Rebekah A. Meyer
Becky began working for Youth Odyssey in 2006. Growing up in Washington State kick-started her passion for community development and adventure challenge. She studied and received degrees in in Environmental Science and Education at Western Washington University. Following graduation she joined the US Peace Corps as a volunteer for three years in the Philippines where she taught adventure education in urban and rural areas. While transitioning back state-side she found herself wanting more of a challenge, to make a lasting difference in the lives of youth. She fined-tuned her skills and joined the Youth Odyssey team. Becky has been recreating and leading camping trips, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, ropes challenge courses, and teambuilding activities since her university years. Becky’s passion is to help youth realize their full potential and reveal their inner-strength needed to navigate through their lives. She believes that hands-on challenges reveal how unique each youth is and that they can reach their dreams and goals through the use of life skills, while experiencing nature in a profound way. Becky has also been active as a life group leader in her church since 2008. She is an avid gardener and likes to continually tweak her creative side.
Brian came down to us from Montreal, Canada with a passion for working in the outdoors and with youth. Brian has earned an honors bachelors degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies: Outdoor Recreation from Brock University and a college diploma in Community Recreation Leadership Training. He has also spent 24 years as an active member of Scouts Canada, with 6 of those years as an adult volunteer. Brian has worked in a number of places, including Nova Scotia and Alberta teaching leadership, team building, camp craft, and leave no trace as well as other outdoor skills. Brian has hiked in the Rockies, the Adirondacks, and along the Appalachian Trail. He has also lead a number of canoe trips on the North Saskatchewan River. Brian is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, a Leave No Trace Trainer, and a Moving Water Canoe Tandem Instructor.
Rick, growing up in Waco, Texas, fell in love with Baylor University at a young age and, because of his love for the University, attended undergraduate there and received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Management in May 2013. Shortly after graduating, Rick spent 15 months in the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range in Colorado working at Horn Creek Camp. It was there where Rick found his love for working with youth in camping environments. When not working, Rick hiked and camped in the Rockies and the Ozarks, explored the Spanish Caves on Marble Mountain, white water rafted the Arkansas River, and recreationally rock climbed throughout parts of Colorado. From there, Rick started working at the Sky Ranch in Texas as a part of the School Programs Department. During his time at Sky Ranch, Rick taught outdoor education programs primarily to 4th and 6th grade students from public and private schools. Another one of his roles was to present on behalf of Sky Ranch to teachers and administrators in Northeastern Texas about tools to more effectively engage with students in the classroom. Along with this, Sky Ranch has a partnership with Dallas Baptist University Ministry School, where Rick was apart of their Master’s Program. This Spring Rick will be graduating with a Masters in Christian Education, concentrating on leading nonprofits. Rick has experience as a Level 1 High Ropes course facilitator through Adventure Experiences Inc., and is First Aid and CPR certified through Red Cross. With his combined knowledge of education and outdoor experiences, Rick is excited to share it all with the participants in our Youth Odyssey programs.
Micaela comes to us from Frisco, Texas, near Dallas and grew up going camping with her family and playing in the outdoors. Every summer she would to attend Camp Blue Haven in Las Vegas, New Mexico along with other camps in Texas and Oklahoma. After graduating high school, Micaela started school at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. After her sophomore year, Micaela transferred to the University of North Texas in Denton. While in school, she began working at Group Dynamix, an indoor ropes course and team building facility, as a program facilitator. It was here that Micaela fell in love with intentional play and experiential education. This new found love guided her into an internship with the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri at a camp called Camp Daisy Hindman, in Topeka, Kansas. Her intern title was Business Manager and some of her job requirements were to step in a lead units of youth in different settings. She also was required to maintain office responsibilities and general camp management. After her internship, Micaela graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Event and Sports management in August 2016. Both Youth Odyssey and Micaela are so excited to see her grow with Youth Odyssey and bring new adventures to the youth here in Corpus Christi community!
Growing up in a military family, Gabby has lived all over the world, primarily growing up in Hawaii, Japan, North Carolina and Texas. During her time in Hawaii, age 4-11 years old, is when Gabby began her love for the outdoors and started horseback riding. With this love, Gabby pursued employment at Heart’s Race Horse Rehabilitation Center as a horse trainer during her college years in North Carolina. Gabby also became a tutor for children with behavioral and mental disorders at this time, however, upon completion of her first year at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, she enlisted in the United States Air Force as Security Forces (Military Police). After finishing her enlistment, Gabby came back to Texas as fast as possible and began her work as a Private Investigator and Prisoner Transportation Officer. While continuing her Private Investigator work, Gabby started at the academy for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, to be a Corrections Officer at a maximum-security penitentiary in Kennedy, Texas. She also began volunteering at her church with an organization called Majesty Outdoors. As she spent more and more time with the inmates at the penitentiary, Gabby began to notice a common factor between them. They all expressed a need for more programming and positive adult role models who expressed interest in them. It was the inmates stories, as well as continued volunteering with kids at church, that made her realize that she would rather be the person teaching and preventing children from going down the wrong path, than the person apprehending the individuals later on in life. Thus, she embarked on a search that lead her to Youth Odyssey!
Originally from Ohio, Kelsie got to Texas as fast as she could (18 months old) and grew up in College Station, Texas. Coming from a camping family and being active in Girl Scouts made her realize her love for the environment and outdoor recreation. Because of this, she attended Texas State University- San Marcos and graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Resource and Environmental Studies with a minor in biology. Since graduating, she has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doing environmental education for a wildlife refuge in Arizona. Kelsie worked with the local youth in the area, ages 5-18, putting on presentations and activities to let them know more about the environment around them as well as the environment as a whole. When she wasn’t working, Kelsie would take advantage of her surroundings and go kayaking and hiking on the refuge where she was able to photograph its beauty and share it with friends and family back home. From there, Kelsie moved to the Adirondacks of New York where she was working on a trail crew in order to improve and create more trails in the region. Her time there was spent camping and backpacking to remote locations in order to build and repair bridges and sections of popular hiking trials. Kelsie is excited to put her experiences together at Youth Odyssey and share the wonder of the outdoors with others.
Kim owns his own private practice here in Corpus Christi and is involved in Maya Research Program and Shumla Archaeological Research and Educational Center. He works to fund his many hobbies that include rock climbing, mountaineering, and Texas rock interpretation. He recently co-authored The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative in the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos. in 1997, Kim co-founded Youth Odyssey with the purpose of providing at risk kids with the opportunity to engage in outdoor activities and team building. The objective was to remove them from their environments and use the greater environmental experience as an education tool. Recent studies at the time had shown that exposing kids to challenging situations and the outdoors had a tremendously positive effect on them, and there were no programs in Corpus Christi to provide that sort of experience.
Bob’s professional career has been in Employee Benefits for most his life. However, he realized years ago the benefits of getting outside into nature. The connection between man/woman and the outdoors has great healing abilities. Because of his passion, a colleague mentioned Youth Odyssey to him. Knowing the potential benefits nature can offer at-risk youth, he was immediately attracted to our mission and took an active role to further the work that had just recently begun. After all of these years he have never looked back to question if he did the right thing. Bob hopes that in some small way he has had a part in making a life available to someone that would not have had much of a future, based upon the direction that they were currently taking.
James was introduced to Youth Odyssey by his father in law, William “Dusty” Durrill in 2001. They were building and doing improvements on The River Ranch which is owned and operated by the Devary Durrill Foundation. Their focus was on youth groups and Youth Odyssey was a perfect fit. James has been involved as a Board Member and Volunteer ever since. His daughters McKinna and Riley became active participants in the programs and have gone on to achieve mentor and volunteer status. They continue to work during the summer programs teaching SCUBA diving and first aid/CPR. They also volunteer in the living local summer camps with equestrian programs and fishing at the River Ranch. “Many of the kids have come back year after year and it is so rewarding to watch them grow and become so much more confident in themselves. I am so proud to be part of this program that is so beneficial to so many kids that may never get to experience the kind of outdoor leadership education Youth Odyssey provides. Youth Odyssey truly opens minds and broadens horizons!!”
Isa Barrera is the managing partner for Miss Maven Consulting, a small human capital and leadership development firm. Ms. Barrera is a south Texas native, graduating from Banquete High School, completing her undergraduate education at Rice University, and finishing her master’s level studies at Southern Methodist University and University of Texas at Dallas. Her background in applied cognition and neuroscience allows for a unique approach to organizational development and human capital investment strategies. She has been a contributor on projects at the Society of Human Resource Management, the Texas Workforce Investment Council, Centers for Disease Control, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institute of Health and the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Children and Newborns. She is a contributing writer for ERE Media, Fistful of Talent, and The Council for Corporate Responsibility. She is a graduate of Leadership Corpus Christi Class 39 and continues to grow in her role as a servant leader in her beloved Coastal Bend community.
Recently celebrating her 1 year anniversary as a Youth Odyssey board member, she is grateful for the opportunity to grow with an organization so greatly impacting the lives of young people. The programs and adventures provided to the youth of the Coastal Bend through Youth Odyssey are a fine example of investment in our future, and she is thrilled to be a part of this adventure!
Dr. Rafael Silva is a School Leadership Executive Director for the Corpus Christi Independent School District. Rafael Silva works with principals, teachers, staff, parents and the community to help ensure the success of all students.
He attended Corpus Christi State University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. He received his Masters of Science degree from Texas A & M University. Dr. Silva completed the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in December 2008. He also serves an adjunct professor at TAMUCC teaching at the graduate level working with teachers seeking their administrative certification.
Dr. Silva has been on the board for Youth Odyssey for 4 years. He has worked with the youth in our city in many roles such as teacher, assistant principal, principal, and School Executive Director. Youth Odyssey has helped build leadership attributes in many of the youth in our community. Establishing leadership Skills helps the students improve their self-esteem and do well academically.