Elyse holds a B.A. in Communication Arts, Gender Studies, and LGBT Studies from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a Master of Arts in Adventure Education candidate at Prescott College. Elyse has been an outdoor educator and guide since 2006, is an American Canoe Association Sea Kayaking Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and has training in motivational interviewing, trauma informed care, behavior management and de-escalation, and positive youth development. Elyse is also known for her unwavering work ethic and passionate defenses of the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin cheddar.
Mo Kappes has spent 20 years working with youth in an outdoor and experiential setting. In her free time, she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, telemark skiing, and canoeing. Mo believes that OTA meets a need that isn't currently being met. For Mo, the wilderness levels the playing field and gives youth a space to just be. She's excited for this opportunity to be available to queer youth.
Keith comes to OUT There Adventures with a deep love and appreciation for the outdoors, and desire to share all that it has to offer with today’s queer youth. He grew up in the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout, and led his peers on hiking and mountaineering trips. After college he was invited to participate in the pilot class of Out in Front, the LGBTQ leadership program to train our community’s next leaders, and worked with some of Seattle’s premier business people, activists, and thought leaders on today's LGBTQ issues. Keith attended Stanford University for a graduate degree in education with a concentration in technology for learning, and when he has to be indoors, he works as a software interaction designer. In his free time he runs a close-knit group of gay and lesbian adult adventure-seekers, the "Dirty Gays," looking for ways to bring the queer community outside. Keith's favorite activities are backpacking and skiing, and his next big adventure is a 10-day trip circumnavigating the Bernina Mountain Range on the border of Switzerland and Italy in July 2016.
Katya is a life long athlete and outdoors enthusiast, who firmly believes in physical activity's power to help create a safe space to develop youth into adults. She holds a Master's in Social Work from the University of Washington and a Master's in Sports, Recreation and Tourism from University of Illinois and has made it her life mission to serve organizations and missions that meld these two worlds together.
Heather Pearson - Intern Extraordinaire
Heather is a Seattle-area local and currently a student at Willamette University. Studying Sociology and Women’s/Gender Studies, she believes in the necessity of intersectional social justice and empowering queer youth. Previously an Outdoor Program Guide for her school, she tries to enjoy the natural world as much as possible, whether by running, hiking, backpacking, or even camping in that Pacific Northwest rain. She recently returned from several months abroad in Peru, and believes that adventures in the outdoors help build self-worth and community.
A Prescott College graduate in Ecopsychology, former Outward Bound student & Staff & Field Guide with Open Sky Wilderness Therapy & Pacific Quest. J.O is grateful to play a part in OTA's growth & thrilled to find an organization working directly with their community focused on empowerment, leadership & community. J.O is dedicated to lifting up the visibility of Queer, Trans & gender-non confirming people & the organizations that serve them. Their labor of love & vehicle to stay connected to community while living their Nomadic life is Queer Odyssey.