Raised in upstate New York, I attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. My favorite part about Gettysburg was running on the Civil War battle fields. In school, I loved numbers as much as I love words, and was a math major until my junior year. I graduated with a BA in Management and emphasis areas of Finance and Entrepreneurship.
For two summers, I worked at an international horse camp in Arizona. We took kids from around the world on overnight horse pack rides and taught them how to be rodeo riders! After doing that, I knew I wanted to live out west and attended graduate school at Colorado State University, where I earned an MS in Higher Education and Student Affairs.
I worked with college student leaders at Syracuse University, Santa Clara University and Metropolitan State College of Denver. After six years in higher education, I switched to secondary education, serving as the school counselor and coordinator of leadership programs at an alternative high school in Colorado. The students with whom I worked were drop-outs or stop-outs or facing challenges in earning their high school degree. Some were teen parents, some were involved in gangs, some had substance abuse issues, but to me, in spite of their life situations—they all had the potential to be leaders. Students nominated me for Counselor of the Year in Colorado, for which I received honorable mention.
I’m the author of the award-winning Everyday Leadership curriculum, which includes Building Everyday Leadership: Promoting Attitudes and Actions for Respect and Success (for adult facilitators), Everyday Leadership (companion teen book), Teambuilding with Teens: Activities for Leadership, Decision Making and Group Success, a deck of Everyday Leadership cards, the Everyday Leadership Skills and Attitudes Inventory, a youth-specific leadership inventory, and Building Everyday Leadership in All Kids (for elementary ages). You can order my books and materials from Free Spirit Publishing or click here. I was a co-author on the Girl Scout USA Cadettes aMaze Leadership Journey.
As a consultant, I travel nationally offering program design workshops and trainings with schools (secondary and higher education), agencies and communities, emphasizing the development of meaningful, sustainable youth leadership programming and educational efforts.
In 2014, we moved to Texas. But for more than twenty years before that, I lived in the foothills of Colorado. In Colorado, I served as the youth volunteer trainer for two programs that were really important to our family—Night Lights (a respite care program serving families with kids with special needs) and EPIC Mentors (a program one of my sons started at his elementary school that pairs peer mentors with kids with learning challenges).
In my “day” job, you’ll find me in the Professional Development Center at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, conducting training & talent development for graduate and undergraduate students. Go Frogs!
I also write fiction for kids and teens, and enjoy yoga, hiking and running, living and laughing with my kind kids and sweet husband, and hanging out at our cabin in East Texas.
Visit my Free Spirit Author Page