Field Staff West Coast
The Field Team includes outdoor experts with an array of professional and personal experience. Wilderness specialists bring expertise in safety, compassion for struggling youth, enthusiasm for utilizing the outdoors as a catalyst for positive change, and are the core of the team. They frequently bring creative use of natural resources to individualized interventions.
Matt hails from the woody western suburbs of Philadelphia, PA where he always preferred to play outside. He developed an early love for the ocean, growing up sailing, surfing and kiteboarding. While studying Hydrogeology and Music Technology at Penn State, Matt fell in love with the mountains and land-based activities such as hiking, skiing and mountain biking. Before joining New Vision in Bend, he lived in South Lake Tahoe, CA and St. George, UT, where he worked outside as a safety monitor, a wilderness field instructor, and a residential treatment staff. Two fateful rafting trips led to him landing at New Vision, where he oversees logistical operations to “keep this well-oiled machine running smoothly.” He loves hiking with his thrift store children’s guitar and jamming out in his free time, whether it's on the slopes or in his garage.
Rachel Grimm BS
Rachel graduated from UW Milwaukee with a degree in Community Education and a focus on therapeutic work. During college, she was also a full time athlete on the diving team. For the past five years, Rachel has worked with many children with disabilities as a line therapist for kids with autism and also as a volunteer for special education classrooms and horse therapy programs. Rachel took courses with her dog to achieve therapy dog certification. They visited nursing homes to help raise the spirits of those who need it most. Rachel is excited to be continuing her journey here at NVW; and in her free time, she enjoys fishing, horseback riding, skiing, hiking and going to the movies.
Dan Kikkert, MSIOP
As the Operations Director at New Vision Wilderness-Bend, Dan oversees the Operations Department, including logistics, inventory and asset management, systems development, and risk management. He consults regularly with other New Vision Wilderness-Bend Departments to help facilitate effective organizational systems, culture, and personnel development. Dan has been working in the wilderness therapy industry since 2012. He received his BS in Physics with a Minor in Mathematics from Penn State University, and his MS in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Sacred Heart University. He has been a WEMT since 2014, and is passionate about the medical field. Dan spent three years as a senior guide before transitioning into program leadership, and has worked in a variety of field, programming, and operations roles since then. Dan has a passion for the outdoors and outdoor sports including climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, back-country skiing, surfing, backpacking, and rafting.
Janae Sporrer BS
Janae is a Pacific Northwest native and has deep love for Oregon and its natural beauty. Janae was born and raised near Portland, Oregon. She graduated the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology and a certification from The Outdoor Pursuits Leadership Program in outdoor recreation. It was during her time at university that she discovered the freedom of the Wilderness and devoted her time to perusing its teachings. She found her community during her first experience as an outdoor adventure guide leading trips in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Janae started working in Wilderness Therapy in spring of 2014 as a field guide in Vermont. There she worked up to becoming the seasonal Field Director and later moved West to gain more experience. Janae desired move back to the Pacific Northwest to put some roots down of her own. New Vision Wilderness’s dedication to helping others and mission of “creating joy” was the driving force leading Janae to become our Field Coordinator. Janae enjoys giving our new students genuine welcome, keeping our students safe during transports and seeing and celebrating the glow of a graduating student after weeks of hard work. Janae has many accomplishments including working on the Rogue River, hiking long sections of the PCT, thru-hiking the Colorado trail, rowing the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado River and exploring the beauty of the desert Southwest. Along side her on many of her adventures is her wonderful partner and her dog, Crypto (after Cryptobiotic soil!). Janae enjoys bringing intention into her life through reading, cooking scrumptious meals, participating in yoga and writing good ol’ snail-mail letters to people she loves!
Paige grew up in the hills of Northern California. She attended school at UC Davis where she studied Environmental Science. Here Paige grew to understand and appreciate what it means to be a steward of the planet. Her schooling lead her to realize that the most effective way to help the environment was encouraging people to connect with it. Paige began working as a Field Instructor for New Vision Wilderness in spring of 2016. After guiding she became a Field Specialist and found her true passion of mentoring Field Instructors. To widen her scope of the therapeutic industry, Paige went to work for another local therapeutic program in Bend, as the Activities Director.
Now Paige is back at New Vision Wilderness as the Assistant Field Director, where she manages the Canines, and supports in the development of Field Instructors. Outside of work Paige loves to go on long trail runs, long climbs, and anything else that allows her to be outside.
Born and raised in the shadow of Denali, then growing up in the Olympic and Cascade mountains surrounding the Salish Sea, Graham has been exploring the wild peaks and coasts of the Pacific Northwest for almost two decades. Graham graduated from the Evergreen State College, with a BA in literature and history, and volunteered as a climbing instructor and trip leader for the Mountaineers. Recently relocating to Bend brought Graham the opportunity to help a new generation of kids seek growth and healing in the wilderness, and to explore the timeless beauty of the High Desert. After guiding at New Vision for a year, Graham moved into the role of Academic Specialist where he can continue to share his passion for both education and the outdoors.
If you see a girl in the field wearing a visor, it’s probably Sophia. Sophia is originally from the foggy coast of Santa Cruz, California. She spent her years in college studying Sociology and Fine Art. During a semester in the Sierras, Sophia studied outdoor leadership where she was exposed to the healing that the wilderness can bring. She was part of the women’s inaugural 'Ride For Water' team, which cycled across the United States to raise money and awareness for the global water crisis. She spent time living in South Africa and Haiti, volunteering in community development. During her time off, Sophia enjoys cycling, running, drinking hot chocolate, and exploring new hobbies. Sophia is excited to be a part of the radical work of wilderness therapy, and is constantly motivated to continue to grow and learn through relationship based therapy.
James grew up playing in the lush foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Spartanburg, South Carolina. After graduating from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Geology, he turned his sights towards the West Coast to join the New Vision team as a field guide in 2016. Having experienced the healing of wilderness therapy himself, James truly believes in the power of the woods and now serves as the Field Specialist of Boys’ Programming. When not in the field, you can catch James enjoying the local geology and climbing at Smith Rock, taking some laps on Mt. Bachelor, strumming the banjo, or floating the Deschutes with a book in hand.
Becky graduated from Iowa state University with a degree in Child, Adult and Family Services. While studying she was also a full-time student athlete on the swimming and diving team. Becky grew up camping all around Wisconsin and has worked at a YMCA camp the past 5 summers in the Northwoods of Wisconsin going from counselor, to trips assistant, to water ski assistant. She decided to come move to Oregon to pursue a position with New Vision and to get out of the Midwest.
Krystin N AA
Krystin grew up in Central Oregon and spent the last few years pursuing a degree in tourism and outdoor leadership. In her spare time she does a lot of backpacking, fishing, swimming and spending time with family and friends. Before coming to new vision wilderness, she volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in the children and teens programs. She also holds a Wilderness First Responder certification.
Growing up in the PNW, I’ve always held a special connection with the natural world and have continuously strived to find my place in it. One thing I’ve learned about myself through the years is my love of sharing experiences and skills and connecting people with the serenity of the forests. After discovering wilderness therapy, I worked as a guide in Utah for 4 years, followed by another year at NVW. More recently, I’ve been able to support all the guides and students in the field through my role in logistics.
Once upon a time, in a small town nestled near the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a curious kid wandered off into the woods behind his home to seek adventure. This is the moment that sparked a lifelong passion for the wilderness with Steven. And as Steven grew up, he explored many outdoor meccas; finding his refuge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where rock climbing, trail running, mountain biking and backpacking have become disciplines he pushes to master. Through wilderness therapy, he’s able to combine his passion for the outdoors with his passion for teaching by helping others be the best versions of themselves.
Miro grew up on a small farm in the woods of Western Oregon but moved after high school to attend Beloit College in Wisconsin. After graduating with a Bio-psychology degree, he spent three years teaching and traveling internationally highlighted by teaching contracts in Ecuador and Thailand. Upon his return to Oregon, he united his passions for the outdoors, education and mental health to work as a field instructor. In his spare time, Miro enjoys traveling, playing Frisbee, and writing.
Monique grew up in a small town in Idaho raising goats, canoeing, biking, and sailing. Being outside was a source of freedom and serenity, which sparked her desire to explore more outdoor hobbies. During college, she pursued a degree in psychology and discovered her love for the mountains through backpacking and mountaineering. Experiencing empowerment and growth from the challenges that the wilderness brings, she wanted to combine her interest in the outdoors with her passion to help others. She became a guide at New Vision because she values a relational focus and how the wilderness can cultivate transformation. Monique enjoys running, hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, and making delicious food in her free time.
Max is currently in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Minor in Sustainability from Oregon State University. He is from the Chicagoland area originally but has been living in Central Oregon for the past 3 years. Max spends the majority of his free time in the outdoors whether that be climbing, biking, running, or hiking. But he also finds time to slow down and recognize the simplicity of seeking contentment in moments of everyday life; such as cooking a good meal, sharing a thoughtful conversation, or reading an interesting book.
Liz grew up camping, biking and hiking in Wisconsin. After a few family trips out west involving camping and hiking, Liz fell in love with the outdoors and knew that she wanted to end up in the mountains. After finishing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Policy with minors in Public Administration and Political Science from UW-Green Bay, Liz spent a summer in on Washington Island as an Environmental Education intern at a butterfly house. Liz became an AmeriCorps VISTA the following winter and moved out to Billings, Montana to start a community garden in a food desert. She spent weekends exploring the Beartooth Mountains and fell in love with Montana. At the end of her VISTA term, she moved to Northwest Montana to work as a Field Crew Leader with Montana Conservation Corps right outside of Glacier National Park. She co-led a crew of five adult crew members in building and maintaining trails and structures throughout the Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, and the Kootenai National Forest for ten months. The following summer, Liz led a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew through the conservation corps up in Eureka, Montana with local teens. Liz learned to love working with youth through her time as a YCC leader. Liz joined the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in Morocco where she taught yoga, English and Life Skills to Moroccan Youth. When Liz moved back from Morocco, she knew she wanted to get into Wilderness Therapy and started searching for Wilderness Therapy Guide jobs and found New Vision.
Juliana Z – Field Instructor
Juliana can be easily found in the kitchen baking a crisp, squished between her two big brothers, strolling through a cemetery, singing off key, and talking to strangers. Originally a Las Vegas desert rat, she thinks one of her parent’s best decisions was moving to the Northwest where she first discovered that being outside could be fun. In college, Juliana studied Communications and Spanish, drawn to the study of human connection and how language and culture play a role in who we are. Juliana put her Spanish to use by teaching English as a Fulbright Scholar at a public university in Barranquilla, Colombia where she enjoyed being embraced by a new community, experimenting with different forms of public transportation, and trying exotic fruits. She combined her appreciation for education and the outdoors upon returning to the States by guiding a 54-day long outdoor leadership course for teenage women. This lead her to pursue her MSW in order to fill her tool belt with evidence based practices for working with youth in the future. This summer, Juliana is excited to spend her summer break at NVW and to continue learning and growing.
Emily was born and raised in the swampy, mythical, and strange land of central Florida. She grew up playing fast-pitch softball and rescuing stray cats. A nerd by heart, Emily graduated summa cum laude from Rollins College with a degree in Latin American/Caribbean Studies and Spanish. During her collegiate career, she was lucky enough to begin her life-long journey of traveling to places such as Costa Rica, Brazil, Thailand, Nepal, Nicaragua, Hawaii, and more. During this time, she learned Spanish and Portuguese. Eventually, she found herself in Oregon studying natural building and permaculture. She has lived off-grid multiple times and feels a strong connection to the healing properties of nature. In the past few years, she has worked for non-profits such as Huerto de la Familia and Aprovecho, while volunteering at Child's Way Charter School with at-risk youth. Emily's passion for psychology and interpersonal relationships eventually urged her to apply to a job at New Vision and she has fallen in love with it. During her off-shift, she enjoys hiking, reading, biking, backpacking, playing guitar and piano, and going on adventures with her partner, and her wonderful therapy dog, Bark
Growing up past the Bay Bridge, on the oyster shell coast of Maryland, Clare began to understand how she essentially wanted to live her life: playing through the woods with bruised knees, scraped shins, twigs in her hair, and her dog by her side. Throughout high school, she learned how important it was to give back to those around her. With that in mind, Clare went to college in Boone, NC to simultaneously pursue her needs to explore mountains, observe nature, and exist among an adventurous community all while developing a tool box to help those around me. At Appalachian State, she volunteered with AppHealth Care, assisted in pioneering the organization, Innovative Approaches, guided climbing expeditions with App State’s Outdoor Programs, and worked towards finally getting her B.A. in Psychology in 2018. After graduating, Clare blasted up to Alaska to continue guiding commercially, then moved to Wyoming for the fall to volunteer with HawkWatch International, then finally she made it to Bend to dive into her ideal job.
Aida grew up exploring the hills of northern California, but seeking adventure and a mountain lifestyle moved to the beautiful forested lands of Oregon. She attended school at University of Oregon and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology & Archaeology and a certification from The Outdoor Pursuits Leadership Program in outdoor recreation. During her time at university, she discovered the freedom of the Wilderness and now wants to devote her life to its stewardship and teachings. When not in the field, you can catch Aida climbing at Smith Rock, kayaking any river or lake, trail running near Sunriver, or floating the Deschutes with a coffee and book in hand.
Kay was born and raised on the Oregon coast. From an early age she was instilled with a deep love of the outdoors. Swimming, sailing, canoeing, foraging, hiking and singing camp songs all bring a sparkle to her eye. After running summer camps, coaching volleyball, creating wedding cakes, teaching cooking classes and traveling in the backcountry Kay finds herself being drawn to uniting people and fostering creativity and curiosity. Kay believes nature provides us the opportunity to slow down, create wonder, generate gratitude and heal. She has seen the immense benefits wilderness has brought to her life and feels honored to get to help connect others to the outdoors and connect to themselves.
Levi was born in Santa Cruz, CA. Growing up in California, he hiked, climbed, mountain biked, and surfed, creating a love for wild places. Levi then attended University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA where he earned a bachelors degree in psychology and neuroscience. Throughout his time in Washington, Levi continued to foster his love for the outdoors. During summers he worked as a backpacking guide in Northern California.
Levi has a strong drive to care for others. In spring of 2019, he took a wilderness medicine course where he became a certified Wilderness EMT. He is interested in both continuing medical training as well as pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology or neuroscience. Levi became a guide at New Vision because of the opportunity to share the healing power of the wilderness and to use his skills and experience to help students and families in need. In his free time, Levi engages in hiking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, cooking, and dancing as well as practicing yoga and meditation.
Max grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where he found a love for the outdoors hiking the local State Parks. After completing his Bachelor in outdoor recreation education, Max went on to guide in North Carolina and New Zealand as well as volunteered for disaster relief in the Virgin Islands. After working with foster children and adjudicated youth in New Zealand, Max found a passion for working with individuals in crisis. This led him to New Vision where he loves combining psychology and the wilderness to help those who need it the most. During his free time, you can find Max on the local trails and crags in Central Oregon, spending time in his garden, or reading a good book.
Adelei was - quiet literally - raised by Wolves. She is currently one of two pups ending the long line of lineage. Her pack spreads across the nation - HI, AK, WA, TX, NM, VA, and NC. Because of this, she has a deep love for travel and a strong desire to connect families. Adelei has a BA in Linguistics from the University of WA. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and worked in China for two years. After leaving China, Adelei returned to Seattle to work with Mandarin speaking families and their children. Ultimately, it was Adelei’s belief in the powerful healing properties of nature and her desire to reconnect that led her to NVW.
Growing up in California Chris has always found joy and happiness with the outdoors and sports. Since moving to Oregon and getting his degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Southern Oregon University, his curiosity for what the wilderness can offer therapeutically grew immensely. During his time off he loves photography, playing rugby, and exploring the surrounding areas of Bend.
Clark Courtney grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Kentucky where she taught High School Environmental Science in Baltimore for two years. Now she lives in Oregon which is different for her, but loves every second of her adventure. She enjoys being outside, hiking, backpacking and canoeing. When she isn’t outside she enjoys playing board games, and being with friends. When she grows up she wants to be able to say she left the places she has been in a better space than when she got there. You can usually find her smiling and willing to give a helping hand.
Emily grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania amongst the cornfields, but not so many horses or buggies. Her last name is Gibson, like the guitar. In 2015, Emily hiked from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail and is currently planning to hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2020. Emily went to Temple University in Philadelphia, PA for Environmental Studies and Geographic Information Systems. In her spare time, Emily enjoys rock climbing, playing her guitar, writing music, and having staring contests with Crypto.
As a young lad from the South-Eastern part of the country, Harrison grew up walking, trekking and hiking around the hill tops of beautiful Tennessee. His love for the outdoors soon led him to become a playful staff at a summer camp that he once went to. Bringing his talents to the opposite side of the country, he decided to step into this work to help aid in healing in the woods. He believes in the power of nature and disconnecting from everyday technology to reconnect with the true self. Harrison is an avid yogi and quote lover, so when not in the woods, you can catch him reading and tromping around Central Oregon.
Growing up in the woods of western Michigan, Jim has always been drawn to the outdoors. He and his 2 older brothers would catch frogs in the creek and climb trees whenever they could. This fascination for nature and the animals around him fueled his interest in science and led him to study Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. With his newfound knowledge of how the brain works and what drives people to act as they do, he was eager to apply what he learned and help those around him. He wanted to combine his interest in neuroscience and nature which brought him to the mountains of Colorado. Here he truly discovered the outdoors and the value of shared experience and empowerment through challenging situations. After working many different avenues in the outdoors from adaptive recreation to adventure camps, Jim found his passion in wilderness therapy where he could help people understand themselves and the world around them in an environment that has helped him find peace and purpose in his own life. Outside of work, Jim enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, traveling, music and art. With his experience as a field guide, Jim hopes to go back to school for counseling and start his own camp one day.
Mark hales from the great state of Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee with a degree in philosophy. He loves long walks in the woods and promoting positive mental health. He’s the 2009 youth worm grunting champion of the world and is published on existential thought. If you need a guy to catch you love bait of talk about the meaning of life, he’s your guy. His life plans include traveling and furthering his education
Stu grew up in Indiana, but seeking adventure and a mountain lifestyle he moved to beautiful Bend, OR. Before he found New Vision, Stu spent his summers fighting wildfires to satisfy his passion for working in the outdoors. When he’s not working, you can find him making hot sauce, snowboarding, fly fishing, or riding his motorcycle.
Talor is a spunky 24 year old with a background in mma, which shaped her to be tough as nails for backpacking the outdoors. In her free time she enjoys aerial arts and yoga, along with practicing different ways she can help her students become the best versions of themselves they can be. She graduated Western Washington University in 2016 with a degree in psychology, and it has always been her passion to combine her academic excellence with Earth’s open-air. She is grounded by the peaceful serene complexities of nature, and is determined to help everyone see the woods the way she does.
Born and raised in coastal Mobile, Alabama, Reece grew up exploring the warm gulf waters and dense forests of the southeast. From a young age, Reece was a wild boy with a tender heart. In adolescence he could usually be found romping around outside or diving into some fantastical world in the form of a Brian Jacques book. As the oldest of three, Reece learned quite a bit of independence as he grew up, yet he followed a track that most of his peers were on leading up to college. Reece graduated from the University of Alabama with a business degree, but on the verge of entering the working world, he turned away from the suits and briefcases to don hiking boots and a backpack instead. Now he works as a field guide navigating the woods of central Oregon with our students. Reece exhibits so much compassion for those around him. He’s got a smile that’ll melt yer heart like butter on a hot day. If you see him around say hello!
Mason is from Maine. He makes the most of his mornings. Mason doesn't count minutes, he maintains in the magic of the moment. Mason meanders around the middle way, balanced between misery and meditation. Mason's mom might say he looks messy most of the time, but meaningful and magnanimous are words she might use to describe him as well. Mason makes music. Mason maneuvers with a memorable melody, mindful and mirthful of the seemingly minuscule things that are actually monumental. Mason manifests.
Maddi hails from Seattle, Washington. She grew up traipsing through Olympic rainforests and swimming in the high alpine lakes of the North Cascades. Eventually she ventured east for four years to study Psychology and Spanish at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. During her college career Maddi ran for the cross country and track & field teams, studied abroad in Spain, and spent a summer in Ecuador working at an art therapy school for special needs students. Since graduating in 2018, Maddi fine-tuned her skills as an outdoor educator through a development course with Northwest Outward Bound School and worked as a ski instructor in Park City, Utah. Most recently she guided for a teen backcountry recreation company in Jackson, Wyoming. Maddi is beyond happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest and working for New Vision, where she hopes to continue to grow as a guide while helping students to revel in the beautiful, healing power of the woods.
Mac escaped from the suburbs of Pennsylvania to seek out experiences in the wider world, creating a love of travel and desire to intimately understand diverse ways of living. This can be seen in her admittedly multifarious professional activities – which include stints at Bridgewater Associates, the CIA, and Backpacker magazine – and international interludes – studying Muay Thai in Thailand, working at a hiking cabin in Norway, and volunteering in a kibbutz in Israel. Mac also embraces her nerdy side: she studies engineering at Dartmouth and was heavily involved in academic research focused on mathematically modeling qualitative social and environmental systems. She is thrilled to continue her journey at New Vision and explore the therapeutic power of the outdoors while challenging students to hone and implement their own life philosophies.
Having healed in the San Bernardino National Forest myself, I learned how important of a tool mother nature can be. I acquired a B.S. in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and a minor in Counseling to pair my passions of helping individuals grow and getting them outside. I personally enjoy climbing mountains, swimming in varying bodies of water, backpacking with friends, running around, and eating super duper food. Occasionally I find myself reading, showering, or attempting to can beans.
Life’s goals consist of becoming a great mentor (subjective and ongoing), hiking the CDT, getting my LMHC or MSW, and owning goats for cuddles and cheese.
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