Our Outdoor Education Team

Outdoor education at Gateway extends far beyond recreation. It is a critical element of our therapeutic approach.

Jason Funk, M.A.

Jason Funk, M.A.

Outdoor Experiential Education Manager

"The best part of my job is having the privilege to share with students awesome adventures and the amazing beauty that I have discovered in the outdoors of Utah and beyond. At Gateway, it is inspiring to see boys with limiting views of themselves, and their potential, make strides towards becoming happier, more confident young men. Outdoor experiences are a small part of this, yet powerful in challenging and expanding their sense of self, personal story, and place in the world."


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Credentials 
  • M.A. International & Environmental Studies
  • B.A Anthropology 
  • Experience in Outdoor Education since 2007 
  • American Mountain Guides Association Certified Single Pitch and Mountain Guide Instructor
  • Certified Wilderness First Responder
  • Utah State Licensed Boat Crew Captain  
Philosophy 
Jason has been with the Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) Program at Gateway Academy since 2014. He brings a wealth of knowledge and outdoor skill to the team. Jason takes a relational approach to challenge, empower and connect Gateway students to the transformative nature of the outdoors. Jason is dedicated to building a safe, calm and stable environment for student living and growth. As a mentor to both employees and students, He is an approachable and thoughtful team member who supports the learning process through listening and being actively involved. Jason is therapeutically intentional by integrating the students' treatment goals into their outdoor adventures and by helping each young man to develop his own tools to be healthier and happier. 

Professional 
Since 2008, Jason has served both youth and young-adults in a variety of capacities. As a Graduate instructor at the University of Wyoming, Jason mentored undergraduate students in Global Area Studies and helped them develop critical thinking, communication, and writing skills. After receiving his Master's Degree in Environmental Studies, Jason continued his career as an Outdoor Educator working with The Peace Corps, North Star Camp, SPLORE, and Momentum Climbing Gym. Jason has been with the Outdoor Experiential Education Program at Gateway Academy since 2014 and brings a wealth of knowledge and outdoor skill to the team. 

Personal
In his free time, Jason enjoys spending time with his niece, family, and friends. He is passionate about guiding in the mountains and sharing his passions with others. When out on his own Adventures Jason can be found rock climbing in Northern and Southern Utah and backcountry Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains.

Creating Student Success
A  student success story that really stands out to me during my time at Gateway is a student that came into the program struggling with self defeating behavior. Initially that looked like him focusing on his limitations and expecting pity and attention from those around him. Through support from the entire team at Gateway, and him doing the hard work, he was able to look deeper at his relationships and how he viewed himself. As a result, he was able to literally stop crying and moping when things went wrong for him, and instead laugh about his situation and take responsibility in building back trust with his family and friends.  

 

Colter Christensen, B.S.

Colter Christensen, B.S.

Outdoor Experiential Education Manager

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Credentials

  • Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation & Tourism, University of Utah
  • Experience in Outdoor Education since 2013 
  • Professional Ski and Snowboard Instructor
  • Certified Wilderness First Responder
  • Paraprofessional in Adaptive Recreation 

Philosophy

Colter is exceptionally gifted at building relationships with the students and assessing the therapeutic needs of each student. He is skilled at using Gateway's relationship-based approach. Through trust and experience he is able to coach and mentor students as they work through their individual therapy. He typically finds ways to challenge students and to implement personalized therapeutic interventions. Colter takes the time to slow things down with students and give them a chance to work through challenges and recognize progress towards mastery and success.  Through his relationship with each student, Colter is able to support positive behavior changes that enhance self confidence and resiliency. 

Professional 

Colter holds a Bachelors of Science in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism from the University of Utah and currently working towards getting into the Master's Program. In addition to working at Gateway Academy, Colter was an Outdoor Educator at Summit Prep School, has worked as a paraprofessional, snowboard instructor at Snowbird Mountain Resort and climbing instructor at Momentum Climbing Gym. Colter began working at Gateway Academy in 2013 as a residential mentor, later moving on to work at SOAR ranch in Wyoming where he worked with adolescents. In September of 2014, Colter returned to Gateway Academy for a second time to join the Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) team as an outdoor educator where he worked until late 2017. In 2018, he was promoted to his current position as an OEE Manager. Colter is well versed in all four OEE Modules and understands how clinical, academic and residential programming integrates with the OEE Program.

Personal

In his free time, you can find Colter out in the wilderness doing just about anything that consists of fun and adventure, boats, and ropes. Alongside all of Colter in all of his outdoor experiences is "Griff the Adventure Dog."  

Creating Student Success