Instructor, Blue Ridge Leadership & Blue Ridge Discovery
Jess hails from Asheville, NC, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. During her time at Emory & Henry College, Jess was the Outdoor Program intern, coordinating hiking and backpacking programs for students. She also led backpacking, whitewater kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, sea kayaking, canoeing, and rock climbing expeditions for underclassmen. She has worked on photo and video production for the non-profit organization Appalachian Sustainable Development, she spent this past winter season as a ski instructor at Steamboat Resort in CO. Jess is returning to Adventure Treks for her third season as an instructor.
- Education: Emory & Henry College; bachelor’s degree in sociology and mass communications
- Medical certifications: Wilderness first responder, mental health first aid, PSIA alpine level 1
- Favorite outdoor memory: Loading up sea kayaks before dawn in the Ten Thousand Islands of Florida and finding both mild anxiety and incredible stillness in not being able to pinpoint the line between sky and water. At night, it was like floating in a snow globe of stars, and everyone was totally silent until the sun started to rise—and we saw dolphins!
- Biggest outdoor achievement: I planned and co-led a sea kayaking trip in my last year of college that challenged the entire group but was ultimately fantastic.
- Countries visited: Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain
- Favorite hobbies: Backpacking is my absolute favorite activity, and I also like to whitewater kayak and ski. I spend my down time reading, playing music, and rollerblading.