Meet Our Rural Staff
Our Rural Alaska Program Travel Staff are officially off in communities across Alaska facilitating programming!
We thought we’d take a moment to introduce some of our incredible hires for this season.
Meet Siena (she/her) who recently graduated from the Yale Physician Associate Program. She’s originally from New York, an hour north of NYC. She’s passionate about youth suicide reduction and caring for Native America/Alaska Native populations. She loves hiking, backpacking, traveling, ultimate frisbee, board games, yoga, and meditation.
Meet Ben! Born in Alaska, but he was raised mainly in Montana and has lived many places. Most of his work experience has been as an elementary teacher in Alaska. He enjoys exploring new places, reconnecting with familiar ones, working and playing with kids, and just being outside in the beauty of nature.
Meet Hailey! She’s from East Tennessee and studied Human Development and then went on to get her MS in Family and Child Life in WA. She is currently teaching early childhood education classes and has primarily worked with kids and college students in recreational, educational, and healthcare settings. She enjoys the outdoors and is always up for sports, games, or a good book.
Meet Mary Claire who was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. She’s a freshman at NC State University majoring in environmental technology and hopes to transfer into environmental engineering. She can play multiple musical instruments, and loves western pleasure horseback riding, camping, fashion, swimming, and being outside as much as possible.
Meet Nathan, from sunny Buffalo, NY. This last year he has been busy attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (made it ~2/3 of the way over 4.5 months!) and then working his first year as a ski instructor. His main interests are in teaching/outdoors education, international development work, and slow travel like backpacking or bike touring.
Meet Katherine who was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She recently moved to Fairbanks to pursue a BS in Wildlife Biology & Conservation with a minor in Spanish and Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is in the Honors and Climate Scholars programs. Over summer and school breaks, she has done a variety of camps working with kids in Anchorage. She loves the outdoors and has been hiking, camping, and kayaking all around Alaska.
Meet Sam who is originally from Colorado. In addition to 3+ years as an outdoor education instructor for 5th and 6th grade aged kids in California and Colorado, he has spent 112 in-field days as a backpacking instructor for at-risk youth in Utah, and the prior summer before that was director of a travel camp program for adults and teenagers with physical and intellectual disabilities. He hold a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Philosophy from Colorado State. He loves traveling and partaking in all outdoor activities under the sun (or moon) whether for fun or for work. In his free time he DJ’s, reads, or always enjoys chilling with good company and good vibes.
Meet McKinley (she/her) from Bozeman, MT. She went to school in DC and studied International Business/Affairs which has allowed her to work in many diverse communities. She’s been lucky to spend time teaching in rural indigenous communities in Ecuador which is what drew her to Rural Alaska. She has recently been working as an instructional designer and manages a corporate social responsibility program where she gets to create meaningful volunteer opportunities and fund community initiatives. She loves to ski, bike, hike, play music & hang out with her small dog.
Meet Olivia! She is originally from Illinois but has been living in Colorado. She works at the YMCA of the Rockies as a Programs and Activities Facilitator. She has also spent a season at Yellowstone National Park in the food and beverage department. Her degree is in and hospitality because she loves the outdoors and helping people. She also loves exploring, going on adventures, hiking, journaling, meeting new people, learning about different cultures, traveling, and cooking/baking.
Meet Aspen! She’s originally from Georgia and is currently living in Port Angeles, Washington where she teaches environmental education in Olympic National Park. Much of her career so far has been working with kids in environmental education with some forest service work and other random bits scattered about! She’s an avid skier, casual bike rider, amateur chef (ok that may be a stretch), and coffee shop enthusiast.
Meet Anna who is originally from California. She graduated from Humboldt State in the gorgeous redwood forest with a degree in Environmental Science and a specialization in environmental education. She loves spending time outdoors with kids and has worked a handful of jobs in different places, including at an outdoor school in Oregon and an internship in rural Uttar Pradesh, India. She enjoys cooking, writing, fostering kittens, and spending time outside hiking, foraging mushrooms, and hugging trees!
Meet Jacob! He’s studies nutrition, fitness, and health at Purdue and is planning to get an MPH after undergrad. He has a passion for eating right and staying active, so he spends most of his free time playing on the rugby team or working out. He loves to read, especially on a hike or at the beach! And he also has a twin.
Meet Iggy (they/he) who is originally from South Carolina. Right now, he works as an after school counselor, instructor, and composter in beautiful Western NC. They love writing, country music, birdwatching, and linguistics. If they are not at work or hunched over their laptop like some sort of creature, they are usually outside, looking for critters, rollerblading, hiking, or just laying in the sun.
Meet Lynora, originally from northwestern Pennsylvania. She’s lived and worked in a myriad of places since leaving home, including on an environmental education boat in the Hudson River in New York as an instructor/journeyperson. She loves being outdoors, reading, writing letters, and baking cookies.
Meet Shani. She grew up in western Colorado and has attended school at the University of Utah for the past 3 years in pursuit of her degree in both Strategic Communication and Sociology. Before coming to work for Camp Fire, she was in Hawaii! Though she grew up away from the islands, she is native Hawaiian and has spent time living/working on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii. While also attending school online, she works daily with indigenous youth in the public school system. When she is not working or studying, she is generally hammocking at the beach with a good book in hand!
Meet Tayla from Nottingham in the UK. She is currently at college completing her A levels however she’s moving to Sheffield for University in September, where she will be studying to become a teacher. She loves music and concerts are probably her favorite things in the world to go to! She loves travelling and seeing new and exciting places.
Meet Natalia! She is currently a student at Western Carolina University majoring in Inclusive Education. Originally from Cali, Colombia, she moved here a year ago for college. She has always loved volunteering and working with kids, and her plan for the future is to become either a special education teacher or counselor for special needs kids. She’s a very extroverted person and absolutely loves to make new friends and connections.
Meet Katie! She’s from Virginia and goes to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. She studies Applied Math and spends most of her time as a trip leader for outdoor programs and playing ultimate frisbee. She loves being outside and that’s reflected in what she does. She’s spent a couple winters teaching skiing in Maine and a few summers as a camp counselor. Long term, she is currently interested in educational research and developing best practices to serve kids in education. She’s here with Camp Fire because she is passionate about working with kids, communities, and sharing the magic of a summer camp experience.