Brandon Olson Portrait

Brandon Olson

Director of Operations

Brandon’s combined passion for service and for the outdoors has been a driving force throughout his career. After graduating with a degree in Outdoor and Environmental Education from Johnson State College in Vermont, Brandon joined the Peace Corp, where he spent 2 years training young service guides in environmental education at a nature reserve in…

Mycala Cherry Portrait

Mycala Cherry, MS, APC, NCC


Mycala is a nationally certified counselor who comes to First Light Wilderness with a diverse mix of clinical and wilderness experience. She earned her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Georgia State University, and has worked in residential, wilderness, outpatient, and telehealth settings. Mycala is certified in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training…

Dr. Brian Daniels Portrait

Dr. Brian Daniels, Psy.D, MS

Clinical Director

Brian Daniels, PsyD, MS is the Clinical Director at Northwoods Wilderness Therapy.  He has worked with students and families in crisis, in both residential and wilderness therapy settings, since 2005. Dr. Daniels earned a master’s degree in Child Development from Erikson Institute in Chicago, IL and a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago…

Tamara Mathiesen Portrait

Tamara Mathiesen

Administrative Assistant

Nicole Prescott, LPC, LCPC

Lead Wilderness Therapist

Nicole Prescott, LCPC, is a Lead Wilderness Therapist at Northwoods Wilderness Therapy.  She has worked with children and adolescents in a variety of settings including wilderness therapy programs, residential treatment centers, community mental health agencies, and private practice. Nicole earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology specializing in Child and Adolescent Therapy from Lewis University…

Mark Morse Portrait

Mark Morse

Admissions Coordinator

Mark is the Admissions Coordinator at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy (DWT) since March of 2021. He started in admissions after being a field instructor for our program. He came out of the woods and went into admissions to pursue a career in the industry he loves. Before coming to DWT, he was a field instructor at…

Joseph Daugherty Portrait

Joseph Daugherty, CPRP, CEE

Program Director

Joseph earned a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Recreation from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He studied Adventure Therapy at Georgia College and State University for two years. Joseph is a certified park and recreation professional and a certified environmental educator. He also serves on the Certification Advisory Board for Environmental Education…

Matt Potako

Logistics Coordinator

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.…

Kayla Davenport, MS

Wilderness Therapist

Kayla comes to First Light with a passion for wilderness therapy and family programming.  She received her BS in Psychology and MS in Community Counseling from University of North Georgia (then North Georgia College and State University). She completed her practicum and internship at an all-girls boarding school and stayed there for 3 years. For…

Mary Jo DeGrandi Portrait

Mary Jo DeGrandi

Senior Director of Professional Relations

Mary Jo brings more than 20 years of experience in therapeutic settings to her role at First Light Wilderness. She began her career as a child advocate, working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in native Alaskan communities, where she discovered how impactful it could be to provide therapeutic treatment in outdoor settings.…