I was born in Tacoma, Washington. Rites of passage have been part of my life since my initiation through Rite of Passage Journeys (ROPJ) when I was 13. This was a catalyzing experience, leaving me with an enduring commitment to ensure that other young people could also access such experiences. It also connected me with Stan Crow, from whom I would learn about rites of passage over the next 18 years. I spent my college years studying Anthropology and Sociology, developing an understanding of the cultural and social context of these ceremonies and studying the culture and society in which I was born. During the next few years, I led wilderness therapy and outdoor/adventure education programs around the United States, bringing a rite of passage approach into my work with range of youth and adult populations. Seeking a solid intellectual foundation in social change theory, I received my M.A. in Environment & Community from Antioch University Seattle. This program grounded me in a range of academic disciplines, including philosophy, public policy, economics, and research methods, through the lens of Social and Environmental change. My thesis work explored the development of social & environmental leaders.
In 2006, I began five years of service as Executive Director of ROPJ. This was a key time in my development, and my own spiritual practices deepened as I learned what was needed to serve individuals, organizations, and communities in wholehearted, authentic, meaningful ways. I began a series of apprenticeships and trainings that strengthened my capacities as a mentor, guide, and leader. During this time, I became an active member of the Wilderness Guides Council, Global Rites of Passage, and other national and international circles of rite of passage guides and practitioners. I was blessed to learn from seasoned guides, elders, and mentors in rites of passage and related disciplines from a wide cross-section of backgrounds and programs. Being at the helm of a rite of passage organization provided a crash course in organizational leadership in all its many manifestations, from day to day management, to tending the soulful legacy of organization through the passing of the founder, to exploring issues of diversity, inclusion, and responsibility as a primarily white-run rite of passage organization in suburban Seattle. I am proud to say that Rite of Passage Journeys continues on today with new leadership and vision, and I am grateful to have gotten to serve in this program that now approaches its fiftieth birthday.
More recently, I served as Rite of Passage Supervisor/Interim Adolescent Program Director of Pacific Quest, an innovative, gardening-based therapeutic program for struggling teens in Hawaii, and as the initial staff member for Youth Passageways, an international, diverse network of individuals, organizations, and communities working to support the initiation of young people into mature adulthood. These roles allowed me to build on my organizational skills in designing and supporting the development of complex systems through truly collaborative processes, strengthening my skills in working with ever more diverse groups, and expanding the possibilities of who can be served, and how, through modern-day, culturally-appropriate rite of passage ceremonies.
Currently, I serve as a consultant and trainer for Pacific Quest, Rite of Passage Journeys, Wilderness Awareness School, and others. I have guided almost 100 adults through vision fast experiences in the last four years, and helped design and provided training for the staff that deliver the rite of passage experience serving over 500 youth annually through Pacific Quest. As a volunteer, I serve as Chair of Youth Passageways; member of the Cross-Cultural Protocols working group of Youth Passageways. I am currently developing a local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice in the Methow Valley.