Bridging the transition through mentoring and parent support.

Transition Specialist and Mentors

Krissy Pozatek, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., Parent Coach

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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.

Jeffrey Peyton, MA, CADC-LL, Parent Coach

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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.

Jon Stang, L.C.S.W., Parent Coach

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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 Warthen, MSW, Parent Coach

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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.

Adele Logan O'Keefe, Ph.D., LPC, YTT, Parent Coach

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Dr. O'Keefe offers 25 years of experience in child, adolescent and family therapy, therapeutic education, and counselor education and supervision. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Randolph-Macon Women's College. During this time, she also conducted studies in England at both Reading University and Oxford University. Following her work in children, youth, and family issues for a congressman in Washington, D.C., she returned to school and secured both a Master of Education degree and an Education Specialist degree concentrating in counseling from The College of William and Mary. In 2009, she earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision from The College of William and Mary. Dr. O'Keefe is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Yoga Instructor (200 YTT). She has worked with people of all ages in residential treatment settings, therapeutic boarding schools and private practice.

Before pursuing her doctoral degree, she also facilitated admissions, clinical training, and program development in therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment settings throughout the country. As an Educational Consultant, she evaluated therapeutic schools and programs nationwide in order to recommend crisis interventions and clinical placements for children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. O'Keefe has served as a counseling professor with The Family Institute of Northwestern University, Walden University, and Old Dominion University and will be joining the online counseling program faculty with The College of William and Mary in the summer of 2020.

Dr. O'Keefe conveys a warm, personable, and balanced approach to fostering support for others seeking advancement in their lives. She brings many years of experience to her work with parents with 360 Transitions. Her practical parent coaching guidance allows parents the opportunity to have a wise, experienced, real time sounding board and support as they navigate the challenges of their child returning home from treatment. In her free time, Dr. O'Keefe enjoys running, yoga, photography and painting. She resides in West Virginia with her husband, young son, and their Golden Retriever who loves to play keep away!

Kelsey Morell, LMSW, Parent Coach and Mentor

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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 Pacelli, Mentor and Parent Coach

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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 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 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 also recently earned her Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In addition to mentoring her 360 Transitions clients, Jenna is also a therapist at Evoke Entrada. 

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, share her favorite essential oils with others and, of course, practice yoga. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tess Riabokin, Mentor

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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 where she also worked as 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. Tess currently lives in Boston, MA.

Aubre Jean, Mentor

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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.

Rob McLarty, Mentor


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 Cadwallader, Mentor

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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.

Ari Newman, Mentor

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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.

Olivia Cotton, Mentor

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Olivia was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She was born into an active family that was always doing something outside. After high school Olivia fueled her love for the ocean and moved to the coast to attend the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She realized her passion for mental health during college when her father, who struggled with mental health issues her whole life, suddenly passed away. Hopeful for her future, Olivia decided to major in psychology with a concentration in positive psychology. Olivia interned at a local domestic violence shelter before graduating in 2017.

Itching for a change in scenery, Olivia moved to Asheville, North Carolina and continued her career in the mental health field. Olivia worked as a Mentor at a residential treatment program for teenage girls, Solstice East, for years before transitioning into an admissions coordinator position. With this new role, Olivia worked with the adolescents transitioning from wilderness therapy and helped get them acclimated to their new environment. She briefly worked in the psychiatric unit of a local hospital to help the homeless and struggling to get back on their feet. This led to her becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant with the possibility of going to nursing school in the future.

Olivia has always had a strong passion for helping people and feels that her time working in the mental health field has helped her tremendously in her own therapeutic journey. Olivia enjoys being out of her comfort zone because she believes that this where people grow the most. In her free time, Olivia loves to travel and spend time with her partner and their three cats. Olivia recently moved to Knoxville, TN.

Alex Schultz, Mentor

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Alex was born and raised in Fairfax, VA. He learned to love the outdoors through camping, off-roading, and hiking with his family. While in high school Alex began to play volleyball which led him to choose to play for Juniata College. He initially arrived at Juniata as a business student but quickly changed his degree to Social Work.

After the change in major, Alex interned at Youth Villages' Barlett Campus just outside of Memphis, TN. There he worked with a team to provide a closely supervised environment for the treatment of the most serious emotional and behavioral challenges; including suicide ideation and self-harm, psychotic symptoms, sexual acting out and emotional and behavioral struggles complicated by medical issues. This was a difficult environment to work in and Alex learned a lot very quickly about how best to help people, no matter what challenges they faced.

Upon graduating from Juniata College, Alex looked to combine his love of the outdoors with his passion for helping others and began working for SUWS of the Carolinas wilderness program. As a Field Instructor he saw therapy in a way he hadn't before and the approach combined with the environment made him feel at home. He had discovered his place and absolutely loved the work!

Alex recently moved to Charlotte, NC with his fiance. He hopes to attend graduate school for his Master's in Social Work degree to become a therapist...perhaps at a wilderness program some day.

Katie Garlick, Mentor

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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 Hodge, Mentor

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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 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 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.

Caleb McClain, Mentor

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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.

Sky Shulz, Mentor

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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!

Taylor Berhow, Mentor

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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 Whitley, Mentor

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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!

Graham really enjoys his Mentor work with 360 Transitions. His calm, straight forward style bodes well for building trust with his clients. His wide range of interests from sports, music to computer programming also allow for plenty of opportunities to connect with his clients. One of his current hobbies is learning new web development skills including Javascript and Ruby on Rails. Graham recently married his best friend and moved to San Antonio, TX. He's enjoying exploring the area with his wife and is always up for a quiet evening at home with his guitar.

Lauren Elizabeth Whaley, Mentor

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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.

CJ Vashutah

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CJ's story begins in Salt Lake City, UT, where he spent his childhood playing in the mountains, going between his divorced parents' houses, and seeking the answers to life's biggest questions. He grew up in a difficult family dynamic, which sent him down the path of personal development, psychology and seeking his own personal healing. This led him into working as a Senior Field Instructor at a wilderness therapy program in Southern Utah and in Central Oregon. CJ thrived in this environment - leading others to a deeper understanding of themselves and empowering them with their personal inner compass.

Through his work, CJ discovered his passion for walking along side others as they create for themselves a fulfilling and sustainable life. He has been working with youth and young adults since 2009 in a variety of settings. From wilderness therapy, to flight instructor, to personal mentor and coach, CJ's skills are wide and varied, giving him the ability to work well with all walks of life.

He is able to gain quick and strong rapport with his clients by meeting them where they are. He's found that this allows him to build trust with his clients, where they feel respected and empowered to do their own work. From here, he focuses on the foundation of all healing, which is in our relationship to ourselves. This core relationship impacts everything and everyone around us. 

CJ enjoys working with his clients as they transition from one chapter to the next, helping them to build structures that they can fall back on as they grow into themselves. To CJ, the importance of having strong boundaries, systems and routines is what allows for maximum growth and transformation, while making that change sustainable.

Currently CJ lives in Portland, OR with his best friend and wife, Kelsey, and their cat, Waldo. In addition to his mentoring work with 360 Transitions, he and Kelsey have a relationship coaching business they love collaborating on when not outside backpacking, hiking, swimming, or just enjoying the solitude of nature. CJ deepens his relationship with himself daily through balakrama yoga, meditation and transpersonal communication.

Shelby Spade, Mentor

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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 Snow, Mentor


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 Craig, Mentor

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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.

Ethan Gordon, Mentor

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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.

Patty Duarte, Mentor

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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 Beatrice, Mentor

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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.

Chris Phillips, Mentor

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Chris was born in Massena, New York to a military family. His father was stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. After his father retired from the Army Special Forces, they relocated to Asheville, NC. Asheville is where Chris's love for the outdoors started to bloom; spending time hiking, camping, and mountain biking with his parents and older brother.

While in college Chris discovered a love for helping others and began his journey into EMS. After completing his training he became head of medical for an event logistics company serving small to large music festivals and other events all over the east coast. Chris has been involved in Emergency Services for the last ten years in every aspect, from direct care provider, to a wilderness and emergency medicine instructor for WMI school.

Seeking a change in his life, Chris began to work as a field guide for Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness based out of Clayton, GA. Working as a field guide for two and a half years with young individuals provided insight into the struggles that he himself dealt with as a youth and helped to continue his own path of healing and growth. Chris takes pride in providing guidance and mentorship for people that are battling the same struggles that were present in his own life. In December of 2019 Chris left wilderness therapy to further his education in the medical field.

Chris has a love for all things outdoors and enjoys spending as much time pursuing those interests as possible. An avid mountain biker, he competes in enduro races through North Carolina and has travelled all over to pursue his love for the sport. Chris is also a rock climber, former competitive snowboarder, and enjoys hunting and fly fishing.

Colin Ferring, Mentor

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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.

Michael Gilpin, mentor

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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 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.

Meghan Bogutz, Mentor

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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.