Mentoring for New Beginnings through Adventure and Reflection
Kaitlyn Anderson, MA, LPC, GEP, NCC - Founder, Executive and Clinical Director of the Koru Foundation, Board Member
Kaitlyn has worked in wilderness therapy and transitional living settings with at-risk youth and young adults for 7 years. Kaitlyn received her bachelor's in Psychology from The Colorado College and her master's in Clinical Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Wilderness First Responder, and is certified in Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy from the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies. Kaitlyn completed her internship as a therapist with Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of CO in 2014, and now works as a therapist in the community as well as serving as our clinical director.
In 2010, the wilderness therapy program that Kaitlyn worked for shut doors because of the struggling economy. It was at this point that Kaitlyn decided there had to be a more efficient way to help families and youth in a preventative mannerr. Having had many late night campfire discussions with students and fellow staff about creating a program that was less expensive, more efficient, less invasive and more preventative, the Koru Foundation was born!
Kaitlyn Anderson and Eirc Allsopp - a former employee of the same wilderness therapy program - created the Koru Foundation as a non-profit youth outreach mentoring program. Their goal was to take the principles and activities that worked well from wilderness therapy and put them into a weekend, summer and afterschool program for youth. Kaitlyn's hope is to reach families before their children begin getting into too much trouble so that the Koru Foundation can bring positive role models (mentors) and healthy recreational activities into their lives before it is too late. Otherwise Wilderness Therapy ends up being a last resort for many families and Kaitlyn, having seen how well wilderness therapy can work, hopes to support families before they are in crisis.
Kaitlyn Anderson acts as a lead mentor for youth in the Koru Foundation. She is also an active member for the board of directors, works on fundraising/grant writing to provide students with scholarships, and supervises interns and practicum students who serve as mentors in the program. Kaitlyn is passionate about working with people in the outdoors. She believes that healthy connection with nature, animals and fellow people paves the way for students to build themselves a better future!
Koru, Our Mascot and Therapy Dog!
Koru is Kaitlyn's certified Therapy Dog through the Professional Therapy Dogs of CO. Koru has a year experience as a wilderness therapy dog and also served as a therapy dog for a year at Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of CO. Koru accompanies staff and students in the Koru Foundation on all appropriate trips and daily adventures. He serves as a support and point of connection for students and their families!
Koru loves to swim and play fetch! In fact, he never tires of these games and would love to play with you all day long!
Koru is a happy-go-lucky 4-year-old black lab who loves people and being outside! He cannot wait to meet you!
Zachary Weinzetl, Program Director, Lead Mentor, Board Member
Zach graduated from Naropa University with a BA in Contemplative Psychology with a focus on Health and Healing and Transpersonal Psychology. He has extensive experience working with teens, young adults, and their families in both wilderness and residential programs. Through these experiences Zach has seen the impact wilderness can have as an ongoing support in a student’s life ventures. His goal is to create "safe space" where students engage both their struggles and source of inspiration. Zach is a Wilderness First Responder and has professional experience as a backcountry guide. Zach uses his personal connection with and appreciation of nature to help clients engage with their larger world. An avid fly-fisherman, horseback rider, kayaker and rock climber, Zach personally embodies a contemplative approach of integrating mind and body to connect more deeply with people and the environment. Zach has a beautiful daughter that fills his world with joy and occupies most of his free time.
Sarah Dawn Haynes, Networking/fundraising Advisor, Secretary, Board Member, Volunteer Mentor
I identify as a Possibilities Cartographer. I am an alumni of CU Boulder, and have been a full time staff member of the Environmental Center for over 5 years. I have lived in Boulder for 10 years, but was raised by old hippies, cowboys, and bikers in South Park, Colorado. My passions include trail and restoration work with WLRV.org, Community Electronic Music Festival and all bluegrass festivals, my nieces and nephews, zero waste, qi gong, Bioneers, the academic field of Futurists and Foresight, and of course, mentoring and guiding young adults in finding their skills, passions, and platforms for them to show 'em off! My title is Secretary for the board, but my contributions to Koru include outreach and promotions, building collaborative relationships with other organizations, and supporting everyone by being a helping hand.
Rebecca Hediger, Business Advisor, Board Member, Volunteer Mentor
Rebecca Hediger is an avid outdoors woman and athlete! She had extensive experience in various business and sales settings and enjoys volunteering her time and expertise with the Koru Foundation.
Caitlin Cavanaugh, Board Member
Caitlin graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with her bachelor’s in Environmental Studies, and went on to obtain her master’s in Wilderness Therapy from Naropa University in 2014. She has worked as a volunteer leading farm and wilderness tours with school children in the San Francisco Bay Area, and spent nearly two years as an Instructor for a non-profit marine science education center. Presently, Caitlin focuses on integrating nature-based curriculum into her work with adolescents and adults in recovery from disordered eating.
As a former trip leader with the Koru Foundation and in her work as a mental health counselor in inner-city Denver, Caitlin witnessed first-hand the tremendous impression that Mission Wolf and other volunteer service projects can have on at-risk youth, and the transformation wrought through experiencing positive relationships in an outdoor setting. Caitlin is honored to support the continuation of this work through the offerings of the Koru Foundation.
Matt Cavanagh, Board Member
Matt grew up learning wilderness craft from adult mentors who would not only spark his passion for being outdoors, but also his desire to teach others. Through the Boy Scouts, Matt saw first-hand the power a willing mentor can have to grow the confidence of young people and help them develop their strengths as he worked towards his Eagle Scout.
Matt graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. He has also received a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Wilderness Therapy through Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Additionally, Matt has several years’ experience working with adolescents as a backpack guide both in the Northern Colorado Rockies as well as the North Cascades in Washington. He also has a background in emergency medicine as an EMT-B and Wilderness First Responder.
On a given day, Matt may be found cycling on or off road, camping, backpacking, playing Ultimate Frisbee, skiing or sitting in a random patch of sun enjoying a sip of tea. His love for nature and specifically wilderness is the path he has chosen to grow in his own life and he hopes to be able to share this passion with others as they discover their own paths.