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 the KIVA family 

It takes a village!

Meet the Team!

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Kasey Schelling

Co-Founder & Vision Weaver

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Garrett Braun

Co-Founder & Vision Builder

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Chris Hopper

Lead Mentor & Homeschool

Curriculum Director

For years, Kasey has asked herself these questions, "What would life be like if we humans truly practiced living in balance with the natural world? How do we tap into this potential?" Kasey is an avid wanderer and explorer of wild places, delighting in the diverse array of landscapes and species. Her love for this planet is so deep, that she grieves the ways in which human lifestyles have deteriorated this intelligent balance of creation. Yet, her hope is abundant. She believes that humans are brilliant, and know deep down how to activate our wild, unique gifts that we each bring to the world. She feels that when this gift is expressed, we fulfill an ecological niche, just as other species do. Through working with youth for the past 12 years, she has seen that when the conditions are right, there is an immense potential for children to channel their inner-genius in service to something greater than themselves. She founded The Kiva Center in 2014 with a vision to create a culture that uplifts one another to embody the gift to the world that we are, living lives full of purpose and love.

Garrett Braun is a weirdo. The kind of weirdo that sees the world in his own unique way. The kind of weirdo that we all truly are, but some aren't willing to show the world. Garrett enjoys trying to imitate the sounds of nature, he's best at the chicken. You will find him trying to sing along to a song, not by the lyrics, but by imitating the instruments (this annoys Kasey). You will also find Garrett with a tool belt and drill in his hands fixing things around our property. He is a natural problem-solver and leader. His goal as executive director is to empower each and every member of the Kiva Center community by finding the perfect role for them to flourish. He holds dear that the Kiva Center is a place that should fill everyone's bucket through fulfilling and meaningful opportunities to share our gifts with the world. He is a man of service, care, and passion. He is certain that every living being on this planet exists with a gift in their soul that they are meant to share with the world, and his mission is to create a space where people can feel that in their bones.

Chris Hopper is a passionate, multi-talented human from Boulder, CO whose main desire is to create a more connected, loving, and free world through teaching life skills to children. He has over 11 years of experience working with children of all ages. He discovered his natural ability to connect with kids when he began teaching gymnastics as a young adult. At the same time, he began teaching piano lessons and playing music professionally which helped him balance his love of movement and music. Years later he delved into both circus skills and parkour, having a love for juggling and ground skills as well as the freedom which comes through the “art of overcoming obstacles.” Chris has a deep love for nature and has spent much time backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, spearfishing, sailing, and surfing. In 2014, he joined the AscenDance Project, a dance troupe that dances on a climbing wall and has performed all along the Colorado Front Range as well as in Singapore. Your kids are sure to have fun, develop skills, and be inspired in his presence.

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Allie Sharrock

Lead Mentor and Data Wizard

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Lily Urmann

After School Program Coordinator

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Jay Schwartz

Lead Mentor

Allie is a free-spirited soul from Cincinnati, Ohio who strives to encourage humans to live a life full of love, growth and connection. In 2018 she graduated from Ohio University with a BA in Psychology and Sociology/Criminology. After working as a care manager for adults in Cincinnati, Allie decided she wanted to leave the city and work in nature. She moved to Asheville, North Carolina and worked as a wilderness field instructor for students aged 10-17 at a therapeutic wilderness program. Through this experience, Allie realized her passions for teaching children the benefits of connecting with themselves, others and nature. After searching for another experience to mentor, Allie moved to Boulder, Colorado and currently works as a Registered Behavior Technician for kids with autism and related disorders. When not working, Allie enjoys exploring, camping, playing disc golf, taking pictures and cuddling with her 2 cats. Allie is excited for this opportunity to spread positivity and creativity while teaching your kids.

Lily Urmann received her Master's in Biomimicry at Arizona State University, and Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at The University of California, Santa Cruz. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on "Integrating Biomimicry Into Higher Education", which kickstarted her journey in the biomimicry and education space. Lily worked at a UC Berkeley summer camp for over a decade, where she instructed a nature class and managed the youth leadership team. Lily was the Program Coordinator at the ASU Biomimicry Center, where she helped to design and launch one of the world's first undergraduate certificates in biomimicry. She guest lectured across campus, and has led community workshops at the Natural History Institute, the Desert Botanical Garden, the Highland Center for Natural History, and the California Horticultural Society. Lily is currently a Visiting Instructor at Pratt Institute where she teaches a course she created titled "Biology for Biomimicry'', she works with Biomimicry Frontiers to develop educational offerings for professionals, and is a mentor for students in the online programs offered by Learn Biomimicry. She is the host of her podcast "Learning from Nature". Lily’s ultimate passion lies at the intersection of biomimicry, place-based experiential education, and engaging change-agents of every age in this exciting field.

Jay Schwartz is a loving and passionate educator, community herbalist, women's coach, and womb healer. Her work with menstrual health and female empowerment led her on a journey of exploring wellness, sustainability, and spirituality through a cyclical lens. With her degree in Education from Brandeis University, Jay uses her love of song-leading and passion for rituals, movement, and mindfulness to help people feel closer to the Earth,divinity, and their bodies.With prior experience working in Waldorf schools, Jay is excited to embark on an intimate & playful journey with the Kiva community!

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Osha Waters

Teen Mentor & Empathy Tracker

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Lucy Lane

Mentor In Training

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Lynsey Galer

Assistant Mentor

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Finley Butters

Mentor In Training

Osha Waters is a healing arts practitioner. She holds an MA in Environmental Leadership with a concentration in Ecopsychology from Naropa University. Trained as a birth and death doula, she uses her empathic and deep listening skills to support people in a variety of life transitions. Her primary training however, comes from being a mother of three, a devotee of the wild and a perpetual student of the unseen world. At Kiva, she serves as a social-emotional support for the teens and a parent council facilitator.

Lynsey Galer is a nature enthusiast, educator, and 3D glass and fiber artist. Lynsey’s journey as an educator began as a glassblowing and glass fusing instructor. Her curiosity for materials brought her to the art of handmade paper. She was the assistant teacher for the Introduction to Handmade Paper course at Mass. College of Art and Design for 5 years. Lynsey explored art education outside the studio as a Visitor Assistant in the education department at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, helping people navigate and access art. In 2018, her passion for empowering children through artistic expression brought her into the classroom where she taught Visual Art and Woodworking in Boston public schools for 2 years. Lynsey holds a BFA in Glass from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She lives in Boulder where she seeks adventure through biking and hiking. Lynsey loves dancing in her yard among the plants. She enjoys herbalism, birding, creating art from natural materials and spending time in nature.

Finley is a nature enthusiast and animal lover from Chandler, AZ who moved to Boulder, CO in 2018. She started attending Kiva shortly after moving, and seeks to offer the same connection to nature and community that Kiva has provided for her. Finley is excited to work with children, has experience with her two siblings, babysitting, and runs her own dog sitting business. She has been homeschooled since 2nd grade and she loves homeschooling because it gives her opportunities to pursue her interests, meet new and diverse people, and spend time outdoors. Finley has been horseback riding for 2 years and rides a sensitive horse named Satine. Through horseback riding, Finley has learned how to center herself, how her energy affects others, and how to work through fear and challenges. In her free time, Finley loves to read fantasy and mystery novels, write stories, and draw. She has been learning to crochet and knit as well. She enjoys camping, paddle boarding, hiking, and swimming. She is excited to play outside, teach skills, and support your kids this year. And most importantly, have fun!

Lucy Lane is a 13 year old who is very athletic and very excited to be stepping into the Mentor in Training Position this year! She has done two semesters in the Eagles group on Friday, where she gained excitement for this position.

Kiva Board Members

Corey Hollister
Jill Ryerson
Ashley Kulik
Mindi McDonald
Michael Billinghurst