ASSOCIATE FIELD DIRECTOR
- Pursuing Recreational Therapy Degree, Brigham Young University
- Field Guide, Outback Therapeutic Expeditions
- Maple Dell Scout Camp, Aquatic Merit Badges Counselor and troop guide
- Utah Addiction Recovery Centers, Shift Lead, AA/CA coordinator
- Especially For Youth, Group Leader and Mentor
- Discovery Connections (Therapeutic Boarding School), Shift Supervisor and Extracurricular Program creator and coordinator
I believe that listening to understand instead of listening to reply is one of the most important tools a parent or mentor can cultivate in their personal lives when trying to connect with youth. Many times, our youth simply need someone to listen to their problems and will come to beautiful realizations about themselves or their situation as we refrain from talking over them. When I was a teenager myself I lived with my sister and brother-in-law and they were amazing guides in my own journey as they patiently listened to my teenager problems.
Growing up in a family with nine siblings, I learned how to work hard and play even harder! I am a firm believer that teens need both hard work and hard play to grow and mature. Work ethic is an important lesson youth can learn in order to feel that they can accomplish hard things and rise above challenges they face on a daily basis. When I was a Senior Guide of a group I made it a point to make sure we played a game every day as a group. Teenagers can be rowdy, rambunctious and full of energy which I see as something beautiful. As they play games and work through active initiatives together they learn skills such as teamwork, introspection, thinking outside the box, and the value of simply asking for help.
A major problem I see rising in our society is a trepidation and fear of letting our youth fail or fall. When thought through and considered, giving youth a difficult task can usher them into substantial personal growth. One of my favorite quotes is “motivation without training leads to frustration”. When I look for the potential in a teenager and brainstorm ways to make them aware of it as well, the solution usually comes in the form of a responsibility. It can be difficult seeing a youth struggle and yet I firmly believe that if they have been given the proper life tools to deal with their difficulties, any failure can be turned into an inspiring learning moment for them. When I look for the greatness in youth I am never disappointed in the potential I see or the determination they display.
I have been blessed to practice the art of empathy from a very young age due to having close, loved ones making poor life decisions that resulted in heavy consequences that impacted their lives as well as the lives of those who loved them. For me, believing that people can change is of paramount importance when working with troubled teens because there is an amazing individual behind every negative behavior. When we are able to give someone the chance to transform, coupled with supportive guidance and opportunities to practice, anyone can change their being because there is greatness in all of us.
Ever since I was a young lad I have had an intense interest in the outdoors. Whether it was hiking, canoeing, camping, fishing, or learning survival skills, I have been able to make great memories with my family. In the last seven years I’ve come to enjoy rock climbing, canyoneering, international travel and international humanitarian work.
Other things I enjoy doing that I may not always vocalize are creating new recipes to enjoy and consume, playing ditties on the piano, belting out songs while driving, tinkering with my motorcycle, wrestling with my brothers and creating obstacle courses in the backyard for my little nieces and nephews. I have always been a big fan of the Boy Scouts of America and am an Eagle Scout. I take the values and principles taught in the BSA very seriously and have had the opportunity to pass those on as an assistant scout master in a troop comprised of adults with intellectual disabilities and have enjoyed learning how best to work and support them.