WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK
With nearly 20 years of combined experience as students, facilitators, and administrators in the gap year and experiential education industries, we are experts from the inside out.
We know that making sense of the multitude of opportunities available for a gap year can often be confusing and overwhelming. Sometimes it's difficult to follow your instinct or know what's possible. Intrepid Gap supports and guides the process of dreaming, experiencing, and actualizing the gap year experience for adventurous spirits.
We support students in identifying their interests, passions, and curiosities. We work collaboratively with families to research, plan, and design opportunities that are well aligned with the student's desires and within an identified budget. We then finish what we start by supporting every student when they return home to implement all their newfound values, goals, and dreams into their next steps in life.
LETS DREAM TOGETHER
We are human. We've had many failures and many lessons. This work is our passion because we love traveling on your path with you and sharing our own stories and lessons along the way.
Chief of Endless Opportunities
(aka Lead Counselor, Vetting Specialist, Web Designer, Presentation Giver, Connection Maker, Fun Haver)
Simone is an explorer, a photographer, a student and teacher of yoga, a group facilitator, lover of the ocean, and a believer in our capacity as a human race to create positive change in the world. After working in the gap year and experiential education industries for her entire adult life she decided it was time to turn her own dream into a reality (start a business doing what lights her fire!), and there was born Intrepid Gap.
Her quest began after high school graduation, when she hopped on a plane with her older sister to explore Western Europe. This was only her second time out of North America, and while she knew it would be fun, she had no idea that it would set the stage for the rest of her life. Inspired by the languages, cultures, people, food, and landscapes, she committed to leading a life “outside the bounds” from then on. Her family still can’t keep track of her.
Simone’s personal and professional life has taken her on a winding road through over 40 countries. From shearing sheep in New Zealand, to working in market research in Chicago, or teaching English in Argentina, to leading cultural events for international students at New York University, she has a tool belt of experience and so much space for more. Whether she is teaching trauma-informed yoga to runaway youth, or guiding international photography expeditions for high school students with National Geographic, her passion lies with working with youth. Before Intrepid Gap, Simone worked for 7 years as a Program Director and Overseas Educator for Carpe Diem Education. Her main role was directing their year-long gap program, where she placed over 150 students in customized independent volunteer placements and internships around the world. In addition, she spearheaded, created, and managed an experiential education curriculum and resource database that has served hundreds of educators in facilitating intentional group programs all over the world. She also helped develop the first comprehensive emergency response protocol for a gap year organization, and designed the curriculum to teach it to educators and leaders.
She received her B.A. in Communications and Photography from DePaul University and M.A. in International Education from NYU, focusing on cross-cultural exchange and training. In graduate school she wrote her final thesis on the impact that short term volunteer projects have on local host communities. This research continues to inform her work in bringing the most socially and environmentally sustainable programs to participants and hosts for every placement she collaborates with.
Outside of Intrepid Gap, Simone serves as the Outdoor Program Coordinator for the Portland Waldorf School, a photography instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions, as well as a yoga teacher. Portland is both home and her launch pad for local and far-off adventures.
Chief Amazement Officer
(aka Business Development, Social Media Manager, Content Writer, Placement Researcher, Fun Supporter)
Anne has been deeply involved in the gap year and experiential education industry since her junior year of college. However, her love of travel, exploration and challenge began much earlier. With experience as an instructor and Enrollment Director within the gap year field, she is excited to collaborate with Simone to support students and families through the dynamic gap year process as a partner in Intrepid Gap.
Anne’s first cultural immersion experience was a bit unconventional. From ages 9 to 16, she attended a French language immersion camp in northern Minnesota. While surrounded by all things French, she discovered a deep curiosity about the world and the possibilities beyond the small college town of Oberlin, Ohio where she grew up. In 8th grade, Anne developed a passion for playing the bassoon. Throughout high school, she dedicated many hours to practicing, studying and performing with orchestras and wind ensembles throughout Northern Ohio. She continued to study the bassoon while attending Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon where she majored in Sociology and Anthropology.
During her junior year, Anne spent a semester in India with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). While on a small group expedition in the Indian Himalaya, she felt first-hand how empowering and transformative experiential education and travel can be. After her time in India, she returned to Lewis & Clark with renewed motivation and an interest in a career in experiential education post-graduation. Since then, she has facilitated a service-learning based new student college orientation in Portland and worked as a trip leader for high school and gap year aged students domestically and internationally (in the Western US, China and Myanmar). She has worked as an Admissions Officer with NOLS in Lander, Wyoming, served as the Assistant Director of Admissions at Where There Be Dragons in Boulder, Colorado and as the Enrollment Director for Carpe Diem Education in Portland, Oregon. At Carpe Diem, Anne facilitated risk management trainings for field staff and served as a lead member of the risk management team.
Over the past five years, Anne has had the privilege of working directly with students and their families to support them through the process of identifying programs that are the best fit and preparing for their experiences domestically or abroad. Through Intrepid Gap, she is looking forward to helping students and their parents identify and examine gap year opportunities that best suit their interests, goals and aspirations.
Anne is based in Portland, Oregon.