Brandon Olson Portrait

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…

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Joseph Daugherty Portrait

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…

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Mary Jo DeGrandi Portrait

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.…

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Jean began her career in the outdoors when she was attending Loyola University Maryland by leading outdoor trips for incoming freshman as well as fellow students. During this time, she began volunteering with Outward Bound and working with the Police Youth Program. It was then, that she realized that she wanted to find ways to…

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Jeff found his love for working with adolescents while tutoring under-privileged children as an undergraduate, and this experience influenced his decision to major in social work. Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of South Dakota, and then his Master’s in Social Work at the University of Iowa. For the next…

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Ryan Paterson attended the University of Vermont School of Medicine and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency and Fellowship in Wilderness/Altitude/Expedition Medicine at Denver Health Medical Center/the University of Colorado, USA. He also holds advanced certifications in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) and in Mountain Medicine (DiMM). He is…

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