Don’t mistake Grace Wright for a bowl of ice cream because this self-proclaimed Vermonster from Rutland will be a sweet addition to Apogee’s New England Support this summer! Grace holds her family near and dear to her heart after camping every summer with her loving parents and siblings in the Adirondacks. Amongst the mountains of Vermont, Grace cultivated an enjoyment of hiking, skiing, rock-climbing, and trail running. Down on the flatter ground, Grace coached and refereed girls lacrosse teams on the lush fields nestled between the Green Mountains. While pursuing a degree in Mathematics at Bates College, Grace continued to get out in the snow as a part of the women’s nordic ski team, where she even led the team as a captain! Grace embraced the opportunity to foster a supportive team environment, a task she was well prepared for after welcoming freshmen on backpacking and canoeing orientation trips at Bates. Grace was also an active member in the Lewiston community working at Lewiston public schools to help support diverse classroom settings. Although she’s spent much of her life in the Northeast, Grace has also been bitten by the travel bug. Last year, Grace spent a semester studying in Nepal where she developed a love for tea, rice, lentils, and an eagerness to continue exploring the globe. She even maintains the goal of participating in The Amazing Race with her older sister! Grace will be a wonderful hula-hooping, soul-dancing addition to our team.
As a cross-country athlete, Tim Gruber comes running into the arms of Apogee from Huntersville, North Carolina as a New England Support staff team member this summer! As a recent graduate from the University of Richmond with degrees in History and French, Tim’s curiosity to learn has brought him to many corners of the globe – from Paris to South Korea! Starting at a young age in high school, Tim participated in an Outward Bound program, but his travels didn’t stop there. In Paris, Tim expanded his palate with some croquettes and escargot while completing unique research on the Tour de France. After returning, Tim has continued to work on the best way to put the accents in à bientôt while teaching intermediate French to first year students. Tim has also touched down in multiple states around the country. Tim worked at a the Summer Institute for the Gifted in Atlanta, Georgia where he facilitated academic and extracurricular activities for 8-18 year old students. Last summer, Tim even made a stop in New Jersey to work for the Life is Good clothing company and was taken by their optimistic mantra. Most recently Tim has spent his time studying in Virginia, running 85-90 miles each week with his team to stay in top form and also served as a Captain! While Tim’s claim to fame was a cameo in a commercial during the 2012 Olympics, we are happy to claim him as our own this summer to support our New England trips.
Coming from a close knit family of his own, we are delighted to have Jack Bratches join the Apogee family this summer as Pacific Coast Support. Originally from southern Connecticut, Jack grew up in a supportive home environment where he was encouraged by his parents to get outside with his siblings, travel, and immerse himself in the things he loves. This outlook on life has brought him into deep piles of snow to ski, along roaring riverbeds to fish for trout, on service trips with high school students in Costa Rica, and abroad to Spain to study for a semester. Back in the United States, Jack graduated from Colby College this spring, where he earned a degree in Economics and led rafting and kayaking trips for the school’s outing club. When he wasn’t taking to the Maine mountain ranges, Jack competed for the varsity lacrosse team. Jack was able to masterfully blend his academic and athletic interests last summer when he worked at a sports marketing agency in New York City. Jack has also thrown around his lacrosse acuity when coaching at lacrosse camps and volunteering at Special Olympics events. In addition to the Olympics, Jack generously gives his time to provide academic support to special needs students. Jack found the outdoors essential in his growth and is excited to share in the camaraderie and relationships formed amidst adventure while supporting our Pacific Coast trips this summer!
A 2016 graduate of Hamilton College, Apogee veteran Alex Doig is going to be an amazing addition to our America Coast to Coast trips as support staff this summer! Hailing from Concord, Massachusetts, Alex has always had a passion for the outdoors. The grandson of two Eagle Scouts, Alex’s love for adventure and the outdoors is in his blood, and Alex became a Boy Scout himself at the age of eleven and an Eagle Scout several years later. Today, Alex spends much of his free time outside chasing various feats of endurance; some of these feats including a running relay-race stretching the length of Vermont, and a 90-mile canoe race. Alex majored in Geoscience, was a leader for Adirondack Adventure, Hamilton’s eight-day outdoor program for incoming students, and a key officer in Hamilton’s Outing Club. He has certainly taken advantage of the opportunities offered by the Outing Club; Alex traveled with Hamilton’s Outing Club to the Ecuadorian highlands and the Amazon rainforest. After having played a vital role in the Apogee family as New England Support in 2014 and Pacific Coast Support in 2015, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Alex back for his third summer. Alex is looking forward to get to know the amazing ACC students this summer as they make their way across the country and to celebrate with them as they reach the Pacific Ocean!
With a enormous amount of outdoor and bike maintenance experience, Apogee veteran Nate Repass will be an invaluable returning support staff team member on our Europe Coast to Coast trip this summer! After completing a bachelor’s degree at Roanoke College and Masters of Science in Education at Bucknell, Nate is well on his way to pursuing his goal of leading his own college outdoor program. Nate’s wilderness leadership experiences outside of the traditional academic setting are truly impressive. Nate’s interest in the outdoors blossomed at Roanoke where participated in the college’s Outdoor Adventures program and earned a leadership position his senior year. Since Roanoke, Nate has worked in two bike shops and mastered maintenance like it is his native language. While spending much of his time behind the scenes in the shop or with administrative support leading pre-orientation programs, Nate has also taken his skills out into the field leading mountain biking, backpacking trips, and even taking a group to hike into the Grand Canyon. Nate will be sure to keep spirits high on any rainy days in Europe (although, as we all know, it never rains on Apogee trips!) with his juggling and ukulele strumming talents. Nate’s love for outdoor education is truly infectious and his excitement to be immersed in the day-to-day tasks on the road cannot be captured in words. Nate couldn’t get enough of the country roads and mountain passes last summer, and we couldn’t get enough of Nate – can’t wait to have him back to support our trips in Europe!