It was on a park bench in southern Spain where Shannon first understood the transformational power of travel. There, she sat and watched life unfold: kids chasing balloons, women chit-chatting, birds singing, couples arguing, parents loving. On that bench, she first saw past the different language, clothing, food, customs and realized people are just people. Her study abroad experience changed the way she viewed herself and her place in the world and ignited a passion to help other people, no matter their background or ability, experience similar truths and joys.

Upon completion of her Technical Journalism/Spanish degrees at Colorado State University, Shannon came to Global Explorers in 2007 as a volunteer seeking opportunities to stay connected to experiential education. Since then, she has held various positions within the organization, including running the Leading the Way program and developing our domestic destinations in partnership with the National Park Service. Shannon has been in her current position since 2011 managing all the nuts and bolts of our youth travel program.

Born and raised in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, a love of the natural world is part of her DNA. Although her present day-job is mostly comprised of sending emails, her true passions will always lie in sharing wild places with teenagers. Whether floating the rivers of the U.S. Southwest, exploring the jungles and mountains of Latin America, or weaving through the markets of China, some of Shannon’s best life moments have taken place on No Barriers Youth programs.

A few loves: Exploring new ways to enjoy the outdoors; Fresh ideas that make you feel new again; Yerba Mate; Making something out of nothing; Perfectly placed commas or strategic brush stokes; Yoga; Evening walks; Hope; Mountain biking; Unedited emotion; Snowboarding; Seeing what’s around the next corner; Ice cream; The perfect cup of coffee; Language.