Our Team

Leadership Team

Peter Mayfield

Executive Director

peter_mayfield

Peter has been a successful leader, pioneer and innovator in mountain sports programs for the last 35 years.He has started three innovative businesses: CityRock, Yosemite Guides, and Gateway Mountain Center, through which he has designed and delivered creative and successful outdoor educational programs for thousands of California youth.  Peter has served as Chief Guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School, and as Chief Examiner for the Professional Ski Instructors Association (Far West). As the founder and General Partner of CityRock Gym, the first large urban climbing gym, Peter was a catalyst for the growth of indoor climbing in North America. As a consultant Peter has designed and developed adventure programs for Disney, Discovery Communications, and Posades Resorts.  As a creative mountaineer Peter has succeeded on first ascents on Yosemite’s El Captain and Half Dome, climbed new routes in Peru, Patagonia, and the Alaska Range, and pioneered difficult snow board descents.  In addition, Peter has competed in sport climbing World Cups, Cross Country Skiing US Nationals, and performed for ten years with the aerial dance/climbing troupe, Project Bandaloop.

Sharon Schrage

Administrative Director

sharon_shrage

Sharon comes to Gateway after a long career of volunteer work and her most recent professional post as a Business Manager in Incline Village. As a volunteer, Sharon was most recently the President of the Incline High School Boosters where her team broke fundraising records two years in a row in order to provide every Incline High School student with a laptop during their tenure at the school. With a multitude of previous stints at various school related volunteer organizations in the Chicagoland Area as well as her native San Francisco Bay Area, Sharon was ready to devote her full-time energy to the Gateway mission of helping youth learn, heal and thrive! In her spare time, Sharon likes to hike and snowshoe with her dogs and family. She is also currently an inaugural volunteer with the NV Promise Scholarship.

Daniel Clements

Whole Hearts Director

Daniel_Clements

Daniel started his career in the mental health field at an outdoor based residential treatment center in Alaska in 2014. As a Recreational Specialist in a residential treatment setting, Daniel facilitated evidence-based psychoeducational group therapy and experiential modalities for adolescent teens with various behavioral and emotional disorders.Using the Alaskan wilderness as a therapeutic setting, Daniel saw firsthand the profound impact of incorporating adventure-based therapeutic intervention in nature had on improving self-efficacy and resilience in adolescents. Daniel began managing the program in 2018 and was extensively involved in training both new and experienced staff in group facilitation (psychoeducational, experiential, and processing), adventure therapy, crisis interventions and verbal de-escalation. Before joining the Gateway team, Daniel was the Program Director at Willow Springs Center where he provided program development and oversight. Daniel is excited to support the mission of the Whole Hearts Mind & Body program and the Gateway Method of growing a human. He has experienced the importance of integrating authentic relationships, community engagement, peak experiences and nature in a client’s journey to heal, grow and thrive!

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Nancy Minges

Wellness Program Director / Communications

nancy_minges

With an M.A. in Holistic Health Education, Nancy has been our Wellness Program Director since 2009. With a B.A. in Communications, she facilitates communications and the integration of our vision/mission, culture, and core values across our organization. Nancy builds curricula, programming and provides staff trainings.
In Wellness, she guides students in connecting with their innate well-being, igniting the joy and empowerment of self-discovery. She specializes in customizing wellness or healing plans for youth, adults, or families engaged in growth and healing.
Certifications: Trauma-Informed Professional, Mindfulschools.org, Mindfulness-based Substance Abuse Treatment, Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Pranayama, Massage/body-work.
Multi-year mentorships/studies: Gestalt Awareness Practice, Somatic Experiencing, Continuum, Healing Arts, Sound Healing, (NVC) Non-Violent Communication, Transpersonal Psychology, Vipassana, and Nutrition. She’s a senior teacher in Angela Farmer’s Inner Body yoga.

Preston Alden

School Programs Director

preston_alden

Preston has worked on wildlife research and conservation projects for over a decade. During this timehe managed many remote field research operations including his own M.S. thesis (Ecology at UC Davis) work on red foxes in the Great Basin. As a result, Preston brings a strong natural science background to the School Programs department. He believes that in order for future generations to value our natural resources they must spend time in nature so that they understand and connect with it in a meaningful way

Greg Bernstein

Operations Manager

greg_bernstein

Greg shot documentaries for over two decades. Traveling all over the world, he promoted Environmental Justice and Human Rights with Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch, Sea Shepard Conservation Society, and many others. As a Guide/Mentor for youth, he opens hearts and minds with peak experiences and dynamic adventure-learning in nature. Greg believes that flow states, wholistic system-based critical thinking, nature immersion and meditation are the pillars for healing and thriving.

Board of Directors

Mike Sabarese

President

Mike has been coming to Tahoe for over 40 years and bring some level of financial and business experience to our board. Not only is he a CPA but he has been the president of a number of different companies in San Francisco. He served on the board of the Tahoe Truckee community foundation for almost 10 years and currently also serves on the Truckee Donner land trust. He has worked with young people mentoring and giving guidance for many years.

Thom Handley

Vice-President

thom_handley

Thom has a diversified career background. His initial education enabled him to become a public accountant and his subsequent graduate academic work saw him transition to his long term career in developing organizations. After leaving the Case Western Reserve Doctoral program in the Behavioral Sciences he spent 10 years as an executive with the Rouse Company, the builders of the City of Columbia, MD. This was followed by being a senior executive with the Bank of Montreal. In 1986 he started a consulting company which consulted to major companies around the globe, including a 23 year long contract with Saudi Aramco, the worlds largest oil company. Much of the recent focus of his practice was in helping turnaround failing companies. Thom also has been involved in a number of start up ventures in the medical technology and and high tech world. He has been active in a prison ministry program which works with Juvenile offenders. Thom moved to Truckee three years ago with his wife Christine to take advantage of the variety of outdoor activities available year round and is excited to be supporting Mountain Gateway in their efforts to use the outdoors as the primary venue for its ground breaking work with the youth in the larger Truckee community.

Kristi Darzynkiewicz

Treasurer

Kristi Darzynkiewicz

Kristi has a background in Finance and Management Consulting, with degrees from UC Berkeley and Columbia University. Since moving to Truckee, her focus has been on helping nonprofit organizations build strong financial systems, policies and procedures. She has recently worked on projects with the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Truckee Donner Land Trust, and North Tahoe Arts along with serving on the board of several local organizations. She was raised in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and has lived in Truckee with her husband and two teenage daughters for more than 15 years. She is thrilled to be serving Gateway and its mission to help youth of all backgrounds learn, heal and thrive.

Kurt Schliemann

Secretary

Kurt Schliemann

Kurt is a Managing Director of TrailRunner International, a global strategic communications firm based in Truckee, CA. In his time at TrailRunner, he has managed reputational issues for corporations and foundations, guided clients through disruptive organizational restructurings, and advised on international strategy. Prior to joining TrailRunner, Kurt served as a Managing Director at JPMorgan, leading JPMorgan’s sales and trading in the western region. His clients included some of the largest asset managers, pension funds, and hedge funds in the world. Previously, Kurt spent twelve years at ITG Inc., first as a trader in New York, then running their western region team in California for eight years. Before ITG, Kurt spent two years as a manager in the Strategic Planning Group at American Express, where he provided counsel to various internal business lines engaged in M&A transactions, the launch of new financial products, and the pursuit of new merchant partnerships or customer channels. Kurt holds a degree from Harvard University (BA, Literature), where he played football as a freshman and baseball all four years. He is an avid sports enthusiast who enjoys playing basketball and golf, hiking, skiing, and strumming guitar. Kurt is also deeply engaged in the community, and serves on the advisory board for Gateway Mountain Center, an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of youth through nature-based learning and wellness adventures.Kurt lives in northern California with his wife Kat and their two young children, Josie and Theo.

Mark Servis, MD

Board Member

mark_servis

Mark Servis, M.D. is Vice Dean for Medical Education at the UC Davis School of Medicine, with responsibility for all undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education.He is also a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He has occupied the Roy Brophy Endowed Chair for 12 years. Mark has won several national awards for his teaching and mentoring, has served in a variety of leadership roles at the National Board of Medical Examiners, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training, and American Association of Medical Colleges, and has published over 70 peer reviewed articles and book chapters on medical education and in the field of psychosomatic medicine.

Liana Ris

Board Member

Liana Ris

Liana has a background in educational nonprofits and technology product management, with ten years of experience working in technology roles in Silicon Valley. Since moving to northern Nevada from the Bay Area she has worked as a strategic consultant with the Tahoe Expedition Academy in Truckee, CA as well as tech organizations in the Reno area. She is currently working on starting a new nonprofit based in Truckee, focused on curricular programming for middle school students in building adaptability and perseverance. She grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts and spent ten years living in the Bay Area. She has an undergraduate degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She currently resides in Reno, Nevada with her husband and twin son and daughter.

FILTER BY:  guides & mentors

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mentors

Jed Ferrell, MD

Whole Hearts Psychiatric Resident

jed_ferrel

I am currently a 4th year psychiatry resident at UC Davis and lived up and down the west coast growing up. I became interested in mental health during and after college while working with adolescents and adults in a variety of crisis settings and inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the Sacramento area. These experiences motivated me to continue my education. I have come to appreciate the multiple etiologies underlying mental illness, conducted research into the impact of inflammation on sleep parameters in individuals with major depression and have become interested in complementary and alternative mental health interventions. After a brief stint in Atlanta for medical school, I was drawn back to the natural beauty of northern California and take advantage of the mountains for snowboarding and mindfulness every chance I get.

Rob Zimmerman

Mentor

Rob Zimmerman

A nearly life-long student of traditional healing arts, Rob first began healing work as a Reiki practitioner at age 15. During his senior year of high school, he began his work with children as a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Further pursuing his passion for healing, Rob enrolled at the University of New Hampshire, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology and Interpersonal Communications. In his adult years, he has volunteered in numerous settings, including assisting learning-challenged youth at The University of New Hampshire’s Center for Academic Resources, leading meditation workshops for the YMCA, and helping people of all ages one-on-one as a mentor. In the for-profit sector, Rob has many years of experience in operations management, overseeing teams as large as 45 in multi-million dollar enterprises.

Gamalier Gonzales

Case Manager/Mentor

peter_mayfield

Gamalier A. Gonzales, began his career as a Personal Care Assistant assisting patients of all ages. Growing up with a younger brother with disabilities, he realized his calling to help those in need. After five years, Gami went back to school. After receiving his Associates of Occupational Studies of Medical Assisting, he worked for Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services for 2 years as a Mental Health Technician. He continued to work with the severely mentally ill in various institutions including high security facilities. Gami is currently enrolled in school perusing a BS in Nursing with a minor in Psychology and is currently working in a Wellness office caring for Medicare patients. Gami’s unltimate goal is heal those in need; be that need physical or mental.

Andorra Hamilton

Mentor

Andorra Hamilton's

My name is Andorra Fierro and I grew up in San Diego, often found outside, playing softball, playing with my dogs, playing in the sand and water at the beach. I love the ocean and have always found peaceful moments when I am outside and near water, liquid and frozen alike. The mountains and Lake Tahoe have been a tremendous blessing for my family and myself since moving here in 2002. My husband, our two dogs and cat are happily nestled in the woods of Tahoma, spending as much time outside as possible hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, disc golfing, paddle boarding, swimming, snowboarding and split boarding. The resources to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle here are boundless. Everyone should have the opportunities afforded to us and know where to find those resources. I got my Masters in Education and a Kindergarten through 8th grade teaching credential because I see the rewards and joy kids garner from new experiences, new skills, and greater knowledge of how they experience the world. Confidence, humor, connectedness with family, friends and their environment, curiosity, overcoming fears and uncertainties to persevere, are all eureka moments that kids deserve to have daily. My goal as a mentor is to foster authentic relationships with kids and help guide them towards these eureka moments.

Jared Alden

Mentor/Guide

Jared Alden

Jared has been engaged with children for over 17 years in variety of professional settings that include: an acute psychiatric inpatient & residential lock-down hospital for adolescents, an outpatient wraparound program for the State of PA, the Fitzsimon Middle School in north Philadelphia, an orphanage in Kathmandu Nepal, the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Children’s’ Center, a preschool in Doylestown PA, some remote villages & nomadic tribes of northern Mali, West Africa. In addition to serving as an outdoor education guide and rehabilitation mental health specialist, Jared enjoys relating to children & youth as a professional AASI Snowboarding coach, mentor and instructor as well as engaging children as a rock climbing instructor, coach and USA Climbing judge

Michael Piatti

Mentor

Michael Piatti

Michael spent much of his free time as a youth getting lost in the hills surrounding his childhood home in the Bay Area. Daytime trips out to the coast with friends and weekends spent backpacking the Sierra instilled a deep love of nature that only grew with age. After graduating high school he moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in Natural Resource Recreation from Colorado State University. In 2014 he moved to Truckee in order to be closer to family while still enabling him to maintain an active mountain lifestyle that he feels is essential to health and wellbeing. Michael believes that time spent in nature provides opportunities to create experiences that challenge oneself. These experiences can be used to cultivate growth in many other aspects of one’s life. It is Michael’s goal as a mentor to provide youth with opportunities and perspectives that will enable them to overcome the many challenges that life may throw their way.


guides

Keith Tom

Guide

Keith Tom

Keith is an Oakland, CA native. Since moving to Lake Tahoe in 2007, he has attended Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) and earned a degree in Environmental Sustainability & Technology. Moving from the city to the mountains gave him a personal perspective on the benefits of being in nature and he loves to get urban youth excited about nature by leading them on educational excursions throughout the Tahoe area. He is also programs manager for The Sugar Pine Foundation, which is a non-profit who’s mission is to save the natural biodiversity of Lake Tahoe’s forest through education and hands on experiences”.

Shireen Karimi

Guide

Shireen Karimi

Shireen is a native of San Diego, CA. Growing up, Shireen spent countless Summer and Fall seasons in Yosemite Valley camping and hiking with her family. She moved to Truckee after graduating from college for an Americorps job where she taught environmental education for a local non-profit. Moving to Northern California meant being closer to the mountains, which Shireen considers her second home. Over the years, her love for the mountains and nature translated into a love and ever growing passion for rock climbing; and what better place do pursue that than here in Tahoe! Having found Gateway Mountain Center, Shireen has found the perfect balance to both work with students and introduce them to the wonderful world of nature in unique and empowering ways..

John Littleton

Guide

greg_bernstein

John Littleton is a native of Chicago Illinois but has called the Sierra Nevada his home for too many years to mention. He discovered his love of the mountains at an early age while taking family trips out west. He credits these experiences as being the sparks that opened his eyes to the wonders of the outdoors. As a professional outdoor educator John thrives on providing that same opportunity and exposure to his students. When John is not guiding for Gateway, you may find him ski touring or rock climbing in what he calls his “backyard”.

JP Donovan

Guide

Rob Steffke

JP is a member Washoe County Search and Rescue HASTY Team. He teaches Lifeguard, 1st aid/CPR Instructor for the American Red Cross and is also a Certified Swim Instructor and has taught swim lessons for over a decade. He has Coached swimming, Downhill mountain biking, Alpine skiing, High school Cross country running, and Nordic skiing. He has been Beach Patrol,Downhill Bike Patrol, Ski Patrol, a rescue diver and a conservation diver. JP is an elite endurance athlete at the international level, spanning a wide array of disciplines; most notably mountain running, off road triathlon and multi-sport.

Stephanie Hynds

Guide

Stephanie Hynds

Lemon moved from Florida to California in 2013 to follow her passion for being in wild and beautiful places. She holds a masters degree in counseling from Webster University and a 200 hour yoga teacher certification. After years of counseling and working with families in Florida, Lemon embarked on a six month journey hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011. When she came home she felt called to change her path and began teaching yoga and seeking more experiences in the outdoors. Lemon is an avid rock climber as well, and she enjoys blending the challenges and mindfulness that yoga and climbing create into her life, as well as into her guiding.

Jared Moore

Guide

Jared Moore

Jared grew up in small town Indiana but knew in his heart the West was where he belonged. After earning a Bachelors Degree in Wildlife Science from Purdue University, he ventured far from home, trying to figure out where he would eventually settle down. Through good fortune, Jared found himself in beautiful Lake Tahoe, with no plans on leaving anytime soon. Jared’s passions lie in nature and the outdoors, and sharing it with others (especially our youth). From leading nature hikes and catching snakes, to rock climbing and skiing, Jared has a well-balanced skillset and a desire to pass on his knowledge and skills to the next generation.

Cali Bowman

Guide

Cali Bowman

Cali Bowman is a happy energetic forest enthusiast who spends her time exploring various ways to enjoy her environment. After graduating from UCSB with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Literature, she traveled extensively throughout the world before settling in the beautiful Tahoe Basin. In her free time Cali enjoys hiking the Sierra Nevada which she calls her home while looking for new potential spots to rock climb and bike in the summer and possible mountains to ski for winter adventures. During winter months she works as an EMT Ski Patroller at Sierra-at-Tahoe. During summer she guides groups of enthusiastic youths with Gateway Mountain Center and teaches yoga outdoors.

Jared Alden

Mentor/Guide

Jared Alden

Jared has been engaged with children for over 17 years in variety of professional settings that include: an acute psychiatric inpatient & residential lock-down hospital for adolescents, an outpatient wraparound program for the State of PA, the Fitzsimon Middle School in north Philadelphia, an orphanage in Kathmandu Nepal, the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Children’s’ Center, a preschool in Doylestown PA, some remote villages & nomadic tribes of northern Mali, West Africa. In addition to serving as an outdoor education guide and rehabilitation mental health specialist, Jared enjoys relating to children & youth as a professional AASI Snowboarding coach, mentor and instructor as well as engaging children as a rock climbing instructor, coach and USA Climbing judge.


Jed Ferrell, MD

Whole Hearts Psychiatric Resident

jed_ferrel

I am currently a 4th year psychiatry resident at UC Davis and lived up and down the west coast growing up. I became interested in mental health during and after college while working with adolescents and adults in a variety of crisis settings and inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the Sacramento area. These experiences motivated me to continue my education. I have come to appreciate the multiple etiologies underlying mental illness, conducted research into the impact of inflammation on sleep parameters in individuals with major depression and have become interested in complementary and alternative mental health interventions. After a brief stint in Atlanta for medical school, I was drawn back to the natural beauty of northern California and take advantage of the mountains for snowboarding and mindfulness every chance I get.

Rob Zimmerman

Mentor

Rob Zimmerman

A nearly life-long student of traditional healing arts, Rob first began healing work as a Reiki practitioner at age 15. During his senior year of high school, he began his work with children as a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Further pursuing his passion for healing, Rob enrolled at the University of New Hampshire, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology and Interpersonal Communications. In his adult years, he has volunteered in numerous settings, including assisting learning-challenged youth at The University of New Hampshire’s Center for Academic Resources, leading meditation workshops for the YMCA, and helping people of all ages one-on-one as a mentor. In the for-profit sector, Rob has many years of experience in operations management, overseeing teams as large as 45 in multi-million dollar enterprises.

Gamalier Gonzales

Case Manager/Mentor

peter_mayfield

Gamalier A. Gonzales, began his career as a Personal Care Assistant assisting patients of all ages. Growing up with a younger brother with disabilities, he realized his calling to help those in need. After five years, Gami went back to school. After receiving his Associates of Occupational Studies of Medical Assisting, he worked for Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services for 2 years as a Mental Health Technician. He continued to work with the severely mentally ill in various institutions including high security facilities. Gami is currently enrolled in school perusing a BS in Nursing with a minor in Psychology and is currently working in a Wellness office caring for Medicare patients. Gami’s unltimate goal is heal those in need; be that need physical or mental.

Keith Tom

Guide

Keith Tom

Keith is an Oakland, CA native. Since moving to Lake Tahoe in 2007, he has attended Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) and earned a degree in Environmental Sustainability & Technology. Moving from the city to the mountains gave him a personal perspective on the benefits of being in nature and he loves to get urban youth excited about nature by leading them on educational excursions throughout the Tahoe area. He is also programs manager for The Sugar Pine Foundation, which is a non-profit who’s mission is to save the natural biodiversity of Lake Tahoe’s forest through education and hands on experiences”.

Shireen Karimi

Guide

Shireen Karimi

Shireen grew up in San Diego, CA, and moved up to Truckee after graduating from college. Originally Shireen moved to Truckee for an Americorps job where she taught environmental education for a local non-profit. Moving up to Northern CA meant being closer to the mountains, which Shireen considers her second home. Growing up, Shireen spent countless Summer and Fall seasons in Yosemite Valley camping and hiking with her family. Over the years, her love for the mountains and nature translated into a love and ever growing passion for rock climbing; and what better place do pursue that than here in Tahoe! Having found Gateway Mountain Center, Shireen has found the perfect balance to both work with students and introduce them to the wonderful world of nature in unique and empowering ways..

John Littleton

Guide

greg_bernstein

John Littleton is a native of Chicago Illinois but has called the Sierra Nevada his home for too many years to mention. He discovered his love of the mountains at an early age while taking family trips out west. He credits these experiences as being the sparks that opened his eyes to the wonders of the outdoors. As a professional outdoor educator John thrives on providing that same opportunity and exposure to his students. When John is not guiding for Gateway, you may find him ski touring or rock climbing in what he calls his “backyard”

JP Donovan

Guide

Rob Steffke

JP is a member Washoe County Search and Rescue HASTY Team. He teaches Lifeguard, 1st aid/CPR Instructor for the American Red Cross and is also a Certified Swim Instructor and has taught swim lessons for over a decade. He has Coached swimming, Downhill mountain biking, Alpine skiing, High school Cross country running, and Nordic skiing. He has been Beach Patrol,Downhill Bike Patrol, Ski Patrol, a rescue diver and a conservation diver. JP is an elite endurance athlete at the international level, spanning a wide array of disciplines; most notably mountain running, off road triathlon and multi-sport.

Stephanie Hynds

Guide

Stephanie Hynds

Lemon moved from Florida to California in 2013 to follow her passion for being in wild and beautiful places. She holds a masters degree in counseling from Webster University and a 200 hour yoga teacher certification. After years of counseling and working with families in Florida, Lemon embarked on a six month journey hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011. When she came home she felt called to change her path and began teaching yoga and seeking more experiences in the outdoors. Lemon is an avid rock climber as well, and she enjoys blending the challenges and mindfulness that yoga and climbing create into her life, as well as into her guiding.

Jared Moore

Guide

Jared Moore

Jared grew up in small town Indiana but knew in his heart the West was where he belonged. After earning a Bachelors Degree in Wildlife Science from Purdue University, he ventured far from home, trying to figure out where he would eventually settle down. Through good fortune, Jared found himself in beautiful Lake Tahoe, with no plans on leaving anytime soon. Jared’s passions lie in nature and the outdoors, and sharing it with others (especially our youth). From leading nature hikes and catching snakes, to rock climbing and skiing, Jared has a well-balanced skillset and a desire to pass on his knowledge and skills to the next generation.

Cali Bowman

Guide

Cali Bowman

Cali Bowman is a happy energetic forest enthusiast who spends her time exploring various ways to enjoy her environment. After graduating from UCSB with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Literature, she traveled extensively throughout the world before settling in the beautiful Tahoe Basin. In her free time Cali enjoys hiking the Sierra Nevada which she calls her home while looking for new potential spots to rock climb and bike in the summer and possible mountains to ski for winter adventures. During winter months she works as an EMT Ski Patroller at Sierra-at-Tahoe. During summer she guides groups of enthusiastic youths with Gateway Mountain Center and teaches yoga outdoors.

Jared Alden

Mentor/Guide

Jared Alden

Jared has been engaged with children for over 17 years in variety of professional settings that include: an acute psychiatric inpatient & residential lock-down hospital for adolescents, an outpatient wraparound program for the State of PA, the Fitzsimon Middle School in north Philadelphia, an orphanage in Kathmandu Nepal, the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Children’s’ Center, a preschool in Doylestown PA, some remote villages & nomadic tribes of northern Mali, West Africa. In addition to serving as an outdoor education guide and rehabilitation mental health specialist, Jared enjoys relating to children & youth as a professional AASI Snowboarding coach, mentor and instructor as well as engaging children as a rock climbing instructor, coach and USA Climbing judge.

Andorra Fierro

Mentors

Andorra Hamilton's

My name is Andorra Fierro and I grew up in San Diego, often found outside, playing softball, playing with my dogs, playing in the sand and water at the beach. I love the ocean and have always found peaceful moments when I am outside and near water, liquid and frozen alike. The mountains and Lake Tahoe have been a tremendous blessing for my family and myself since moving here in 2002. My husband, our two dogs and cat are happily nestled in the woods of Tahoma, spending as much time outside as possible hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, disc golfing, paddle boarding, swimming, snowboarding and split boarding. The resources to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle here are boundless. Everyone should have the opportunities afforded to us and know where to find those resources. I got my Masters in Education and a Kindergarten through 8th grade teaching credential because I see the rewards and joy kids garner from new experiences, new skills, and greater knowledge of how they experience the world. Confidence, humor, connectedness with family, friends and their environment, curiosity, overcoming fears and uncertainties to persevere, are all eureka moments that kids deserve to have daily. My goal as a mentor is to foster authentic relationships with kids and help guide them towards these eureka moments.

Michael Piatti

Mentor

Michael Piatti

Michael spent much of his free time as a youth getting lost in the hills surrounding his childhood home in the Bay Area. Daytime trips out to the coast with friends and weekends spent backpacking the Sierra instilled a deep love of nature that only grew with age. After graduating high school he moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in Natural Resource Recreation from Colorado State University. In 2014 he moved to Truckee in order to be closer to family while still enabling him to maintain an active mountain lifestyle that he feels is essential to health and wellbeing. Michael believes that time spent in nature provides opportunities to create experiences that challenge oneself. These experiences can be used to cultivate growth in many other aspects of one’s life. It is Michael’s goal as a mentor to provide youth with opportunities and perspectives that will enable them to overcome the many challenges that life may throw their way.

Whole Hearts Minds & Bodies Clinical Supervision

Shelby Singer

Whole Hearts Minds & Bodies
Clinical Manager

shelby_singer

Shelby has been working in the field of mental health for the past twenty years. As a clinical social work intern and with a masters degree in a social work, Shelby has worked in a variety of settings and with various populations including children in the foster care system, teenagers emancipating from the foster care system, child protective services, and Nevada County Wraparound Program. Most recently, Shelby worked at Sierra Mental Wellness Group as a mental health clinician. For nearly six years, Shelby provided therapy for adults, children, couples, and families. It was during this time that she was able to focus on her clinical skills and interest in the treatment of trauma, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. Shelby has been residing in the Tahoe area since 2005 and enjoys hiking, skiing, running, and spending time with her family. Shelby is thrilled to join the team at Gateway Mountain Center and strongly believes that forming relationships and connecting with others frequently occurs in the outdoors.

Shawn Benjaminson

Whole Hearts Minds & Bodies
Clinical Director

Shawn Benjaminson

Shawn has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since January 1998. For the past 20 + years she has had a passion to effect positive change in the lives of families and children. After completing an internship with Placer County Mental Health she worked for Sierra Family Services in Tahoe City for 14 years, twelve of which she was the Clinical Supervisor. In addition to providing clinical staff supervision she provided psychotherapy for adults, children, groups and families. Other duties included drug and alcohol assessment and treatment as well as crisis intervention. Shawn then became the Children’s Therapist for Nevada County Behavioral Health in Truckee were she was able to focus on her interest in disorders beginning in infancy, childhood and adolescents; treatment of trauma and anxiety as well as mood and eating disorders. Currently, she has been working as contracted provider for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District within the Special Education Department working with students who have emotional support needs. She enjoys the work she does with Gateway Mountain Center as a Clinical Support Person to the program and mentors. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, skiing, mountain biking and camping.

Lisa Steckert

Whole Hearts Minds & Bodies
Case Manager

Lisa Steckert

Lisa Steckert is a Clinical Social Worker in the North Tahoe/Truck area. She has lived in the region for twenty years and worked in a variety of settings including as Medical Social Worker at Renown Regional Medical Center and Tahoe Forest Hospital, and Crisis Worker for Sierra Mental Wellness Group. Prior to working as a social worker she taught yoga classes and full day enrichment camps to children and adolescents. It was through this work Lisa was inspired to complete her Masters Degree and clinical license in Social Work so she could expand her work with youth in the community. Lisa’s academic studies, clinical training, yoga practice and motherhood has shaped her work with adolescents and adults.