| cityWILD Adventures

February 8, 2017

cityWILD Staff

Jes cityWILDJes Ward • Executive Director •
For 17 years, Jes Ward has built a prominent career in youth development and nonprofit management.  As a key staff member of the PeaceJam Foundation, she worked in every facet of nonprofit leadership, and she specializes in staff development, program development, and community partnerships.  Bringing together over 3,500 youth from 39 countries in 2006, Jes served as the lead coordinator of the largest gathering of Nobel Peace Laureates ever to take place outside of Oslo, Norway.  This event launched the Global Call to Action Campaign, designed to engage youth in addressing the most pressing issues facing humanity.  Her youth development experience has reached across the country and to the United Kingdom, and ranges from curriculum development, direct facilitation of countless groups of youth, and training hundreds of educators and youth development professionals on effective youth development strategies. She is a skilled facilitator and strategic planner and has a strong passion for the pursuit of social justice.

Kevin Nkevinicastro • Program Director •
Born and raised in Colorado, Kevin has a passion for the outdoors and comes from a strong background in guiding and in working with youth. He has had the opportunity to work for several different youth camps in Wisconsin and Colorado and ran a program that put middle and high school age kids at the controls of a live, multi-media production, every week. While living in Mexico for 4 months, he also organized a program that used traveling climbers to help teach local residents how to rock climb. He has guiding experience in road and mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, and rock climbing and holds a Single Pitch Instructor certification from the American Mountain Guiding Association and is currently working to achieve full Rock and Alpine Guide status.

emily-photoEmily Berger • Support Services Coordinator •
Emily joins cityWILD with a background in social work focused on health and wellness and a trauma-informed approach. She has experience with individual and group therapy, namely substance abuse treatment as well as utilizing experiential activity to create a therapeutic atmosphere. She has worked with youth in a variety of settings including supervising teens during their summer employment, teaching gardening classes and working with the national reading and writing non-profit 826 Valencia. As an avid backpacker, Emily has a passion for development in the outdoors. In addition to a masters in social work from the University of Denver, Emily is also a certified yoga teacher and has been facilitating yoga classes since 2012.

Kim Barrett • Program Coordinator •
Kim Barrett excitedly joined cityWILD last October after working as a Fisheries Technician at Yellowstone National Park. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management with concentrations in fisheries and wildlife management and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies focusing on environmental education, community engagement and communication from Green Mountain College. Kim has spent the last 10 years creating nature-based educational programming for youth and families, participating in wildlife and fisheries research projects with governmental and state organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Park Service, Trout Unlimited and Vermont Fish and Wildlife. For three years, Kim served as the Director of the residential Green Mountain Conservation Camp Program in Castleton, Vermont dedicated to providing experiential, inquiry-based nature and wildlife-related environmental education programming to youth ages 12-18. There she taught everything from wilderness survival, canoeing, hunter education, wildlife tracking to wildlife ecology. After this she worked as an Information and Outreach Specialist for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife creating programs and workshops geared towards underserved and underrepresented audiences. Kim is passionate about various environmental and social justice issues but has recently worked on immigration rights, migrant worker rights, access to clean water, representation for people of color in the outdoors and economic equality.

kyle-photoKyle Conrad • Adventures Coordinator •
Over the past decade, Kyle has worked in the non-profit sector supporting youth programming. Kyle is a Colorado Native who has lived in many different parts of the state. Kyle’s first opportunity out of college was serving as an AmeriCorps Volunteer at Tyee High School in Seattle Washington. After AmeriCorps, she used the award to participate in an 81-day wilderness adventure with Outward Bound where she canoed, hiked and sea kayaked from Minnesota to Mexico. This experience led her to a job with Outward Bound Discovery as a wilderness instructor.  For the past five years, Kyle worked as a Volunteer Support Specialist with Girl Scouts of Colorado. She produced large scale events, retreats, camps, and workshops for the girls within the Girl Scout organization. Kyle has a degree from Fort Lewis College in Sociology. Kyle is an active advocate for social justice and enjoys working with students and supporting them to develop their leadership skills and to gain a deeper understanding of the world.


monse-photoMonse Alvarez • Program Assistant •
Monse joins cityWILD with a background in youth outdoor education and community organizing. As a Xicana growing up in the South, she found inspiration in her communities and deeply integrated herself in community organizing.  She helped found a summer freedom school program, Youth Organizing Institute, that serves North Carolina youth. While attending NC State University, Monse was introduced to Outdoor Education as a professional career and since then has created ways to merge social justice with the Outdoors. While working at university recreation, she lead various trips including a Diversity and Inclusion trip with her peers. After graduation, she worked as the mountain intern for North Carolina Outward Bound School. In 2015, she moved to Colorado to work for Eagle Rock School and Professional Center where she served as the Outdoor Education teaching fellow. During her year of service, she lead three 24 day wilderness courses and developed a Diversity and Inclusion resource handbook for outdoor instructors.

Sasjnjuana Casillas • Program Assistant (Coach Across America) •
Sanjuana started attending cityWILD in 2006 as a sixth grade student. She joins the cityWILD team as an Americorps Member with Coach Across America. Sanjuana has lived in Denver’s Cole neighborhood since 2003 and attended Wyatt Edison Elementary School and Manual High School, where she has mentored youth in the Robotics program. With the support of cityWILD, Sanjuana has had the opportunity to travel and volunteer abroad in thirteen different countries. Sanjuana believes that cityWILD helped provide the courage and experience that was necessary as a middle school student, and sees how these essential values will continue to shape students for present and future experiences.