Friday, May 29, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Joe

Greetings from sunny Virginia. My name is Joseph Mueller and I'm a national treasure hunting champion, screen printer, Official Team Zissou member, mandolin playing, web programing, hiking and biking enthusiast. Two years ago I toured across country taking the 76 Bike Centennial Route. This was an excellent experience which allowed me to see the country, meet lots of new and interesting people, and share past stories while making new ones at the same time. Since returning I've been working as a Graphic Designer in the Washington D.C metro area. In my free time I've been racing bikes and doing small tours up and down the east coast as much as possible. I look forward to meeting everyone this summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Dana

Greetings trekkers, families, and fellow leaders! I am so excited to be a leader for a teen treks bike trip this summer! I can't wait to meet you and travel with you this summer! But first, here's a little bit of info about me: I am a recent grad of SUNY Cortland, where I completed a Master of Science in Teaching degree. I am a New York State certified teacher for grades 1-6. I cannot wait to have my own classroom someday to inspire and engage young minds to develop a love of learning. I also have a B.S. in International Relations and worked for a couple of years as a bicycle safety educator in my hometown of Cortland. I have coached basketball and field hockey here at home and have traveled around the world a little bit as an English teacher in developing countries. My latest hobby is bicycle touring, as I have found it to be the perfect way to combine my love of bicycling with my passion for traveling. This year I have toured a bit of East Africa by bicycle and just recently returned from a trip through the Finger Lakes region of New York. I am eager to load up my panniers once again, this time for a trip with Teen Treks!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Zachary

Hey guys! My name is Zachary LaVigne, no relation to Avril. I am a current student at the University at Buffalo finishing up my degree in Exercise Science, then going on to Chiropractic School next year.

I grew up in the Adirondack Park, so I have been camping and doing adventurous things like whitewater kayaking my whole life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. While I was up there I ran my own business at a local campground for five years where I interacted with more than 300 kids a night. It was a blast.

I think I will be a great Teen Treks leader because I can make even the worst situation somewhat comical, boost moral and get a smile on someone’s face. I have taken the lead in many aspects of my life and feel that I am someone who can be looked up to and trusted for advise.

I can’t wait to have a great time with you guys and for you to have one of the best experiences of your lives.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Jason

Howdy everyone… my name is Jason and I am 23 years old from Boston, MA. I live with two housemates I found through Craigslist and never looked back. I am an EMT for the neighboring Boston towns and I am also a 7th/8th math teacher in Cambridge and enjoy starting up a conversation with just about anyone (my most memorable was striking up an exchange with the drug enforcing officer in Colombia while giving his dog a tummy rub). I have a passion to travel, having lived in Barcelona for a year abroad and going to the Dominican Republic to live in a refugee camp. I love most of all going around meeting new, interesting people and hearing their stories. I love to go cruising around on my bike or jumping in the pool for a swim; I even picked up one day and started running marathons. I was on both the Tufts cycling and swim team and even played around for a while on the ballroom team. As for books, I read them when I can and enjoy all subjects. I am ecstatic to meet the group and I am ready for the exciting and memorable voyage that we embark on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Zoe

This will be my third summer touring on my bike and my first with Teen Treks. My bike is, without a doubt, my most treasured possession. I am so excited to get out and start riding this season!

During the school year I teach general music and chorus. I have just finished my first year teaching, and now have experience doing everything from elementary music to high school choir. It was a blast and I’m really looking forward to my career in education.

When I’m not teaching, I like to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Adirondack scenery. Some activities I enjoy include rock climbing, hiking, camping, and biking (of course).

It is always nice to be able to interact with students outside of the classroom. Whether as a camp counselor or trek leader, I find it incredibly rewarding to be a positive influence on young people at such a pivotal point in their lives.

I do my best to have fun in every situation, a skill that always comes in handy on the open road. Whether we are riding in a rainstorm or too exhausted to move, there will always be something to learn (or laugh about) that will make everything worthwhile.

There is absolutely nothing I would rather be doing this summer than touring with Teen Treks. I am so looking forward to meeting everyone that I will be traveling with. I’m sure we'll have a lot to learn from each other!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Michael

Hi! I'm Michael Rose. I'm currently teaching math and coaching soccer in New York City, which has been an incredible change of pace and scenery for me. I recently moved to New York from Estes Park, Colorado, where I was teaching math at an experiential high school. My work history has been almost exclusively in the field of working with youth, with my sights set actively on youth engagement. I enjoy being a part of opportunities in which youth are able to take responsibility and develop as leaders in their communities.

Some things I enjoy (in no particular order): coffee, soccer, running, reading, climbing, biking, music, traveling, slacklining, and my family. The highlight of my last summer was designing and teaching a course on the physics of mountain biking in which we also had the opportunity to mountain bike all over Colorado. I'm looking forward to getting out on the road, spending the summer with some great people, and making great memories!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Bonnie

Greetings! I'm Bonnie Enders. I am a high school math teacher living and teaching in Arlington, Virginia. I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2001 with a degree in Systems Engineering. After graduating, I spent a year with Americorps in San Jose, California helping to run an after school science program for at-risk youth. After my year in San Jose, I spent a few years in the financial sector before going back to graduate school for a degree in secondary education. I have taught at both the Junior High and High School levels, and love the day to day variety and spontaneity of working with teenaged students.

I first got into cycling about seven years ago when training for my first triathlon. Three triathlons later I have realized that I really only enjoy the cycling leg, and have since focused my energy more on bike riding and touring. My favorite biking trip so far has been cycling from Prague to Budapest last summer (even though it rained half the time)!

In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling, any form of outdoor recreation, and hanging out with my husband, Alex, and dog, Sydney. My travels have taken me to Alaska, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, and all over Europe. My hobbies definitely center around being outside and active - hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, rollerblading... As long as I'm outdoors or moving, I'm happy!I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Teen Treks this summer, and am eager to meet everyone on my Trek!

Meet our Leaders: Andy

I am a 24-year-old Clarence, NY native who will be a group leader this summer. As a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park in 2007, I have been living and working in Washington, DC since. This summer I find myself somewhat in limbo. After graduating with a Dual B.A. in Government and Politics, and Criminal Justice, I worked in the political spectrum; including jobs on Capitol Hill in Senator Chuck Schumer’s office, at a private lobbying firm and most recently at a large medical association. I moved out of DC in April, and have since been spending my days relaxing and surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii. In addition to Teen Treks, I am also looking forward to seeing at least a few Phish shows this summer, one of my favorite jam bands. Come August, I will once again have a place to call my own. I'm moving to Philadelphia, PA where I'll be attending Villanova Law School, starting this fall. Although no specifics have been decided yet, it looks as though I'll be focusing on public interest law, with a desire to get back into legislative policy.

As an Eagle Scout, I've had numerous outdoor adventures including camping, hiking, and canoeing throughout North America. I have also been a lifeguard for close to ten years, working during my high school days in Clarence as well as my college years and beyond. This past winter, I participated in Chill Snowboarding, a program sponsored by Burton that taught inner-city youths from DC how to snowboard. By the final day, every student was able to successfully ride down the mountain! I can’t wait to get on my bike and out on the open road on this sure to be amazing adventure.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Mariel

Hi! I’m Mariel Boyarsky. I’m from New City, New York, and I graduated this year from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York with a degree in Gender Studies and Linguistics. After this summer, I’ll be moving to New Orleans, Louisiana, to start a fellowship there.

I’ve loved biking ever since I was a kid. My dad taught me how to ride a bike using a black-and-green Ninja Turtles bicycle with training wheels. I’ve done a lot of cycling with my family, and a few summers ago, I did a two-week trip through hilly Vermont.

I’ve been working with kids and teens since I was in high school. I’ve taught, tutored, and babysat; and I’ve been a camp counselor and swim instructor. Last year, I lived abroad in Israel and studied at the University of Haifa. It was a really rewarding experience—especially working on my Hebrew, interning at a Battered Women’s Shelter, and tutoring Ethiopian immigrants in English.

I love learning new languages, and I love to travel. I’ve been to Israel, Jordan, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and El Salvador! In my free time, I like to read, play Ultimate Frisbee, and—of course—bike! I also write short stories and poetry, and some of my work has actually been published. Something I wrote when I was fourteen got published in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.

When I’m not at Vassar, I live in New City with my parents, younger sister, and my dog Cinderella. When I’m home, I love to walk my dog in the park or take her hiking.

I’m really excited for this summer, and I can’t wait to meet everyone who will be on my trip!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Kevin

Hi everyone! My name is Kevin McNerney and I am a rising senior at the University of Illinois out in the corn fields of the Midwest. I am majoring in Molecular Biology and have an interest in going into medicine as a pediatrician. I must say that of all my experiences, working with kids have been my favorites. I have worked as a camp counselor for the past three summers, and have loved every minute of it. Most recently, I was a camp counselor at a stay away camp in Gainesville, Texas; if any of you have questions about the Lone Star State I’d be happy to talk about it. While in Texas, I led a cross country class for children with Type 1 Diabetes. We had a few close encounters with the Texas cattle on our runs, but we saw some great sights and it turned out to be a lot of fun for everyone. During the school year, I tutor middle school students in math and a university freshman in biology. Meeting and learning about new people is always a lot of fun for me, and keeps me going back to these tutoring programs year after year. As for my free time, I run marathons, bowl, read, watch “The Office” and, last but definitely not least, bike. I cannot wait to meet all of you and am really looking forward to a great trip.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Meet our Leaders: Jean

I have worked with teenagers, both as a high school teacher and also as a trip leader, for the last 11 years. I learned all about hiking, camping and rock climbing in the Boy Scouts (yes, girls can be in the Boy Scouts) as a kid, and have never stopped traveling and seeing as much of the world as I can. I am still an avid climber, mountaineer, hiker, snowboarder and fly-fisher, and I spend my free time enjoying these hobbies as well as leading a tour for Teen Treks each summer. Every summer's trip is a new adventure with an amazing group of people who, by its end, are close friends with hundreds of shared stories and memories. I look forward to meeting this summer's crew and rolling out on our journey together!