Scott Hazelrigg is President of the Omaha Outward Bound School & NorthStar Foundation. NorthStar partnered with Outward Bound USA in 2010 to create the Omaha Outward Bound School.
Scott’s first Outward Bound course was as a college student in Colorado. An avid skier and hiker, a day on skis or the summit of a 14,000 foot peak are among his favorite days. Putting resources in place to provide high quality, outdoor experiences for urban youth through the Omaha Outward Bound School, at lower altitudes (Omaha, NE is 1,089 feet above sea level) are equally great days for
Scott holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska/College of Law (Lincoln, NE) and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX).
Director of Programs & Safety
Ben Hoffman grew up in Massachusetts and moved around the world until he found his most recent home in the Midwest. He received a degree in Wildlife Biology with minors in Fisheries and Rangeland Ecology from Colorado State University, which led to his discovery of the environment through recreation and stewardship. He has worked as an outdoor professional for the last 13 years and has worked with Outward Bound for 10 years. Ben has worked at the Omaha Outward Bound School since Fall 2014. He currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska and owns two active dogs. He is a Volunteer Ski Patroller at Mount Crescent and teaches CPR through Creighton University. Ben also teaches wilderness medicine for the Longleaf Wilderness Medicine Company because he believes in the positive impact that it can have on a person’s life by empowering people to respond in both front and backcountry settings.
Director of Operations
Todd is an Omaha native with 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and leadership. Prior to Outward Bound, he was the Program Director at the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa, and the co-founder and director of the expeditionary nonprofit Paddle for the Presidency where he educated and registered youth voters for the 2004 presidential election while canoeing the entire length of the Mississippi River. He holds a bachelors degree from Colorado College and Master of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Lucy Puentes spent most of her childhood in Hollywood, Florida. Prior to beginning her education she served in the US Navy. She was assigned to the USS Ronald Reagan and toured the world over three different deployments.
Her undergraduate studies were in Anthropology and she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida. Lucy discovered the outdoors during her undergraduate career. She worked at the rope course, was equipment manager and was entrusted with leading her peers on various trips from Ten Thousand Island National Park in the Everglades to the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee. She then began teaching youth at Thompson Island Outward Bound as a Green Ambassador Facilitator. Lucy’s experience allowed her to gain a fellowship under the Diversity and Inclusion Program with NOLS. She has 12 field weeks with NOLS. She ultimately secured a position as the Rations Manager at NOLS Mexico.
Lucy is dedicated to her work, her family, and hopes to continue this path to have an impact on generations to come.
Kyle Anderson was born and raised in Nebraska, and earned his Bachelor of Education in Recreation Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He has served as an assistant instructor for two years at Outward Bound and also works as an outdoor educator at Fontenelle Forest. Kyle is a Wilderness First Responder and Eagle Scout who enjoys climbing, SUP boarding, cooking, fishing, wood and metal working.
Jonathan Rader hails from a small town on the most southern tip of the great State of Washington. He obtained his Bachelors in Environmental Science at Washington State University of Vancouver. While there he worked in the recreation department assisting in planning and leading outdoor trips. He worked as the graduate assistant for the outdoor program while earning his Masters in Recreation Administration at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he planned, prepped, and lead most of the outdoor trips along with managing the climbing wall. Since graduating Jonathan has been working at a commercial climbing gym in Omaha and at the Omaha Outward Bound School base.
Meryn is a Colorado native and an Outward Bound instructor since August 2014. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Western Colorado State University in Gunnison, CO and taught 8th grade math in Colorado for two years before moving to Omaha. Meryn is a certified Wilderness First Responder. As a child she spent much of her time adventuring in the Rocky Mountains. During and after high school she spent 10 summers working as a summer camp counselor doing jobs like working on a high ropes course and rock wall, teaching archery, and working as the assistant camp director.
Though her chief ambition is to live a life of adventure and wanderlust, Dara passes the time between travels by teaching people how to overcome themselves by climbing a rock wall, building trust with teams and practicing mindfulness. A Nebraska native, Dara obtained a degree in Information Technology. She’s a certified geek who ranks geocaching, board games, puzzles, and reading fictitious crime novels a bit too high on her list of fun things to do. Her favorite outdoor activities include camping, hiking, biking and stand-up paddle boarding.
Emily returned to Omaha in 2016 after spending the past 15 years in the “windy city” of Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she focused on interdisciplinary studio practices and art therapy. She spent the majority of her time working with Chicago youth and adults facilitating mindful-oriented, expressive art workshops. In her art and in life, she has always been inspired by nature. She grew up regularly vacationing in beautiful Colorado which shaped her passion and longing for that fresh mountain air and natural wonder of the mountains. Following her passion of working with youth, she has taken on a dual role here with Omaha Outward Bound and is an Academic Advisor for NorthStar. She’s passionate about making a difference in students’ lives by being a consistent care-giver, companion, and role-model for the NorthStar gentlemen.
Howard Kennedy Lead
Kwin may have been voted “Best Dressed and Cleanest Camper” in elementary school, but has always enjoyed digging in the dirt and soaking up the sun! Kwin is an Omaha native with 10 years experience teaching in Omaha Public Schools. She earned B.S. in Elementary Education from Creighton in 2007 and Masters in Education in 2011. Kwin is also a kid’s yoga teacher and completed her RYT200 and RCYT in 2013, as well as training in the Mindful Schools curriculum in 2015. Working with Omaha Outward Bound School, she strives to create a learning environment where kids can be part of a team, build the confidence to try new things, and explore their own strengths. She is responsible for developing the curriculum and leading the implementation for the Howard Kennedy partnership.
Howard Kennedy Facilitator
Robert is a native of San Francisco, California, where he grew up exploring the California Coast and Sierra Nevada Ranges. After spending time working for the United Nations in Tanzania, Robert returned to the West Coast where he graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in American Studies, focusing his studies on the relationship between people, time, and place. For the past three years Robert has worked as an educator in the Bay Area, concentrating on experiential and project-based learning endeavors in both the urban and outdoor environments. Robert has also worked as an Outdoor Educator for the National Park Service in the Marin Headlands and received his wilderness medicine certification in the Fall of 2016. As a new addition to the Omaha Outward Bound Team, Robert is thrilled to join an accomplished group of educators and staff. He looks forward to exploring Nebraska and is excited to immerse himself in a new community this summer.