Member Spotlight: Alex

Member Spotlight,

Meet Alex Thompson!

alex tAlex(she/her/hers) was "born in Guatemala and grew up around a few countries as my mom was a diplomat. Countries in Latin America, Canada, Europe and several states in the USA. I decided to make Vancouver, BC my home and this is where I am now." Alex is the Executive Director, Founder, and Occupational Therapist at POWER FOR ALLa charity that offers experiential and nature based occupational therapy.

Tell us a bit about what you do at your organization. 
As the founder and executive director of Power for All Charity, I start the day with a variety of administrative tasks like checking emails, returning phone calls, confirming appointments, and/or education and coaching sessions for clients and/or parents/caregivers. As part of my administrative task, I liaise with community organizations to recruit volunteers, directors for our board when needed, partners, donors, etc.I then prepared our sessions, coordinate outdoor experiences with community partners like fishing, hiking, biking, paddling, visiting farms, and other community outings. If we are not doing an outing in nature then I prep for the experiential opportunities for clients enrolled in our programs related to self-regulation, trauma growth/mental health and wellness, motor development skills, executive function, social skills, etc. In the winter months, I prepare our aquatic programming a local community pool center.
On the days that we do not have programming planned, then other tasks like program and curriculum development, education programming for professionals, grant proposals and applications are set forth. I may also provide consultation to local school boards or local municipalities regarding universal design and accessibility in environments, recreation and physical activity. Sometimes some visioning and design occurs for any adaptive tools and devices we may need to satisfy a need in our client population.
Tell us more about yourself! 
Having been a challenging youth myself and having experienced the therapeutic power for outdoor recreation, I am passionate about bringing nature, the outdoors and adventure to all ages and all abilities. I started to get into the outdoors in grade 11 and then as I journeyed through education, the outdoor camping industry and now occupational therapy, I always try to bring all these knowledge and skills acquired into helping children, youth and families gain or recover skills for the job of living, for an active and healthy lifestyle, for mental health and wellness. I have dedicated 20+ years of my life and career to working with the children and youth who are often stigmatized, marginalized due to their “challenging behaviors” or “difficult to understand” ways of being. I feel like I have the privilege of “interpreting” those “challenging behaviors” and provide opportunities for children and youth voices to be heard and understood. I love the privilege of journeying with this children and youth to bring about growth and healing. I continue to be an avid learner of adventure therapy, the outdoors and experiential education.
What excites you when you think about the future of Experiential Education?
The diversity and vastness of opportunities we have in experiential education to bring about growth, learning and healing in our client’s lives.
Who or what inspires you?
I am consistently inspired by the lives of the children, youth and families that I have the privilege of working with. The level of resilience, courage and boldness they each demonstrate when stepping out into the world despite what has happened or what has been done to them is simply remarkable!
In your free time, we can probably find you:
Paddling in the ocean in a kayak or paddle board or at the beach reading a great book!
How long have you been involved with AEE?
3-5 years as a member and before a guest who checked out the website often. I learned about AEE many years ago when I was involved in the outdoor camping industry. I love the community and have learned a lot from this group of people personally and professionally.
What is the most rewarding part about being a Member of AEE?
Coming together in community to know and to be known by others as we all learn together.
Favorite Moment at AEE?
Learning about project adventure through the resources shared and registering for their workshops. Going to Boston, networking with amazing people was an experience of a lifetime, it inspired me and gave me ideas to bring back into our charity. 

Find Alex here:

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