clients back into the real world following treatment.
In her free time Caroline loves to bike all around Manhattan with her dad. She recently completed a 110 mile a day bike trip from New York City ot Virginia.
Meghan bogutz, mentor
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.
caleb mcclain, mentor
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 Second Nature Blue Ridge 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 Second Nature, Caleb also recognized that living in the wilderness was not sustainable though he absolutely loved his time out there. He recently relocated to Washington D.C. where he plans to enroll in graduate school for Social Work and fulfill a lifelong goal of living in the big city like his little brothers.
joe norman, mentor
Joe was born in Greensboro and raised in Charlotte, NC. His father got him into the YMCA Indian Guides program at an early age where he spent time in nature on camping and canoeing trips. At an early age Joe learned the power of healthy communication, community, support, empathy and team work with other fathers and sons. This is where Joe's love of nature and self discovery began.
The wilderness has had a strong influence on Joe over the years. In 2005 Joe embarked on the Appalachian trail with the goal of through hiking the entire trail. After 5 months he accomplished his goal and continued on the less known International Appalachain trail up to Cap Gaspe Quebec for an additional 2 months. For the next five years Joe would spend time in the summer and fall trail building and guiding other hikers. This was his way of giving back and staying connected to the wilderness he loved.
One summer, while hiking the Appalachian trail he met some friends who told him about their experience working as field guides for a wilderness therapy company in Utah and the seed was planted for Joe. Soon after this Joe worked for 3 years as a field instructure at Blue Ridge Wilderenss Therapy and then worked in the transition department helping parents reunite with their child at the end of their wilderness experience. These years in the field allowed him to bring all of his experiences in the wilderness together.
Following these important years in the field, Joe set out again. This time he hiked the International Trail Ireland and Scotland and became the first hiker to complete these sections of the IAT. While overseas he traveled and lived abroad for four years doing construction in France, getting his TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) degree, teaching English in Morocco, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Serbia, learning to sail in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, volunteering with horses in Bosnia and then finally landing in Belgrade Serbia where he worked for an NGO called BelgrAid. He and other volunteers helped feed, clothe and teach Englsih to refugees stuck in Serbia. Working for the NGO was a powerful experience that deepened his love for helping others even more.
Once back stateside Joe returned to his field work at Blue Ridge Wilderness Therapy for a period of time. He now enjoys mentoring young men who are transitioning from treatment back into life with the 360 Transitions program. Joe currently lives in Calhoun, GA just outside of Atlanta.
mike sibalski, mentor
Mike has worked in the outdoors for the past decade. He brings with him experience in wliderness therapy, experiential education and mountain guiding as well as an all-around passion for the power of nature to teach us about ourselves. Having worked with many different groups of people, Mike has developed a skill set that allows him to show up athentically and fully in support and service to others.
Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, Mike learned the power of the wilderness from an earlly age. Whether fly fishing or paddling on the Ausable River or exploring the High Peaks by foot or bicycle, Mike immersed himself in his mountain home and believes that this relationship with "place" has been one of the most formative experiences of his life. In college Mike began studying Graphic Design and eventually realized that his roots in wilderness were too strong to ignore and chose to pursue a BA in Expeditionary Studies from Plattsburgh State University.
Since completing college, Mike has worked around the globe, teaching international students at a naturalist camp in Hong Kong, guiding clients up 6000-meter peaks in Alaska and South America, and mentoring students at Pacific Quest wilderness program on the island of Hawaii. While at Pacific Quest Mike spent the majority of his time guiding the 8 day-long Rites of Passage segment of the program. Mike loved being a part of the student's journey through this peak experience of the program.
Mike believes that the root of all therapy is relationship; relationship with ourselves, to those we are close to and to the places we call home. He believes that creating a healthy relationship with ourselves is the foundation that one builds off of to explore healthy relationship with others and the environment around them. He is committed to helping others explore themselves so that they might live more fulfilling, healthy and empowered lives.
Currently, Mike is finding passion in Ashtanga Vinyassa Yoga, endurance backpacking and his own self exploration and growth. He also has passion for learning from history to address the environmental challenges that we, as a society, face today.
sky shultz, mentor
Sky grew up in a unique international family, with home bases in Berlin, Germany and Portland, Oregon. At a young age, she was exposed to various cultures, traditions, and languages which shaped her passion for engendering connection and communication with people from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and beliefs.
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.
This experience opened her eyes to the extraordinary impact nature and personal determination has on a person. The wellspring of healing and growth the wild provided to her and fellow thru-hikers was enough to direct Sky into a career dedicated to helping others experience and benefit from humbling elements of nature and necessary personal work required to lead a happy and healthy life.
With the mission to find employment working with young women in a wilderness setting, she happened upon Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness where she worked as a field guide and mentor to teenage girls and boys doing the hard, deep work in the magnificent mountains of north Georgia. This opportunity drew and built upon Sky's resources as a compassionate communicator and listener, a strong role model, and a positive resource to her community.
Sky now lives on a 10 acre farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina and continues to pursue her passions in helping others empower themselves by finding gunuine health and well-being with 360 Transitions.
taylor berhow, mentor
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 Second Nature Uintas, 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 iwth 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 whitley, mentor
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 Hilll 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 Second Nature Blue Ridge. This was a great fit for Graham. The experience was challenging, enlightening and fun and Graham felt right at home!