I have been involved with Zugunruhe Experience since the summer of 2017. I met our founder, Zach Smelcer, while working together for a San Francisco based travel company and we instantly hit it off and connected on the idea to make outdoor and travel education more accessible for everyone. Since that time we have been working together to make Zugunruhe Experiences the high impact experience we know it can be.
Since I was in 8th grade I knew I wanted to be an educator. I saw the way my teachers could make meaningful relationships with us as students and knew it was the job for me. This was the driving force behind me studying education in college as I wanted to have an impact on the world around me. As I’ve progressed through my career and had different teaching experiences I’ve seen how learning can take many different shapes.
I have been fortunate enough to have had learning and teaching moments all over the world. I know how impactful my travel and outdoor experience have been for my personal development and I want to help students gain access to those same experiences.
While the traditional classroom works for some, it often doesn’t work for all or even most learners. When I think back on the meaningful, deep learning experiences I’ve had, none of them are in a classroom. This is why I feel Zugunruhe is so important. As a society we must do a better job providing all students opportunities to get outside of the traditional learning model and have deep learning moments.
I am currently a 9th grade math teacher at a public school in Minneapolis and my desire is for all students to be able to have the resources and opportunities to have experiences currently reserved for a small portion of students.
My hope is to help Zugunruhe grow and develop and eventually work full time with the non-profit and it’s students. I am excited about the direction we are headed in and ready to take the next step in this adventure!