Alumni Profiles: Where are They Now?

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Zipline catches up with alumni from the A/U Ranches and DiscoveryBound programs.

Hanne Andersen
The annual Christmas present Hanne shared with her sister and Sunday School friends over the years was the DiscoveryBound Outreach regional winter weekend in Northern California. The metaphysical takeaways from those events encouraged her to begin a journey that began at a DB Outreach national event in New York. Five days in Manhattan created the best of memories for a group of teenagers whom she still considers family.

With the DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council (NLC 2012 class), Hanne was given a purpose beyond sports and school, as she had “a wonderfully diverse team of friends and mentors with whom I could give and receive unconditional support,” she says. The love of this group gave her strength as they summited “the heights of Mind” (Hymn 136), which included tops of ice walls on glaciers, one of the collegiate peaks in Colorado, and even the highest steps at Machu Picchu.

After graduating from Principia College with a degree in art and a minor in art history, for eight months Hanne taught art classes and speech therapy at an art studio for adults with mental challenges. “It was a life-changing experience,” she says. “Both Principia and DiscoveryBound gave me this desire to serve those who are the least served by our society.”

Hanne also earned a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language at St. Louis University. She now teaches English to children, teens and adults in Lima, Peru, where her NLC service trip first took her, living with a family she met at the Christian Science church in Lima.

Hanne says that no day was spent on any regional, national or international DiscoveryBound adventure when she didn’t learn more about her place in the world. Last May, she found herself on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota with fellow NLC alumni and was reminded to continue NLC’s legacy of servant leadership. “I will never forget the lessons learned through my DiscoveryBound Outreach, National Leadership Council and A/U Ranches Youth Camp experiences,” Hanne says.

Mary & Mike Sipe
After meeting at the A/U Ranches during the summer of 1990 and marrying four years later, Mike and Mary are finally fulfilling their long-time wish of living in Colorado. They moved to Colorado Springs last fall. Having been a Navy family for much of their time, they have lived in places like Florida, California and, most recently, Hawaii. Though Hawaii was wonderful, the Colorado mountains are a welcome change.

Mike is a defense contractor, working at Schreiver Air Force Base. He is an innovation engineer for the Department of Defense. Mary is a homeschool consultant but with the move to Colorado, she is contemplating a change in direction.

Mike and Mary both consider Adventure Unlimited an integral part of their family, not only because they met there, but because they have spent time at Christmas Camp, have sent their two children to Youth Camp since the first year they each could attend, been bunkhouse parents, regularly visit the friends they made there and have been active participants in DiscoveryBound’s National Leadership Council (NLC) – as parents, and for Mary, as a class leader. Mary will hit her 25th year at Adventure Unlimited the weekend her NLC teens graduate from the program.

Their daughter, Hannah, started bunking in Horseshoe as a third grader, joined NLC in 8th grade, was a CIT (counselor-in-training) in the Waterfront program at Sky Valley Ranch last year and just graduated from the NLC program this past February. She hasn’t missed a year at the A/U Ranches or in NLC since age 8. Owen, their son, started at Youth Camp as a second grader and will be getting his Adventure Unlimited blanket this year as an 8th grader, having attended Christmas and Youth camps for 10 years. He hopes to apply to NLC this fall.

Beth Ann White
Adventure Unlimited has had quite the impact on Beth’s life. Not only is she currently working in the Denver office as a graphic designer and the social media manager (you see her work on the A/U Ranches and DiscoveryBound Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels), but she also met her fiancé, Alex Griffin, while working a summer at the A/U Ranches. They’ve both recently graduated from Principia College, Beth with a bachelor’s degree in art and Alex’s in music performance. Alex can be found in Denver, too, working for DiscoveryBound (DB).

Growing up in Boston, Beth attended DB Outreach events, where she appreciated the uplifting environment compared to the “cliques and gossip,” as she calls it, of her public school. She loved the higher level of thought at these events and attended all of the DB Outreach National Weekends that she could. In this group of teens, she found true friendships that she continues to be grateful for today. “My relationship with DiscoveryBound helped me realize that God is my forever friend and always there for me,” she says. She’s now giving back to that program, having recently volunteered as a chaperone at the DB Outreach Road Rally in Seattle.

Beth’s relationship with the A/U Ranches started with her oldest brother. He found out about it from another camp and led the way for all of her siblings to visit the A/U Ranches. She joined one of her brothers for a camp session there during her summer before 9th grade and fell in love with it. In all four of her summers at camp, she could be found in one of the horse programs: cattle working, horsemanship and polocrosse. She continues to ride horses whenever and wherever she can, and also loves to paint and dance.

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