Leader Bios: Meet Ryan, Emma, Jesse & Ellie!

Ryan Young – New England Mountains & Coast, Maine Coast Junior

When Ryan Young “grows up,” he wants to do one of two things: be a U.S. Senator or live in a cabin in the woods and serve chili to passing hikers and cross country skiers. Ryan dedicated last summer to the pursuit of his first dream, working in Washington, DC, lobbying for Human Rights. This summer is shaping up to be a chance to work on his second dream (though the woodsy cabin and cross country skiers might be in shorter supply). Ryan grew up in Rochester, NY, and, staying true to his New York roots, attends St. Lawrence University where he is a rising senior. He has stayed busy in school by majoring in Government and Economics, minoring in African Studies, competing as a varsity nordic skier, serving as an executive board member at his fraternity, working as a student research assistant at the school library, working as a lifeguard, and getting outside to canoe, camp, and ski as much as he can. On top of ALL of that, Ryan is finding time to hike all 46 Adirondack High Peaks – he’s on track to complete them next fall. No wonder he is a coffee enthusiast! With all of this, Ryan is the perfect person to get students excited about exploring the outdoors on our New England Mountains & Coast and Maine Coast Junior trips.

Emma Norton – New England Mountains & Coast, Maine Coast Junior

Emma Norton grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire, a stone’s throw from the ocean and driving distance from the White Mountains, cultivating a love of the outdoors from a young age. Alongside her parents and older brother, Emma loved rowing, exploring museums, summiting peaks, and wading in the ocean as a kid, which built a foundation for her love of rock climbing, backpacking, and skiing today. A rising junior at Middlebury College, Emma has found Vermont to be the perfect location to combine outdoor adventure and academia, and when she isn’t leading and coordinating trips as the president of the Mountain Club, she can be found studying Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. On campus, Emma serves as a First-Year Counselor (mentoring new students and helping them adjust to college life), teaches spin classes twice a week, and has worked in the Office of Admissions providing campus tours for prospective students. She also somehow found time to backpack in Colorado, California, and Ireland over the last few years. To say Emma is an outdoor enthusiast with a knack for multitasking would be an understatement! She has her sights set on becoming a doctor one day, but is thrilled to be joining the Apogee team to lead our New England Mountains & Coast and Maine Coast Junior trips this summer.

Jesse Evans – New England Mountains & Coast, Maine Coast Junior

Florida native, Jesse Evans, can’t wait to head north to lead our New England Mountains & Coast and Maine Coast Junior trips this summer! From a young age, Jesse has enjoyed spending ample time outside and honing his hard skills, many of which were cultivated through Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Jesse worked his way up through the organization, eventually achieving their highest honor – Eagle Scout – and even went on to become a Senior Patrol Leader, with responsibility for leading a troop of roughly 50 young men. Now a rising senior at Washington & Lee, Jesse majors in Business Administration and minors in Environmental Studies. His favorite part of being on campus is waking in his dorm to a mountainous view and making the most of an early morning. Jesse also makes time to volunteer locally with Happy Kids, Healthy Kids, leading him to spend time with elementary and middle school students as they learn to make healthy lifestyle choices, both physically and nutritionally. While he enjoys Virginia, Jesse also loves to travel and has led numerous BSA Sailing Adventures (including a week-long trip in the Bahamas), and traveled extensively through Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic, among other countries. Jesse is an active member of the Washington & Lee Outing Club, taking part in trips including overnight kayaking in Everglades National Park and whitewater rafting in Virginia. Jesse traded woods and waters for a media internship in NYC’s concrete jungle last summer, but that only increased how much he’s looking forward to spending his days outside as he leads his students throughout New England this summer!

Ellie Rubinstein – New England Mountains & Coast, Maine Coast Junior

Ellie Rubinstein loves nothing more than working with kids in an outdoor setting, making her the perfect fit to lead our New England Mountains & Coast and Maine Coast Junior trips this summer! Ellie spent eight summers at Camp Kenwood and Evergreen as a student, and when the time came, she couldn’t wait to join the team as a staff member. Over the last four summers she worked her way up through the ranks, starting as a junior counselor and finally working as a Unit Leader last summer, managing more than a dozen staff members and working with campers ages eight to fifteen. When she’s not exploring with students in New Hampshire, Ellie can be found at Colorado College, where she’s a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Environmental Issues. Beyond her studies, Ellie is an active member of the Ultimate Frisbee Team, plays the trombone in the Colorado College Collegium Musicum, tutors local elementary students through GlobeMed, and serves as an Admissions Ambassador leading campus tours for prospective students and families. Ellie also makes the most of her time away from campus, taking part in backpacking and camping trips through the Outdoor Education Department, studying abroad in eastern and central Europe, and also completing a Legislative Internship in Washington, DC, this past fall. Though she loves the natural beauty Colorado has to offer, this Conord, MA, native is excited to come back east to join the Apogee team for the summer!