Get to know the teachers, staff, mentors, and student interns at Empowerteen!
Dr. Paula Pilcher is the Founder, Director, Naturopathic Physician and Teacher of Empowerteen. In 2013, she established Empowerteen as a holistic, integrative approach to give all adolescents access to the tools they need to thrive and prosper during these formative years She designed the program and curriculum with activities, lessons, labs, and projects while keeping mental-emotional-physical-and social wellness in mind.
As a physician and healer, Dr. Paula believes strongly in treating the whole person holistically, and that the family dynamic is an important part of an individual as a whole. She enjoys working with adolescents and young adults to help them achieve happiness and vitality. She owns her integrative medical clinic in Beaverton, Oregon, 11-22 Integrative Medicine, where she sees patients aged 11-22 with an emphasis on integrative mental health. She also provides a comprehensive variety of wellness services, nutritional support, counseling, public education and community health workshops, and group dance fitness classes for teens and adults. Dr. Paula received her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and Certificate in Natural Childbirth in 2009. She has experience practicing physical medicine with massage & bodywork since 2004 using a variety of techniques to promote health and assist with injury recovery, and she has been a certified group fitness instructor since 1998. Dr. Paula specializes in individualized holistic treatments for each patient, drawing on her knowledge and expertise gained from completing 5 years of course and clinical work at the National University of Natural Medicine, and the Oregon School of Massage. She received her Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education, Psychology and Biology in 2002 at Emporia State University, and taught Human Anatomy and Physiology, Psychology, Biology I, Biology II, and Physical Science at Emporia High School, and FL Schlagle High School in Kansas City. Prior to that, she worked at a Group Home for troubled teens (ages 12-18) in Emporia, Kansas, for 2.5 years.
Dr. Paula provides one-on-one sessions for ages 11-22 at her medical practice.
She has a passion for teaching, meeting people where they’re at, and empowering individuals to take charge of their own health and happiness. Read more about the services she provides at 11-22 Integrative Medicine here www.1122med.com
Listen to Dr. Paula talk about Empowerteen in this Xray FM radio interview:
Maui Ramos is the Yoga, Meditation, and Capoeira instructor at Empowerteen for the boys and girls retreats, as well as the Co-leader of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Boys Summer Camps.
“I am a local yoga & mindfulness teacher, business owner, and known optimist. For the last 10 years I have dedicated my life to world travels and various exciting movement arts such as fire dancing, rock climbing, martial arts, and yoga. As the Boy’s Camp Co-leader, I am thrilled to bring a balanced masculine energy to the Tween Boys Empowerteen Retreat.”
“My aim is to inspire youth to approach all life with a deep sense of awe, respect, and curiosity and to know that they are worthy of their dreams. ”
“I believe in the Empowerteen mission because it provides the essential tools and the necessary community support for tweens and teens to grow into the absolute best versions of themselves; ultimately leading to better communities and future leaders.”
“Along with my wife, Abby, I am the co-founder of Jiva Journeys: Yoga Adventure Retreats with the mission to bring people together in incredible places so they can explore the depth of their Being and the richness of our world. We’re currently conspiring retreats in Oregon, Costa Rica, and beyond. Collaborations always welcome!” Check us out on Instagram!
Maui taught yoga and mindfulness at Empowerteen’s Girls Retreats from 2017-2020, and has been the Co-Leader and Yoga/Mindfulness/Capoeira Teacher at the 2018-2019-2020 Boys Summer Retreats. We’re so excited to have him with us as he is an incredible influence and inspiration to the teens! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO, MAUI!!! -Empowerteen
Seth Brown is the Yoga, Meditation, and Pilates instructor at Empowerteen for the 2022 and 2023 summer retreats, and was Co-leader of the 2022 High School Summer Retreat.
“Haya! My name is Seth. My background is pretty diverse. I lived in Washington state most of my life, and for eight years worked in the trades as a welder and metal fabricator. When I was younger, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and, in 2013 underwent a 3rd brain surgery. Unfortunate yes, but a lot of lessons were learned. So, in 2014 I started a new career as a yoga instructor. Since then, I have been able to travel the world and teach yoga, health and wellness to hundreds if not thousands of people from all walks of life. In 2019 I moved down to Oregon to manage a yoga studio in Beaverton where I now live and continue to teach.”
“My personal philosophy is just ‘show up’. Take yourself out of the equation and show up for a friend, or a partner. Show up for someone who has inspired you to do your best. Or maybe show up for someone you don’t even know, because you will make a difference!”
“What I love about Empowerteens is that people get together. There is strength in numbers and we are empowered by the people we surround ourselves with, whether you are a teen, toddler, adult, or a senior. Plus, there’s a lot of music and dancing!”
“In my spare time you can find me romping around with my dog Bill, building furniture in my garage, or gardening in my yard. I love to play any and all table top games – Catan, Dominos, Poker, you name it! I do A LOT of yoga, but I also love playing basketball, bowling and hiking.”
Juan Rodriguez is the self-defense and partner training instructor at the 2023 Summer Empowerteen Retreats.
“My background is primarily in the outdoors, specifically in rock climbing. However, I consider myself a movement enthusiast and enjoy pushing the limits of my mind and body through climbing, exercise, boxing, motorcycle riding, and adventure travel.”
“My personal philosophy is borrowed from my all time favorite book; The Alchemist. When you want something, the universe conspires to help you achieve it. I can’t think of one thing that I have truly wanted to do, that I haven’t been able to do yet.”
“Why do I love EmpowerTeen? Well, it’s my first time around this block so what I can say is that I’m excited at the opportunity to connect with the younger generation and pass on valuable lessons through fun and healthy movement.”
“What else am I up to? Currently fulfilling a dream to learn to ride adventure motorcycles in off-road terrain. I’ve had this dream since I owned my 2nd motorcycle and traveled all the way to Ohio just to ride roller coasters for 2 days and then turn around and ride back.”
Troy Rulmyr is the Karate, Martial Arts, and Self-Defense Instructor at Empowerteen for the boys and girls summer retreats, and is a Staff Member of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Summer Camps.
“I’m a mentor, coach, and teacher who loves working in the community building people up. I grew up in a small town on the border of Arizona, and immediately felt drawn to travel and adventure. I’ve played music all over the world, and written 7 books. I’m currently a Karate/Self Defense teacher and own a company that helps people with barriers gain meaningful employment.”
“I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to contribute in our community. Always stand for what is right, and do good deeds every day.”
“I think it’s important for men to be able to have candid conversations with young men about what it means to be a real man, communicative, open, caring, loving, and honorable.”
“I’m currently working on my 8th book, building my business, planning a music tour to Ireland, and working with a group of young cyclists, training with them on the weekends.”
Sada Chalk is a Chiropractor who specializes in Sports Medicine, as well as a STOTT Pilates instructor, a MELT Method instructor and a ZenGa instructor. She has been teaching at the tween and teen classes and summer retreats since 2015.
“As Chalk Movement & Wellness, LLC, I teach healthy exercise and movement practices. Using Pilates and several fascial restoration techniques, I educate people about functional versus dysfunctional movement patterns and help them find better movement strategies to reduce pain and improve function (ranging from improving the ability to do normal daily activities with less pain to optimizing athletic ability). I primarily work with people in private lessons or at workshops to help them address dysfunctional movement patterns by opening up areas of restricted movement and strengthening areas of instability, then integrating it into functional movement training.”
Sada has taught for Empowerteen at every retreat that has been offered since 2015, as well as in the Empowerteen High School Curriculums. She not only teaches private lessons, Pilates Reformer classes, and amazing workshops, but also recently graduated from Western States Chiropractic College where she earned her Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE, SADA!!! -Empowerteen
Niki Carr, MScN is a Nutrition and Cooking instructor at Empowerteen. She teaches teens and tweens how to develop a healthy relationship with food.
Corinne Sharlet, MA, teaches Drama Therapy for Empowerteen’s Teen Girls Retreat.
“I hold a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark and currently work as a school-based adolescent therapist for Trillium Family Services. Before entering the field of psychology, I studied Musical Theater and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Santa Fe University of Art and Design. I now combine both worlds in my work of facilitating change and personal growth for a diverse population of students.”
“I believe that creativity is a connective force that helps people feel a sense of belonging and purpose which is necessary to be healthy and fulfilled! Empowerteen retreats provide a unique opportunity to use different kinds of creativity as a way to feel connected to others and develop valuable skills.”
“I am so excited about volunteering for Empowerteen because not only am I able to share information and be a mentor, I have the opportunity to learn from the youth participants, which I have found to be the most rewarding aspect of working with young people.”
Aside from my work as a therapist, I am also a singer and songwriter for a new music project called Sharlet Crooks. I do gigs around Portland and am working toward recording a full-length album.”
Molly Kaplan, BFA, MAT teaches Art Therapy at Empowerteen’s Tween Girls Retreat.
“I received my BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art with a focus in Printmaking. My thesis was centered around the idea of mark making as a form of meditation. I received my MAT from Lewis & Clark College and am a Visual Arts Teacher for High Schools and Middle Schools.”
“I believe in the power of love, human connection and cultivating positivity in all aspects of life. I strive to treat myself and others with respect and build meaningful relationships. I am an avid believer that health and wellness is a foundation for happiness. Yoga, food, nutrition and spending time outdoors are crucial for my personal wellbeing. As an art teacher, I aim to provide students with a classroom community that is supportive, and centered around kindness, respect and critical thinking. My own personal art practice explores ideas of meditation while making art.”
“Empowerteen’s mission and ideals promote and teach teenagers so many things that I care about. I believe in holistic health, and am a firm believer that compassion and self compassion are huge contributors to happiness and help immensely with anxiety and toxic thoughts. I spend a great deal of time expanding my own toolbox with healthy ways of dealing with anxiety and stress and understanding the science behind it has been extremely beneficial. I cannot think of a better way to spend my time than to volunteer my knowledge and understanding of the power of art to an organization that promotes a way of life that I am passionate about.”
“Of course, I’d love to share! Here are a few of my pieces…”
Jen Coyne is the CEO of The PEAK Fleet and teaches Values and Vocational Skills for a Fulfilling Future at the Empowerteen’s Teen and Tween Summer Retreats, as well as the Adults Empowerment Workshop Benefit.
Jen shares her knowledge of paradigm shifts in future vocational skills and how seeking out fulfillment in life can be applied to lifetime career paths. She has amazing professional expertise and is excited about guiding and preparing Empowerteen girls for their future through engaging activities at our retreats.
“We are a consulting agency that was founded to help organizations improve their employee experience today and to act as revolutionaries for the Future of Work. The PEAK Fleet offers thought leadership, speakerships, workshops and advisory services to help organizations succeed by creating an engaged workforce that thrives together.”
“I have long had an entrepreneurial and creative energy, including a love for creating and selling fused glass art. In the corporate world, I have applied that spirit to leading change for 25 years. Helping people thrive is my passion and my reason for creating The PEAK Fleet with co-founder Brian Stinson. I have combined my background as a Certified Public Accountant and Project Management Professional with extensive background in strategy development to develop a strong understanding of business priorities and the ability to translate strategies into action. Over 20 years working in high tech and information technology, I developed a highly successful track record of developing high performing, diverse teams with an engaged and committed workforce. My experience in developing and delivering Organizational and Leadership training and development spans two decades, which I now leverage to create the unique, provocative, and thought-leading products and services for The PEAK Fleet.”
“The Empowerteen program embodies many of the same core beliefs and missions of the PEAK Fleet. In fact, PEAK is an acronym for Persistence, Empathy, Authenticity, and Kindness. These skills are developed into tools important to Empowerteen, and are also our PEAK Values.”
Wanda McKenzie is a Life Coach and Nutritionist who shares the same concepts and tools with teens that help Corporate Leaders reach their potential.
“It was only a few years ago that I learned about mind management in the context of setting and reaching career goals. After beginning this journey, I realized these tools and skills were applicable to habits, relationships, weight loss, decluttering and so much more. I have since earned the International Coaching Federation ACC credential and certifications as a Leadership, Life and Weight Loss coach.
Rachel Leigh is a Mindset Management Coach at Empowerteen’s tween boys, tween girls, and teen girls retreats. She will work with them to create a unique personal goals-centered soundtrack that they will get to keep to help overcome obstacles and reach their goals.
“I am native to the PNW and have always been intrigued with the trinity of mind, body, and spirit. To begin with, I focused my education and efforts on the body. I dedicated 21 years to the healthcare industry as a field service rep for a Fortune 5 healthcare company, while also coaching individuals on holistic healthcare alternatives. I transitioned to coaching women and couples on innate personality type and the spirituality of conflict resolution until 2013, when I became a Certified Ideal Life Vision Coach. Since then, I have been focusing on the final holistic trinity of health, the mind.”
“Your strength is your own belief! We all have a Super P.O.W.E.R. that we just need to discover and align with to live our ideal life! I strongly subscribe to the philosophy of working SMARTER, not harder! And lastly, energy is real; we’ve only to learn how to harness it in a mindful way!”
“It is my personal mission to assist transitioning adolescents into becoming thriving proactive and healthy adult contributors to society. Empowerteen is aligned perfectly with that mission and I am super excited for the opportunity to add my one small puzzle piece to an already well played puzzle! Empowerteen is making a huge proactive impact to our community, and I just love that!”
“I own my own business, PROactive Vision, where I teach students and student athletes how to master their “mental game” by becoming a co-creator of their own lives thru applying neuroscience tools to their everyday routines.”
Natalie Lehmann, LAc owns Edelweiss Acupuncture and teaches concepts in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to teens in Empowerteen’s High School Curriculums, as well as volunteers for Summer Retreats.
Find out more about Natalie and Edelweiss Acupuncture at: http://www.edelweissacupuncture.com
Melissa Berry, ND, is the founder and owner of Missionary Chocolates and Vegan Truffle Instructor at Empowerteen’s Teen Summer Retreat.
Dr. Melissa Berry is a graduate of the National University of Natural Medicine and a licensed ND. What started as a special treat for her ailing mother has now become a platform for Dr. Berry to share what she is most passionate about: the importance of integrated healthcare and her mission to fund Portland’s first integrated hospital. Berry’s inspiration for her truffles comes from her mother, a dedicated vegan who also happens to love chocolate. “The first time I made truffles for my mom, I made Tofutti truffles, I made soy milk truffles, rice milk truffles, and coconut milk truffles,” Dr. Berry remembers. “The only thing that came close to non-vegan truffles were the coconut milk truffles.” As Dr. Berry explains, “Traditional truffles are made with heavy cream, butter, and egg yolks, so coconut milk, which has a high fat content and also tends to have a low allergenic potential for most people, replicates that creaminess of non-vegan chocolate.” Dr. Berry’s hand-dipped coconut milk truffles were such a hit that in 2008 she decided it was time to start her own company. Her Meyer lemon truffle won first place at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Dr. Berry’s first year of business, only reinforcing her goal of paving the way for better health- care through her lovingly-crafted treats. “It made me think, what if I could sell chocolate and change medicine?” Dr. Berry recalls. (From Portland Interview Magazine)
Grace Darazs is a student at Oregon State University. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Event Coordinator from Fall 2023 through Summer 2024.
“I am a rising third-year at Oregon State University’s College of Business in Corvallis, Oregon. I am majoring in international business with a minor and a background in psychology. I am from Hillsboro, Oregon, and enjoy contributing to Empowerteen while I’m home. My passions are traveling and trying new things! My dream profession is anything that takes me all over the world.”
“My personal philosophy is to find balance in everything. Give more than you get, but listen to your needs. Leave things cleaner than the way you found them, but trust your instincts. It’s easy to get carried away in any direction, so I live by the practice of finding balance in every aspect of life!”
“Despite just being with the program for many years (since 2016), Empowerteen and its mission resonates with me so strongly. I have never found such a warm and nurturing environment to grow, and I say that as a mentee, mentor, and intern. I truly wouldn’t be the person I am today without all of my experiences with Empowerteen. From making exponential emotional growth to learning valuable people skills to developing my career, I could never give back to the program as much as I have gained. It is an honor to be a part of the program and I will encourage anybody to participate in some way.”
“A majority of my time is dedicated to my courses and extracurriculars! Along with my studies and work load at Oregon State, I’m in the Bella Voce Choir, I am on the executive board for a couple of clubs, and I peer mentor!”
Adam Kim is a student at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. He is interning as Empowerteen’s Social Media Marketing Content Creator from Fall 2023 through Summer 2024.
“I am a Freshman at Pacific University of Oregon in Forest Grove, Oregon. I plan to double major in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and Sports management. I am an athlete and currently play for the Pacific University baseball team. I grew up near Seattle, Washington and I enjoy staying active.”
“I have always been someone who enjoys working hard. Pushing past boundaries and achieving success through hard work. My baseball career is a prime example of this and I try to maintain that philosophy in everything that I do.”
“The thing that drew me to Empowerteen was their ability to make a safe space. Creating an environment where people feel safe to discuss difficult topics and a space to build people’s self confidence is incredible. It takes a good core of strong individuals to maintain that and I appreciate the effort that must have gone in to make Empowerteen such a successful program.”
“I am a pitcher for the baseball team at Pacific University of Oregon. I also am part of various clubs that celebrate Asian American culture and plan to participate as a part of the executive board for those clubs in the following years.”
Annie Berry is a student at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Children’s Storybook Illustrator from Fall 2023 to Summer 2024.
“I am a senior at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon majoring in art and graphic design. I have been finding ways to express my creativity since I can remember from designing Barbie clothes to sculpting masterpiece sand castles. Over the years, I have developed a soft, lighthearted, playful art style involving lots of texture and movement that comes through in my digital, pen and ink illustrations.”
“My personal philosophy is to be grateful for what you have but to still be eager to learn, improve, and work for more.”
“I love that Empowerteen is giving young people a space to be themselves and learn valuable lessons for life. It is especially important to have a supportive community that allows you to express your own creativity as you are growing up and becoming an adult, and Empowerteen allows this to happen.”
“I am always keeping busy with new projects as the Marketing Chair for Pacific’s ACE (Activities, Culture, and Events) Board, the Digital Media Manager for The Pacific Index, and the graphic designer for a local frozen yogurt business. I am also a track and cross country athlete at Pacific University and currently have the school record in the 800m.”
Kayley “Leelee” Ilikapeka Dombrigues is a student at Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Creative Designer and Special Projects Liaison for the Spring and Summer of 2023.
“Aloha! I am a rising junior at Linfield University’s College of the Arts and Sciences in McMinnville, Oregon. I am double majoring in digital art and journalism and media studies, using my creativity to inspire and educate others. I was born and raised on beautiful Hawaii Island, where I indulged in my ancestors’ culture, and I continue to spread and educate the divinity of Hawaiian and Pacific Island culture here in Oregon.”
“I continue to live by this philosophy: Practice kindness, empathy, acceptance and aloha without expecting life to gift you in return.”
“I am deeply grateful for a program like Empowerteen and its mission that aids teens and tweens to build self-confidence! The tweenage and teenage period is an era of self-discovery and development and it is important to support these students in this chapter of their lives. I love that Empowerteen creates this encouraging foundation for its participants!”
“Following my double majors and computer science minor, I am also student writer for my university’s strategic communications department, a Consent Awareness Training Mentor under my university’s student wellness programs, a social media manager for multiple official Linfield departments and sports, an assistant writing fellow mentor, and a project designer under my university’s english department. I am also involved in multiple inclusive clubs at my school including Linfield United by Pride (Linfield Queer Club) and a committee member of Hui O Lokahi, my university’s pacific islander club. I am also a student athlete, being an active member of the Linfield Dance Team. I am also enrolled to study abroad this following spring semester in South Korea at Yonsei University.”
Madeline Weisbecker is a student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Social Media Marketing Content Creator for the spring and summer of 2023.
“I am currently a Business Administration student with a concentration in marketing at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. I am also minoring in Spanish and look forward to studying abroad in Spain! I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia but absolutely love living in California.”
“I believe in being open-minded. I think being open-minded has led me to so many incredible opportunities, new people, and adventures that I will cherish.”
“I love Empowerteen because I love the message behind it. I think it is amazing to have the ability to produce a warm space where kids and teens can discuss things like body image and self-esteem and work on building confidence. Growing up I never attended a camp like the ones offered by Empowerteen, but it seems like such an incredible opportunity to build self-confidence and connect with others.”
“I am also involved in Chi Omega sorority and serve as graphic design chair for the Cal Poly chapter. I am also a member of the Cal Poly chapter of the American Marketing Association and love being on the executive board, working as the director of creative design!”
Moses McAninch is a student at Eastern Oregon University. He is interning as Empowerteen’s Special Projects Marketing Videographer and Leadership Mentor for the 2020 Boys Virtual Summer Retreats.
“I am currently attending Eastern Oregon University majoring in Communications and Music with minors in Business and Theater. I am also a dual sport college athlete (Football and Track). I have spent most of my life travelling with my parents who are missionaries raising money for their foundation “Into Africa Missions”. I was born in Africa and have spent a decent amount of my life there while also travelling the world and living in various countries including America.
I plan to become a Motivational Speaker/Traveling Preacher once I am done playing sports.”
“Don’t take life personally. Enjoy what you have and work hard for what you want. Kindness will be key to an understanding heart. Half effort and no effort are the same thing so you might as well put full effort into everything.”
“Every great civilization’s future is dependent on the children. The idea that Empowerteen is about giving youth the opportunity to grow in a healthy environment where they can learn different skills and hear from people that can teach them about life and how to take it on is something that I am excited to be a part of.”
“I work on music and photography in my spare time. Writing lyrics and creating sounds is something to help my mind escape from all the busyness. I enjoy the outdoors and observing God’s creation.”
Gabriela Santoyo Gutierrez is a student at Willamette University. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Business Apprentice – Executive Assistant for the spring and summer of 2020.
“I’m a rising senior at Willamette University where I major in Sociology and minor in American Ethnic studies. I grew up in Salem, Oregon with my two hard working parents and my three siblings.”
“My personal philosophy includes family, community and social justice. To me, family is extremely important. My parents are my role models and they taught me to be hard-working, responsible, and grateful. In return, I care deeply about giving back to our community and serving others. I am particularly passionate about recognizing and dismantling systems of oppression in order to build racial equity and social, political, and economic justice.”
“During my teen years, I remember having a difficult time dealing with stress, anxiety, and insecurities. I remember wishing I had guidance or some form of coping mechanisms to help me through the process. That is why I love Empowerteen’s holistic approach in supporting our youth in developing healthy strategies on how to manage their social, mental, and physical health. For me, I believe self-love and self-confidence are an ongoing continual process like a muscle that we have to keep strengthening. With Empowerteen we better our future, by investing in our youth and helping them practice these essential life skills in order to help them become kind, healthy, and happy adults.”
“Aside from school, I am a part-time manager at American Eagle in Salem, where we encourage body positivity, inclusivity, expressing the best version of yourself. I also enjoy playing volleyball, dancing, and spending time with my new corgi puppy Stella Rose!”
William Tang is a student at Portland State University. He is interning as Empowerteen’s Testimonials Videographer for the summer of 2020.
Amaya Varma is a student at Portland State University. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Community Outreach – Public Liaison for the summer of 2020.
“I am a current student at Portland State University majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Spanish. I have traveled and lived in places all over the world from a city to a farm!”
“I feel as though the relationship you have with yourself will set the tone for every other relationship you have in life. I aspire to be a woman who wakes up everyday and loves what she does for a living, travels often, is spiritually secured, and financially stable and will achieve that through grit and joy.”
“Change is difficult and those teenage years may seem like a never ending series of change. However, it is just as joyful and exciting as it is scary! I love Empowerteen becuase the community is able to provide the resources, connections, kindness, and tools to find that inner strength one needs to help identify values and self-love during these years. This organization helps you to enjoy and cherish the space between where you are and where you’re going.”
“This summer I am dedicating the majority of my time to learn and work for organizations with extremely important messages, work, and values. Other than that you can find me in the kitchen, socializing, hiking, or soaking up as much sun as I can!”
Vivian Monteiro is a student at Scripps College in California. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Creative Designer for the summer of 2020.
“I’m a rising sophomore at Scripps College down in Claremont California. I love making art and believe expression through art is one of the most universal languages. To pursue my dream of becoming a professional designer, I am double majoring in media studies and digital art. Growing up I lived in three different countries, which gave me a diverse worldview I am grateful for.”
“I live by kindness and gratitude. Empathy is so important when it comes to listening to others and really seeing the people around you for who they are. I believe that there is beauty everywhere, and it is appreciating the small things that can make your day that much better. Even the most difficult of times can be smiled at with the right attitude.”
“We learn a lot in highschool, but rarely are we taught about positive self-talk, mindfulness, and what exactly a healthy relationship is. We are expected to learn such things with experience, but unfortunately such skills are not always instinctively picked up. I love that Empowerteen gives teenagers a space where they can learn real life skills that will prepare them for a healthier and happier journey ahead.”
“When I don’t have a paintbrush in hand, I have my nose in an old book. I also enjoy spending time outdoors, whether that be jogging around my neighborhood (SW Portland!) or hiking in the Gorge.”
Kirsten Kyllingmark is a student at Lewis and Clark College. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Business Apprentice in Projects Management for the summer and fall of 2020.
“I am from Bellingham, Washington and I am a rising senior pursuing an Economics degree at Lewis & Clark College. I am a Pacific Northwesterner all-around! I love podcasts, cooking, trying new foods, and sharing all of it with others.”
“Empathy and personal strength are two of the most important things I practice. I believe it is crucial to my well-being to work on my growth continuously and be aware of others by being non-judgmental and practicing radical care.”
“I deeply value the opportunities for holistic wellbeing and growth Empowerteen gives young people in the community. I know how influential a supportive group and structure can be on shaping teen’s futures, and I want to be a part in expanding those opportunities.”
“This summer I am also working at a restaurant and acting as a summer Resident Advisor on my campus. I love working in service of all kinds!”
Kess Moulton is a student at Lewis and Clark College. They are interning as Empowerteen’s Event Coordinator for the 2020 Summer Retreats.
“I am a rising junior at Lewis & Clark College where I am studying studio art, with the goal of becoming an art therapist one day. I love music, theater, painting, poetry, and working with kids and teens! I grew up in beautiful small-town Vermont, but I’ve fallen in love with Portland and the west coast.”
“Two of the most important things I have learned in my life is to be patient and grateful. I am still learning to do both of these, but I find myself a much happier person when actively engaging in these two principles.”
“Empowerteen reminds me of all the camps and conferences I went to when I was growing up, and all of my wonderful experiences there that made me a more confident and loving person. The way people at Empowerteen completely accept every individual for who they are is inspiring, and I am so honored to be contributing to their mission.”
“Along with being a full-time student, I am a varsity crew athlete, participate in my school’s select choir, work at the library, and try to maintain healthy and fun relationships. When I’m not in the art studio, learning music, or training for a race, I enjoy hiking and practicing my Spanish!”
Emmett Moore is a student at Santa Clara University in California. He is interning as Empowerteen’s Documentaries Videographer for the summer of 2020.
“I’m entering my senior year at Santa Clara University in the Bay Area, and I grew up in Portland, Oregon. I’m studying marketing and am interested in doing creative work professionally, specifically photo and video.”
“I’m a big believer that people should find what they love and pursue it as much as possible.”
“The middle and high school years are so critical for mental development. Especially in this age of social media, young people can get lost in what others think of them and can develop a negative self esteem. To me, Empowerteen serves as both a safe space and a place of development from a holistic perspective. The compassion and caring taught at Empowerteen has a huge positive impact on those that participate.”
“Currently I’m focusing a lot on creative work, specifically video. I have a number of passion projects I’m going to spend part of the summer producing, and hopefully by the time fall comes around I’ll have a breadth of work that I’m proud of.”
Megan Bartholomy is a student at Portland State University. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Social Media Marketing Content Creator for the spring and summer of 2020.
“I am a sophomore at Portland State University double majoring in sociology and communications. I began my degree at Southern Oregon University in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon where I grew up!”
“My two core principals for life are to pursue happiness and contribute to society. This looks different for everyone but I believe it is important to work toward making the world a better place while also maintaining individuality.”
“Empowerteen provides a really unique environment that provides teens with a safe community where they can learn skills that are super crucial to their teenage years. Upon learning of Empowerteen I was immediately impressed with the holistic approach Dr. Paula uses to assist teens and teach them new skills. Middle school and high school are stressful periods and I love that Empowerteen is designed not only to help teens through it, but to teach them things they can use for the rest of their life!”
“I am kept very busy between school and my nannying job and I use my free time to pursue my hobbies which include blogging, painting, and hiking. I’m also working hard to develop Spanish as my second language.”
Faryn Boone is a student at the University of Washington. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Community Outreach – Support Liaison for the summer of 2020.
I am currently a senior at University of Washington Tacoma, and will finish up my degree in August with a Bachelor’s in Marketing. My passions include music, films, art, and traveling. Anything related to creativity and getting outside of your comfort zone – that is what I find most interesting! I have played violin for the last 10 years, and have swam and done water polo throughout my high school years. I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina but have spent the last 10 years in Tacoma, Washington.
My personal philosophy is that communication and honesty is everything. It is essential in the workplace, with family, and with friends. It is how people connect with one another, and grow relationships. Honesty when communicating can often times make or break relationships, but becoming aware of how you communicate with others and use your honesty and vulnerability will ultimately guide you in life. I try to remind myself of this philosophy often!
Empowerteen immediately spoke to me because I always feel a need to help others. Empowerteen embodies helping one another, no matter who you are or where you come from. Watching testimonials and reading about the mission of Empowerteen motivates and inspires me to help others. I also love Empowerteen because this is something that I wish I could have had when I was a teen. Dr. Paula has a sense of passion and care for the youth that is very inspiring, and makes me grateful to be a part of.
Currently I work at Metropolitan Market near the Seattle area as a Barista. I have worked with the company for 4 years and really enjoy making coffee for people. Inventing new summer drinks right now has been a fun way to make work more exciting. It is nice to have a creative outlet at the job I am currently at. Besides working, I enjoy hiking, swimming, and hanging out with my friends!
Lilia Watt is a student at Willamette University. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Creative Writer and Blogger for the summer of 2019.
Ireland Addis is a student at Washington State University. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Social Media Marketing Content Creator for the summer of 2019.
“I am a senior at Washington State University pursuing a degree in Marketing. Currently I live in Washougal, Washington but in my 20 years I’ve lived in Oregon, Texas, Georgia, and Florida!”
“I believe that the best way to go through life is with kindness at the forefront. It’s important to be nice to everyone you meet, because you never know what someone could be going through. Bring positive energy to everything you do, and you will rarely be disappointed!”
“As I was looking for an internship for the summer, Empowerteen was the first one that seemed I could actually be directly impacting people positively. I love how Dr. Paula and the rest of the team are dedicated to helping teens and tweens reach their full potential and give them the confidence to feel good about themselves in what is a tough time in life. It’s exciting to be able to put together posts for supporters to read, knowing that I’m not just getting hands on experience in Social Media Marketing, but helping those I reach even more.”
“In college I’m in a business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi where I build upon my professionalism and experience marketing. I also am a part of the Student Entertainment Board at WSU where I market events that happen on campus. I’m excited to graduate and start a career in marketing or a related field!”
Braelyn Swan is a new graduate of Linfield College. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Event Coordinator for the summer of 2019.
“I grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon before I moved to McMinnville to attend Linfield College where I graduated with a degree in psychology.”
“I’ve learned that we cannot control everything in life and to take what is handed to us with a positive attitude and make every obstacle an opportunity. Providing yourself with love, kindness, and respect is the best way to reflect that to the people around you.”
“I believe in Empowerteen’s holistic approach to helping adolescents and engaging them with activities and programs to bolster their self esteem and life skills. If there was an organization like this where I grew up I think I and many of my peers could have really benefited from it.”
“I am volunteering with research with the Linfield College psychology department and looking for more opportunities to engage in further research in psychology.”
Russell Hendrickson is a student at Linfield College. He is interning as Empowerteen’s Social Media Content Creator for the 2018 Summer Retreats.
“I am a student at Linfield College pursuing a double major in Creative Writing and Philosophy. Currently, I am entering my senior year and in the process of developing my undergraduate theses.”
“Peace isn’t the absence of conflict, it’s the acceptance of conflict within our lives. Conflict is an inescapable part of life and trying to eradicate it will only cause you pain.”
“As someone who only recently graduated from high school I am familiar with the struggles that teenagers face with elements such as managing anxiety and improving self-esteem. I know how important it is for teenagers to have a support network they can rely on during a time when they are changing and learning how to define themselves. I admire Empowerteen’s dedication to promoting healthy lifestyle choices and living habits among teenagers, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with Empowerteen by helping to promote the organization on social media.”
“One of my long-term goals after graduation is to publish a novel or a collection of short stories.”
Dani Golladay is a student at St. Luke’s College of Health Sciences. She is interning as Empowerteen’s Event Coordinator for the 2018 Summer Retreats, and 2019 Winter Retreat Get-Away.
“I am currently a nursing student living in the beautiful state of Kansas. I will be receiving my bachelor’s degree from Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences in December of 2019. I have been working at a skilled nursing facility as well as local hospitals for about two years now.”
“I believe that one must never stop learning. Keeping an open mind and heart help one grow as a person. One must treat people with kindness always and respect others point of view. Always be willing to help those in need. Live your life with purpose, and never stop striving to improve yourself.”
“Working with Empowerteen as a Big Sis Mentor in 2017 has shown me that in learning things such as mindfulness, stress management, positive self talk, healthy relationships, and the science behind it all really impacts the way you live your life. Empowerteen teaches these young adults so many great tools to survive this media driven world. This holistic approach is so wonderful, and it is amazing to see the tweens and teens grow more confident in themselves.”
“When I am not studying for my next exam, I am working as a CNA and absolutely love it. I am also a member of the Student Nurses Association, and I am on the board as the Ways and Means Chair – which means I am in charge of all of the merchandise in the school bookstore. As someone who lives in Kansas, I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to work with this amazing organization. Oregon is such a special place and Empowerteen is a very special program! I cannot wait until the mission of Empowerteen spreads all over!”
Hallie Campbell is a Program Assistant to the Empowerteen Director.
Hallie has been involved with Empowerteen since the 2015 Summer Retreat.