In college, Kristen concentrated on social justice and globalization within the small Global Development Studies major at the University of Virginia. She later ventured to India, where she worked for a nonprofit that rescues and represents women from the sex trafficking industry. Advocating for the marginalized poor has brought Kristen to several other nonprofit settings, including connecting teenagers with the homeless and managing service projects for at-risk youth.
Kristen was attracted to the field of wilderness therapy and the work at Open Sky because of her belief in the fundamental healing power of the wilderness. Both professionally and personally, she has seen the debilitating effects of depression, anxiety, and other issues that often go untreated today. She believes it is noble and courageous to face one’s demons in the midst of all that nature offers.
As a Senior Guide, Kristen values the opportunities to bear witness to life-changing personal transformations. Her job is to facilitate and channel the power of nature, therapy, and authentic community, and the students do the rest. She loves the moment when students begin to “take back” their own lives—when they become intrinsically motivated to dive into the core of their soul work. Kristen brings a lively energy to every team. She believes it’s incredibly important to recognize her own inner child and bring that energy to others—especially in this work. That said, when it is time to fear, to weep, to process life’s challenges—she is right there.
During her time off, she enjoys writing and reading with a long cup of coffee. And weather permitting, she always tries to summit at least one humongous Colorado mountain.