Leader Bios 2024: New England Support, Summer Assistant Directors, and Summer Specialists!

This batch of Leader Bios covers the unsung heroes of the Apogee summer, the folks working behind-the-scenes to make an Apogee summer run smoothly: our New England Support Staff, Summer Assistant Directors, and Summer Specialists!

Name: Aria Heyneman (she/her)

2024 Position: New England Support

Hometown: Sheridan, Wyoming

School: Wake Forest University, Class of 2025

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, backpacking, and skiing

Highlights of the past year: Aria hiked in Chilean Patagonia and went swimming in the Amazon River during her semester abroad in South America!

Where you can find Aria when she’s not exploring: Aria can be found playing soccer, either for the club team (that she’s the captain of!) at Wake Forest or on various intramural teams, thrifting, reading, or cooking with her family. 

Further proof that Aria is the coolest: She spent last summer teaching 10-14-year-olds how to rock climb, belay, and repel in her local mountain range. Aria’s family has worked in production agriculture for over 75 years, so their primary mode of spending quality time together is fixing fences and taking care of cows. She recently hiked the largest active volcano in Chile while studying abroad! In the summers prior to joining the Apogee team, Aria worked as an Outdoor Program Coordinator and Camp Counselor. Aria is excited to be around like-minded and adventurous individuals this summer and looks forward to exploring a new part of the country!

Name: Taylor Kozak (she/her)

2024 Position: New England Support

Hometown: Bay Village, Ohio

School: Colorado State University, Class of 2024

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Snowboarding and backpacking

Highlights of the past year: Taylor went on a 6 day backpacking trip in Utah!

Where you can find Taylor when she isn’t snowboarding: Taylor is a huge travel enthusiast, she has studied abroad in Spain, Ecuador, and Italy. 

Additional super awesome facts about Taylor: At Colorado State, Taylor worked as a Peer Advisor in the Office of International Programs, where she helped facilitate other students’ study abroad experiences. Through CSU’s Extension Program, Taylor researched the impact of Spanish speaking immigrants on Colorado’s agriculture and conducted interviews (in Spanish) with local Hispanic and Latinx community members. In addition to speaking Spanish fluently, she also speaks fluent Italian! In her summers prior to Apogee, Taylor worked for the Girl Scouts of Colorado as a Camp Counselor and volunteered in Spain for a non-profit. Last, but certainly not least, Taylor is a huge Star Wars nerd and loves to talk about all things Star Wars.

Name: Katey Grealish (she/her)

2024 Position: Summer Assistant Director

Hometown: Westwood, Massachusetts

School: Colorado College, Class of 2024

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking, skiing, and going for neighborhood walks!

Highlights of the past year: Katey had a very big academic year; she studied abroad a second time in Paris, wrote not one, but two 40-page research papers, and graduated from college! She also traveled to South Africa where she watched a women’s soccer tournament and went on a safari.

Where you can find Katey when she’s not walking around the neighborhood: Dancing! She dances all the time. She danced in and choreographed for her school’s dance club. Katey is also a big foodie, she loves to cook and discover new restaurants.

A few more reasons why Katey is so cool: After her first year of college, Katey taught seventh-grade math. She worked as a camp counselor in Massachusetts for teenagers. She has studied abroad twice during college, both times in Paris, and lived in an apartment there. Her time in Paris isn’t Katey’s only global connection; she is a dual citizen of the US and Switzerland! Lastly, we can’t forget to mention that Katey is a two-time Apogee alumna; she hiked with us in California and the Swiss Alps!

Name: Lily Horne (she/her)

2024 Position: Summer Assistant Director

Prior Apogee Experience: Maine Coast College Essay ‘23

Hometown: Pownal, Maine

School: Carleton College, Class of 2023

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Skiing, running, slack-lining, farming, swimming!

Highlights of the past year: Lily worked as an AmeriCorps Field Educator at Teton Science School this fall, where she taught environmental education in Grand Teton National Park! She also developed place-based science lessons for an elementary school in Jackson, WY. This winter, she taught cross-country skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Before she comes up to Maine for an Apogee summer, Lily is traveling around Europe and visiting college friends!

Where you can find Lily when she’s not outside: Lily loves all things literary, and spends time reading and writing. She also loves to cook!

More cool things about Lily: Lily has gotten to work with lots of different young people over the last several years. Along with working as a summer counselor at a day camp in Maine, Lily has also worked as an assistant coach for a high school nordic ski team where she teaches and mentors young students. Before coming to Apogee in 2023, Lily spent the summer working with preschool-aged children at Boston Outdoor Preschool Network, and more recently, Lily was in Maine for the total solar eclipse! She learned how to downhill ski this season and skied 42 days – and if you think that’s impressive, Lily thinks she might have logged more days on the dance floor this year, since she learned how to swing dance. Her family has six Nigerian Dwarf goats, three of whom have been in her family for more than half her life.

Name: Olivia “Liv” Bush (she/her)

2024 Position: Summer Assistant Director

Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island

School: Bucknell University, Class of 2024

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Hiking and running

Highlights of the past year: Liv took a two week trip to Oxfordshire, England! While across the pond, she saw castles, visited London, and ran in the countryside! Her family also visited Acadia National Park where she went on a hike in the pouring rain (and still had a blast)!

Where you can find Liv when she’s not running: Liv is a huge foodie! She loves baking for her roommates and friends. Her favorite recipes include chocolate chip cookies, carrot cake, and cheesecake. Liv also loves exploring new restaurants wherever she goes and expanding her food palate. To relax, Liv enjoys cross-stitching or needlepointing while listening to podcasts!

Fast facts about Liv: Liv has been very busy training for the Pittsburgh Marathon, which she ran a week before she graduated from college (and qualified for the Boston Marathon)! When she was in high school, Liv attended a semester school called The Mountain School in Vermont. While there, she took classes, cared for animals while working on a farm, did a four-day, three-night solo trip, and cut wood for the school boiler! Liv played Division 1 field hockey for all four years at Bucknell, and coaches and referees field hockey in Rhode Island for her former club team when she is on school breaks.

Name: Genevieve “Geeves” Emerson

2024 Position: Summer Enrollment and Admissions Specialist

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

School: Elon University, Class of 2023

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Skiing, climbing, kayaking, hammocking, and “lizard time” (laying in the sun)

Highlights of the past year: After graduating last spring, Geeves put her academic hat back on and presented her undergraduate thesis at the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium. She also coached speech and debate at her high school this past year; her high school’s team is ranked fifth in the nation!

Where you can find Geeves when she’s not lying on a rock in the sun: Geeves is constantly reading in her free time (if anyone has any good fantasy recommendations, she’s all ears). She loves listening to music and walking her dog, Phineas. Geeves also loves dancing; she’s done ballet since she was two, and took a hip-hop class with her college roommates last year.

Other reasons Geeves is the niftiest: She has now presented her thesis on her college’s outdoor pre-orientation program at two different national conferences! She has worked as a ski instructor at Winter Park for five seasons, and did behind-the-scenes work there this winter. When she was in college, Geeves worked as a trip leader for her school’s outdoors program. Geeves lived in Switzerland for three months nannying for her relatives.

Name: Adam Driscoll (he/him)

2024 Position: Summer Housing and Warehouse Specialist

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

School: Lewis and Clark College, Class of 2025

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Climbing, backpacking, horseback riding, running, and hot tubbing!

Highlights of the past year: Adam studied abroad in France this past semester! Living there allowed him to improve his fluency in French, and he was able to travel around Europe while he was out there. Adam also climbed Mt. St. Helens for his birthday. 

Where you might find Adam if he’s not hiking or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors: Adam loves to find new restaurants to show his friends, he is always game for a trip to the thrift store, and he’s passionate about music – he loves to go to concerts to discover new music and plays the violin.

Other fun facts about Adam: He volunteers as a Wildland Firefighter with CAL Fire and has backpacked in Yosemite, Alaska, Washington, and California. Adam comes from a big family of nine! He and three of his siblings are adopted. He’s ridden horses his whole life, and has a dream of buying a ranch out west in Colorado or Wyoming. With the help of school and study abroad, Adam can confidently say that he is bilingual, and can speak the French language pretty fluently. Lastly, Adam is a former Apogee student! He road from Eugene, Oregon to San Francisco, CA on our Pacific Coast trip!