It is almost May, and spring is in full bloom! As the weather is getting warmer, we are getting even more excited for the summer! And what could help cultivate this excitement than introducing more fantastic Apogee Leaders! We will start with Will Robertson and Lucy Brennan, two unstoppable leaders that will be heading down to Puerto Rico on our Caribbean Service Adventure this summer. And on a much more Northern coast, we have Mike Vercillo and Mary Cutler who will be riding with their students along the coast of Maine from Freeport, Maine to Quebec on our Coast to Quebec trip! Mike and Mary will finish their cycling trip and head to Acadia for our Maine Coast Junior adventure!
Will Robertson is a 2014 graduate of Hamilton College, and we are thrilled to have him lead our Caribbean Service Adventure this summer! Will grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his parents and older sister. The outdoors have always been a major part of Will’s life – he began Nordic skiing at a young age, and spent many summer weekends camping and canoeing near his family’s rustic cabin on the banks of the Mississippi. A man of many interests, Will has always been very involved in the performing arts. At Hamilton, Will was a Music major with a concentration in music composition. Will has applied his knowledge and love for music to his passion for working with students since 2006 when he worked as a counselor at a children’s music camp in the Twin Cities. Last summer, he worked full time as a Music Teacher and Youth Mentor at a non-profit in Boston, giving lessons to students that would otherwise lack the finances to do participate. Will was also very involved on Hamilton’s campus. In 2012, Will was one of the Assistant Directors for the College Outdoor Leadership Program of the pre-orientation program, where he assisted in the hiring and training of new leaders and planning 28 different wilderness trips. With his incredible outdoor skills, his passion for working with youth, and his overall zest for life, Will and his students are bound to have an amazing summer!
Lucy Brennan is a 2014 graduate of Bates College where she studied Environmental Studies. Although Lucy was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, she recently moved with her family to Freeport, Maine, and has quickly adopted the Maine lifestyle (her family keeps bees, and her mother maintains a farm in their yard), and an adoration for the outdoors. Like her mom, Lucy also got involved with gardening last summer as she worked with a local organic garden and a non-profit called “Lots to Garden.” The mission of this organization is to increase the accessibility of healthy food for both youth and low-income residents around Lewiston, Maine. At Bates, Lucy followed her passion for the outdoors. She led trips for the Bates pre-orientation program for incoming freshmen, and was also a member (and Captain!) of the Varsity Tennis team. Additionally, Lucy has plenty of experience working with kids. She has spent two summers working as a sailing instructor in Sorrento, Maine, where she loved acting as a mentor to her students as they honed their new skills. Lucy’s students are going to love her kindness and warmth as they work on their various community service projects throughout Puerto Rico on our Caribbean Service Adventure this summer!
A 2014 Williams College graduate, Mike Vercillo can’t wait to ride with his Apogee students from Freeport to Quebec this summer on our Coast to Quebec trip. Mike is from Nanuet, New York, and much of his identity comes from his strong ties to his family and his family’s Italian heritage, establishing traditions around togetherness and – of course – food. These traditions have led Mike to seek strong communities at Williams and cultivate an interest in food and nutrition. At Williams, Mike was key in his role of building these communities and acting as a mentor; he was a leader for Williams’ orientation trips for incoming freshmen, and was also selected to be a Junior Advisor, a position to serve as a role model and work with freshmen about a safe and comfortable college entry. Mike has a deep love for music, too – he served as the Music Director of his a cappella group on campus, the Ephlats (get it, they’re the “Ephs” up there at Williams – and “e-flat….” Pretty clever, those Ephs!). Mike has made community service a focal point. Last summer, Mike stayed on campus and worked at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. During this time he helped the revival of famers’ markets and worked at a local food bank. Mike is going to love exploring the coast of Maine this summer, learning more about his Apogee students and himself as they cross the border into Canada.
We are thrilled to have Mary Cutler join us on our Coast to Quebec trip this summer! Mary is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and a recent graduate from Indiana University Bloomington. There, she majored in Anthropology, Communications and Culture with minors in French and Spanish. Out of the classroom, Mary was a member of the cycling team, and cultivated a passion for traveling and seeing the world from her bicycle. She loved cycling so much that she became a student coach on her team, and helped build better communication and moral amongst her peers. Since graduating, Mary has spent time in Colorado, working, hiking, cycling (of course!) and exploring the beautiful scenery around her. While Mary loves spending much of her time in the outdoors, her other passion lies in working with children. Mary has worked as a resident cabin counselor in Indiana, and participated in a Big Sister / Little Sister program in high school. Mary’s students are going to love her warmth, vivaciousness, and in-depth knowledge of biking that she will bring to her trip this summer!