Jessie Kushner has worked with teens, young adults, families, and professionals for almost 30 years through employment at Outward Bound and other wilderness programs within the juvenile corrections system. While at Outward Bound, Jessie developed curriculum and directed the Intercept Program for at-risk teens and families, pioneered programming for at-risk teen girls, instructed numerous semester courses for college-aged students, and introduced and implemented restorative justice principles and practices into the educational curriculum nationwide. Jessie has worked in numerous roles for both wilderness and urban centers within the Outward Bound system across the United States, and was honored to participate in a facilitator training with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding. Jessie has also served as a national staff trainer for Outward Bound.
In 2011, Jessie co-founded the non-profit Forward Learning Youth & Young Adults (FLYY) to help youth and families that were marginalized, overlooked, and not effectively reached by or able to access existing community resources. This innovative program combined key components for healing that are rarely if ever offered together through a single organization: a lengthy wilderness expedition, parent skill development and support groups, as well as critical, post-expedition aftercare located at a drop-in center. The curriculum for programming centered around a restorative framework and practices. At FLYY, Jessie has held multiple roles: Co-Founder, Executive Director, Course Director, Field Instructor, Staff Trainer, Parent Group Facilitator, Circle Keeper, Mediator, and Mentor. Beginning in 2015, Jessie partnered with experienced Native American professionals whom helped FLYY elevate its required cultural competency to support Native American teens and families. Subsequently, Jessie and the FLYY team spearheaded “FLYY Tribal”, which was characterized as a multi-faceted wilderness program with added culturally responsive components for Native American youth and families. Running year-round for six-years, FLYY’s wilderness expedition program offered high-risk youth and families a way to discover and develop character and resiliency, and proved to be a life-changing catalyst for hundreds of individuals and their families throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Best known for her work in building rapport with diverse populations, Jessie uses restorative justice principles in a variety of applications to facilitate dialogues around difficult topics. She believes that all people need the opportunity to tell their story, and be seen, heard, valued, and understood. Jessie provides the positive support necessary to help people understand themselves, their relationships, and their surroundings with courage and integrity. Jessie works from an empathetic, trauma-informed, and holistic perspective offering people the opportunity to discover their own resiliency and worth. Jessie is experienced and skilled at developing effective and creative curriculum geared at impacting positive change and healing opportunities for youth, young adults, and families. Additionally, she works collaboratively to develop a clear vision for curriculum implementation, risk management, and program delivery for both large and small-scale projects.
Jessie has extensive training and expertise in the areas of: rapport; conflict management and transformation; restorative justice principles and practices; curriculum development, design, and implementation; communication; racial justice; group culture; family systems; assessment; violence prevention; and risk management. She has worked in the wilderness in all seasons in a variety of landscapes and regions of the United States, community service organizations, urban community centers, and with numerous companies and organizations. Jessie received her B.A. in Outdoor Education in 1993, is a Wilderness First Responder, and is CPR & SCAN-MRT certified. She also received her training as a mediator at from the UW-Wisconsin Continuing Studies, and as a Circle Keeper from the Minnesota Department of Education & Legal Rights Center.
Troy has worked with teens and young adults for over 20 years in varying capacities. Troy has used the following settings to do his work: group homes, the Colorado mountains, the lakes and rivers of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the National Parks trail systems. He has been the Director of the Trinity Ranch Youth Camp and Retreat Center as well as a supervisor of the Wisconsin Conservation Corps trails crews. Troy is inspired by youth and is driven to use his own life experiences and knowledge to help teens and young adults navigate the numerous challenges and obstacles they face daily. Troy has extensive wilderness expedition knowledge and a passion for teaching and passing on that knowledge to others. He has a specialty for surveying wilderness areas to tribes or groups interested in building their own expedition programs. He is a Wilderness First Responder, and is CPR and SCAN-MRT certified.
For the last ten years, Tarek has managed operations at several large and small nonprofits and in 2010 founded Giving Root, a consulting business for NGOs seeking to enhance their potential through the use of Constituent Relationship Management tools. Tarek credits a four-year stint of managing financial development projects at the Chicago-based YMCA national resource office as the catalyst to a career in institutional fundraising. He has interests in developing business partnerships, working with Native American tribes, and studying the latest trends in philanthropy. Tarek has a passion and a lengthy track record for helping a variety of unique and innovative nonprofits reach their goals and fulfill their missions across the United States. Tarek has a B.A. in Communications from John Carroll University, and in 2011, completed the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Northwestern University.
Jordan Rozeske, MSW, LCSW has worked as a social worker in many different capacities for the past ten years. After receiving her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois, she moved to Colorado where she became Clinical Director and lead therapist at San Juan Wilderness. Living and working in the mountains became a love and a passion, as did working with troubled teens in this naturally therapeutic setting. Jordan’s current position at FLYY is the Director of Operations, which includes managing all non-wilderness services, in addition to having a caseload of therapy clients. Jordan brings a skill set to FLYY that includes prior work with Children/Family Services, community mental health, family and individual therapy, and case management. She specializes in working with complex family systems, challenging teens, young adults, adoption and foster care issues, trauma. Her techniques include, but are not limited to: CBT, DBT, TFCBT imagery, mindfulness, and art therapy. Jordan is also a CCS mentor with the Flight program at FLYY.