Open Sky Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Our alumni community continues to celebrate new achievements, milestones, and chapters of life! Join us as we check in with some of our alumni students and families to find out about life after Open Sky! We're also excited to announce a full slate of alumni reunion events throughout the country for 2020. Be sure to check out the Alumni Reunion Events Calendar at the bottom of this issue of SKYlights for details! 


Matt B.  Alumni Student • 2009  Team Bodhi (Young Adults)

Congratulations to Open Sky alumni Matt B. and his fiancée Ally, on the birth of their son, Bodhi Edward on January 8, 2020!

When Matt and Ally learned that they were expecting a baby boy, Ally came to Matt and told him that she loved the name Bodhi, which means: state of Zen or enlightenment, the true nature of things, opening your heart and soul. This is a way by which Ally wishes to live her life.

As she shared this with Matt, she was completely unaware of the name's significance in his life. Bodhi was the name of Matt's Open Sky team back in 2009. Matt said, “it was a goose bump reaction for sure.” It was from that point on that the couple knew their son would be named Bodhi.

Matt said, “Open Sky transformed my life and allowed me to grow as an adult and live a healthier, better, fuller life. The skills I gained are very much in my daily life practice. I am eternally grateful for the experience I had and the support from Open Sky and my family.” Congratulations, Matt and Ally!


From busting fires in wilderness, to studying art in Italy, to attending college at The New School

Nicole D.  Alumni Student • 2018 • Team Firefly (Adolescent Girls)

Article Excerpt: Today, I have dealt with new traumas, challenges, and I still occasionally struggle with my mental health. But now, I have the skills to cope well and effectively. I know I cannot change my past and can only move forward...I really believe I would not be here on this earth without Open Sky. I am eternally grateful for all of the staff and my team, Firefly, for giving me so many precious memories and for teaching me...


Reflecting on my son's transformation and our family's healing

Charlie H.  Alumni Parent  2019 • Team Avatar (Adolescent Boys)

Article Excerpt: As I reflect back on the entire Open Sky experience and the months since, I am filled with joy over the growth I see in my son. Much of this growth started in small, incremental ways, like a little flower struggling to pierce its way through the hard desert soil... My son is able to express his emotions in ways that most adults have not yet achieved. He is now grounded and calm and displays little social anxiety. He genuinely expresses that he is grateful for simple things and reminds me that it is “OK” if he feels sad from time to time because he knows he the tools to be aware of his emotions, mind, and body. Most importantly, my son now...


Carrying the lessons from wilderness to my life today

Reilly C. • Alumni Student • 2017 • Team Durga (Young Adults)

Article Excerpt: I chose to study psychology because of my own journey with mental health and exposure to so many people’s life stories. I want to give back to people who are struggling and it helps that I can relate through my own experiences. I aim to get my doctorate and become a therapist for children, adolescents, and young adults—particularly women who have experienced sexual trauma and recovering addicts. I just want to...


Meet the alumni stepdad who was inspired to change lives...including his own

Peter Frankel • Open Sky Family Wellness Counselor

As my stepdaughter attended Open Sky in 2013, I found myself completely engaged in this process. I met Founder Aaron Fernandes at Wellness Weekend and we maintained contact after my daughter graduated. I joined the team in 2015 as the Alumni Communications Coordinator, offering support and collecting qualitative feedback. Today, I have moved into the role of Family Wellness Counselor on the Family Services Team. I have returned to school for my Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University. My goal is to become a licensed professional counselor and a Family Services Therapist at Open Sky. The Open Sky mission rings true for my family and me and I am honored and humbled to be a part of this marvelous organization.

"I can sincerely say that Open Sky changed my life for the way better. At first, it came as a shock and was hard to adapt, but every student eventually leans in and really does the work needed."

- Kyle M. • Alumni Student • 2019
Team Gaia (Adolescent Boys)


"Our son is thriving, happy, and has coping skills to use instead of spiraling out of control. We have our son back! My heart feels grateful, my soul feels connected, my mind feels peaceful, and body feels relaxed...finally."

- Linda C. • Alumni Parent • 2019
Team Gaia (Adolescent Boys)

Do you have a story or an update to share?

We LOVE hearing from our alumni students and families! If you're interested in sharing your Open Sky journey or an update on your life today, please reach out to:
If we publish your story in SKYlights, we'll send you an Open Sky hoodie!



Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.

Admissions: 970-759-8324