Nate just celebrated one year as Summit’s Program Director. He was born and raised just up the road in Maine, but came to us with experience working at a Wilderness Therapy program out in Utah. He is a valued member of our leadership team, a driver of growth and program evolution, and has a positive impact daily on the lives of our staff and students. Plus, his dog Frank is super cute!
How long have you been working at Summit? What is your current role?
I have been working at Summit for about a year as the Program Director.
Tell us about yourself! What about your life/background drew you to working at Summit?
I grew up in Maine wanting to be a writer, ended up becoming a musician in Wisconsin, and then finally became an educator and leader in Colorado, Utah, and now back in Maine at Summit. Through it all, I spent a lot of time outside: exploring the world with friends, on boats, on ropes, on bikes, skis, feet– whatever! It’s taken me a while to figure it out, but I think what seems to tie it all together is a desire to connect and relate with people in any and all activities or profession.
I usually point to Summit’s inclusion of academics as a large part of what originally intrigued me. But I also had a really good feeling about the community. Before I came onboard, I met the whole leadership team, I met with therapists, and importantly our field guides, who all approached me with a smile when I came to campus. It felt like people genuinely wanted to connect with me and learn with me. That sealed the deal!
What is your favorite part about working at Summit?
I get to challenge people (students and staff!) to push themselves through uncomfortable situations. Then…I get to see them on the other side a little less afraid, a little more confident, and a little bit closer to their goal, whatever it may be. Those moments can be pretty special. Just being here for folks’ journeys, whatever they look like, is an awesome experience. I also get to bring my dog (Frank!) to work! That’s cool too.
What is one thing you wish you could tell students who are thinking about enrolling at Summit?
Summit is a practice arena so make mistakes. We’ll meet you where you’re at. Practice here where the consequences are a little less big!
Also, Kate’s pizza is phenomenal, we’ve got dogs, and the people are rad. (four things, ha!)
What do you like to do in your free time?
Lately, I’ve been running a lot with my dog, Frank. I also like to play guitar, watch soccer, mountain bike, bikepack, bake cakes, read books, and play the occasional video game.