Emily lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She works as the Meeting and Events Manager with Starwood Hotels and Resorts. On her company-issued name tag, next to “My Passion:” reads “Hiking.” She’s grown quite used to the question: “Why do you live in Atlanta if your passion is hiking?”
When she’s not hard at work, you can find her hiking in the Smokey Mountains where she grew up or on a plane headed to another adventure.
A self-proclaimed “princess” growing up. She didn’t take to her parents’ passion of backpacking right off – but started when she was in Middle School. Finally, after a few longer trips through Glacier, Peru, and Yellowstone – Emily was hooked. She took her new found love of the outdoors and worked as a camp counselor through high school and then went on to spend a summer working in Yellowstone National Park during college.
When Emily is not climbing, she can be found on horseback. “The best thing about riding and climbing are that these activities require so much focus that your mind is essentially blank. The only thing you are thinking about is the task at hand. It is meditation in a way.” Emily says that “getting into the woods is the only way you can truly escape phones, email, and well, people…when you need it. You also challenge and learn a lot about yourself.”
And it was the love of challenge which lead Emily to Summit for Someone and how she became a member of the JHMG family of clients, guides, and staff. “I wanted to raise money for Summit for Someone because it gives urban youth (some of whom have never seen more than a few trees or a mountain) a whole week in the wilderness. They get to learn so much – especially how to respect and challenge themselves. I thought it would be the best gift I could ever give.”
Summit for Someone is a program through Big City Mountaineers out of Golden, CO. BCM transforms the lives of under-served urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions that instill critical life skills. Providing services to over 1,000 youth annually, their programs improve young lives and their communities, with increased likeliness to stay in school, reduction in violence, and reduction in drug use. Their programming is supported in large part by Summit for Someone. SFS climbers not only commit to climb one of North America’s most challenging peaks, but also raise thousands of dollars at the same time. All to improve the lives of kids they may never meet.
In 2014, Emily raised over $3,000 for Summit for Someone and set out to climb Buck Mountain with JHMG. “I did not make the summit due to some unanticipated sleet but I sure had fun until then!” Emily’s efforts have inspired those in her community. Emily’s friend Josh Stephens will be joining Emily for her Summit for Someone climb up the Grand Teton with us this summer.
A big thanks to Emily for all her work with Big City Mountaineers and Summit for Someone. We are super proud of you and look forward to having you back in the Tetons this summer!