• BROOKLYN SUMOVICH: Leadership Specialist

    BROOKLYN SUMOVICH Leadership Specialist

    BROOKLYN SUMOVICH: Leadership Specialist

    About Me

    Growing up in Waverly, Nebraska, I was an avid participant in athletics and outdoor activities. It was through mentoring relationships that I began to build my own personal relationship with Jesus. While pursuing my degree at the University of Nebraska in Elementary Education, I began working in Youth Ministry. It was through this ministry that I fell in love with investing in students. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in the Spring of 2017, I came to LeaderTreks and began working on the Summit Team. I’m eager to continue to work with students through LeaderTreks, and help them to see their potential as leaders and disciples of Christ.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    I love watching students realize their potential as leaders and the influence they can have because of that knowledge in their communities. Until a student experiences leadership, they will never know the potential that God has for them in the Kingdom of God.

  • AMANDA PERRY: Leadership Specialist

    AMANDA PERRY Leadership Specialist

    AMANDA PERRY: Leadership Specialist

    About Me

    I grew up in Dallas, TX and as a student the Lord used LeaderTreks trips and relationships with youth workers to challenge me in my walk with Him. In May 2017, I graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Bilingual Education and am now part of the Summit program at LeaderTreks. In my spare time, you can find me teaching fitness classes, listening to musicals or reading.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    I love student leadership development because I love seeing students pushed outside their comfort zone. Through these challenges, there is a moment when it clicks for students and they realize that the Lord wants to use them in a way that glorifies Him.

  • EMILY DEVRIES: Leadership Specialist

    EMILY DEVRIES Leadership Specialist

    EMILY DEVRIES: Leadership Specialist

    About Me

    As a kid, I grew up surrounded by friends and family who taught me the value of community, leadership and a personal relationship with Jesus through both word and experience (even when it pushed me out of my comfort zone). From summer camps and small groups, to schools clubs and performing on stage, I witnessed firsthand how much influence I held as a student.

    I attended college at Gardner-Webb University, in my home state of North Carolina, where I continued to see leadership development and discipleship at work around me and in my own life. I graduated  in 2016 with degrees in Communication & New Media and Spanish, and a minor in Graphic Design. After graduation I worked with partnering US mission teams at an orphanage in Bolivia before coming on staff with LeaderTreks.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    I believe that those who lead well inspire others to do the same. As followers of Christ we have the opportunity to lead others not only in day to day life, but also to encourage and sharpen one another in our faith. It is my desire to see students recognize and embrace their role as a leader and a disciple.

  • MARIA KOLAR: Leadership Specialist

    MARIA KOLAR Leadership Specialist

    MARIA KOLAR: Leadership Specialist

    About Me
    I was born and raised in Bel Air, MD where I was very involved in church, sports and music. After graduating from Salisbury University with a degree in Social Work the Lord called me to go on an eleven-month mission trip called the World Race. It was on this trip that I discovered my love for sharing my story in a way that points others to Jesus; embraced my passion for working with youth; and realized the longing that God has put on my heart for adventure. I am excited that now I have found LeaderTreks and I am confidant that the Lord has plans to use me and grow me during my time with this organization.
    Why do you love student leadership development?
    Every student has so much potential to walk in freedom and lead with confidence by using the gifts that the Lord has given them. I love being able to walk alongside them, intercede for them, and challenge them to step outside of their comfort zones.
  • MARISSA KUUSKVERE: Leadership Specialist

    MARISSA KUUSKVERE Leadership Specialist

    MARISSA KUUSKVERE: Leadership Specialist

    About Me
    Born and raised on the West Coast in Spokane, Washington, the outdoors were a natural draw from me. My church family pushed me to pursue God in a new way, and after I graduated high school, I attended a Spiritual and Leadership Development program at Camp Spalding. That summer connected my two loves of Jesus and the outdoors. I grew and developed my skills as I went through college at Whitworth University and explored the areas of climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, and Nordic skiing. Since graduating, I have come to LeaderTreks to pursue a life lived for the Kingdom of God.
    Why do you love student leadership development?
    Without the influence of Christian mentors in my life, I would not be in the place I am now, and I want everyone to experience the joy that comes with living life with Christ. There is so much to learn and discover in Junior High and High School, and I want to be there to steer students towards Jesus.
  • LAUREN NEWMAN: Leadership Specialist

    LAUREN NEWMAN Leadership Specialist

    LAUREN NEWMAN: Leadership Specialist

    About Me

    Raised in Sumter, South Carolina, I discovered a love for adventuring with the youth group I grew up in. My involvement with my youth group developed me as a leader and a disciple. As we annually attended Salkehatchie Summer Service, a desire was created to be a part of a God-movement to help further the Kingdom. I never had intentions of going into full-time ministry, but God had other plans for me. After graduating from Coastal Carolina University with a B.A in Health Communications and a minor in Religious Studies, I had the blessing to work with Teen Challenge. It was there that I realized how much joy I felt when leading and pouring into students. I’m excited to continue to work with students through LeaderTreks, and I know God is going to do immeasurably more through this season.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    My desire is to see students grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord and grow as leaders in a way they never saw as possible.

  • CHRISTIAN WOODLEY: Leadership Specialist

    CHRISTIAN WOODLEY Leadership Specialist

    CHRISTIAN WOODLEY: Leadership Specialist

    About Me

    Growing up in Edina, MN, I discovered a love for the outdoors and for adventure through summer trips to Northern Minnesota with my family. In middle school and high school, I got involved in youth group at church and began to discover that the greatest adventure comes from knowing and following Jesus. During this time, one of the biggest influences on my life was a variety of leaders who poured into me and encourage me live out my faith and be a leader to those around me. After graduating from Wheaton College with a degree in communication, I came to LeaderTreks and am now embracing the opportunity to disciple students in their faith and leadership in the same way that was so impactful for me growing up.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    I love leadership development because it pushes students outside their comfort zones into a realm of trusting and knowing God that many of them have never experienced before.

    LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATIONS
    Foundations of Leadership

    Team up

    Inner Armor

    Silver
    Certified

    Silver
    Certified

    Silver
    Certified

  • KAYLA COSTLEY: Leadership Specialist

    KAYLA COSTLEY Leadership Specialist

    KAYLA COSTLEY: Leadership Specialist

    About Me

    Growing up in Winfield, IL, I was an avid participant at school, church, and youth group. My involvement in youth group grew me as a disciple and created a desire to disciple others. As a result,  I began working with the junior high and high school youth groups during my time at Wheaton College, where I earned a Psychology degree. Spending my college summers working at Timber-lee Ministries led me to discover even more my love for investing in students, as well as for summer camp and the outdoors. I love seeing students grow and rise to embrace challenge both through youth group and LeaderTreks.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    Every student is full of unrecognized potential, in need of someone to name it and challenge them. It is an incredible joy to see students respond to challenge, recognize their potential, and begin to identify how God is at work in and through them.

    LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATIONS
    Foundations of Leadership

    Team up

    Inner Armor

    Silver
    Certified

    Silver
    Certified

    Silver
    Certified

  • CHASE DICKSON: Leadership Specialist

    CHASE DICKSON Leadership Specialist

    CHASE DICKSON: Leadership Specialist

    About Me

    I was born and raised in the humid heat of Houston, Texas. My home church began partnering with LeaderTreks when I was in middle school, though I did not go on any trips myself until my Junior year of High School. Watching the transformation in both my friends and myself as leaders in the Kingdom helped me to begin to realize God’s calling for my life. I graduated from Oklahoma State University in the Fall of 2015 with a degree in Economics and a minor in religious studies, and began working on the Summit Team soon thereafter. My desire is for students to experience the same realizations I had as a high school student through my own experiences with LeaderTreks: that God has gifted each of his children to make an impact in His Kingdom.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    I love seeing students come to the understanding that they aren’t just spiritual consumers, but can actually contribute in the Kingdom. There is both incredible power and freedom in the knowledge of who God made you to be and how you can positively impact those around you to live lives devoted to Christ.

    LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATIONS
    Foundations of Leadership

    Team up

    Inner Armor

    Silver
    Certified

    Silver
    Certified

    Silver
    Certified

  • JG MOTTICE: Editor

    JG MOTTICE Editor

    JG MOTTICE: Editor

    About Me

    Raised in Tallahassee, Florida, my family always encouraged me to take advantage of new opportunities and adventure. Aside from meaning that I didn’t spend much time indoors, it meant that I was exposed to several coaches, counselors, teachers, and youth pastors; and the ones that faithfully followed Jesus changed my life. When I came to Wheaton College, I saw the other side of discipleship in my time as a camp counselor, and then that experience became refined to a passion as I saw the power of the gospel in my daily relationships. Following my desire to see the gospel imparted to others in faithfulness has led me to LeaderTreks, where I hope to be used in a way similar to those who impacted me.

    In my spare time, you will likely find me running around with a frisbee, writing rap parody hits in my closet, eating bread, or hanging out with my local church’s youth group.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    At some point, all leaders come to the realization they can’t do it all. I love student leadership development because I get to see when a student gets to this point, discovers Christ’s total sufficiency for them, and then rises to lead with bold freedom that is founded solely in our God.

    LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATIONS
    Foundations of Leadership

    Team Up

    Inner Armor

    Gold Certified

    Gold Certified

    Gold Certified

  • TARYN SEEMANN: Training Coordinator

    TARYN SEEMANN Training Coordinator

    TARYN SEEMANN: Training Coordinator

    About Me:

    I grew up in various states across the East Coast and the Midwest, but now I’m happy to call Glendale Heights, IL my home. After studying International Development at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, I began work at LeaderTreks as a Leadership Specialist and currently serve as the Coordinator of Training and Events. It’s my greatest joy to develop students as disciples and leaders, and I’m grateful for opportunities to care for and equip youth workers and adult volunteers who serve in youth ministries across the country.

    Why do you love student leadership development?

    I love how leadership development makes students into Spirit led world-changers. It challenges students to not settle for what the world may expect of them, and it empowers students to realize their God-given potential to influence others toward Christ.

    LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATIONS
    Trip Leader Certification

    Foundations of Leadership

    Team Up

    Inner Armor

    Master Trip Leader

    Gold Certified

    Gold Certified

    Gold Certified

  • JENNY DAAB:                Publishing Director

    JENNY DAAB Publishing Director

    JENNY DAAB: Publishing Director

    ABOUT ME

    Born in Canada, I grew up experiencing the joys of snow, camping in all seasons, exploring the rich natural history of the Niagara Escarpment and Great Lakes, and (of course) hockey. I loved being empowered as a leader and learning the value of teamwork while hiking/camping, serving the community, and living out the motto of the Girl Guides of Canada, “Be Prepared.” When I was halfway through high school, my family headed south to seek warmer climes…in Holland, Michigan. I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2000, where I met my husband, Luke. Since 2001, we’ve called the western suburbs of Chicago home. Luke and I are active members of Glen Ellyn Bible Church, where we are both involved in leading worship, and where I have enjoyed leading and teaching in women’s ministries. I love to read book and comics, watch movies, try new recipes, play Nintendo, camp, travel, learn new languages and instruments, neglect the plants in my garden, make stuff and find new ways to goof off with Luke and our two dogs, Rory and Daphne.

    FAVORITE LEADERTREKS PRODUCT

    Deep Discipleship

    WHY DO YOU LOVE STUDENT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT?

    I was drawn to LeaderTreks because leadership development permeates everything we do. Leadership development is not just for the students we serve, it’s part of our culture. I love being part of an organization that recognizes that everyone can be a leader, and that leadership development is a life-long process. I love seeing that moment when someone gains a new skill or deepens their understanding of God in a way that brings them greater confidence and purpose. It’s transformational!

  • ANGIE FRANKLIN: Publisher

    ANGIE FRANKLIN Publisher

    ANGIE FRANKLIN: Publisher

    ABOUT ME

    Born, raised, and still living in West Chicago. I now live here with my wonderful husband, Doug, and our dog, Diesel (who we love way too much). I’m a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, and I still love to take in the city life of Chicago. (If you ever visit, I recommend the Grand Lux Cafe on Michigan Ave.)

    Much of my focus and time is spent on those who are considered the “least.” The refugees in our community are some of the greatest people I know, and have become some of my good friends.

    FAVORITE LEADERTREKS PRODUCT

    Deep Discipleship
    Journey To Awareness

    WHY DO YOU LOVE STUDENT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT?

    I work at LeaderTreks because I see the impact and intentionality of this ministry. Developing leaders is a great way to cause change and make disciples, and multiply influence. If student’s don’t learn to lead now, when will they? My favorite part of the job, though, is getting to support our staff and partners around the globe in the quest of growing kingdom leaders.

  • DAN COLWIN: Partnership Director

    DAN COLWIN Partnership Director

    DAN COLWIN: Partnership Director

    ABOUT ME

    I grew up in Wisconsin (lifelong Packers and Brewers fan!) in an amazing Christian home and was very involved in youth group my entire life. My wife Clare and I live in West Chicago with our son Everett and little puggle Roxy. We love our church family (Life Church in Wheaton), and volunteer together in the youth group. We enjoy spending time outdoors (I love canoeing), taking walks, having fires, reading, building Legos, working in the garden, and watching movies. I love my job because I get to build relationships with youth pastors all day long.

    FAVORITE LEADERTREKS PRODUCT

    Deep Discipleship and Journey to Awareness

    WHY DO YOU LOVE STUDENT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT?

    Student leadership development is amazing because it challenges students not only to own their faith, but to truly live out the mission God has placed on their lives. When students know and understand the potential they have to create lasting positive change in this world through the power of Christ, they are truly unstoppable.

  • DAN ELSEN: Program Director

    DAN ELSEN Program Director

    DAN ELSEN: Program Director

    ABOUT ME

    I grew up in Montana with a wilderness playground in my backyard but enjoyed spending my summers in Wisconsin at our family lodge. After graduating from Wheaton college in 2002, I spent two years serving in China as an English teacher. On returning from Asia I embarked on another overseas adventure spending the fall in India, Northern Uganda and Sudan working with various indigenous ministries as well as Samaritan’s Purse. At that point I felt the Lord calling me back to Wheaton College where I served for six years directing the Summer Leadership School and Residential Camp program at HoneyRock. This work in leadership development led to my current role with LeaderTreks as the program director. I currently live in Wheaton with my beautiful wife Meredith and my two children Lindsay and Bodie.

    FAVORITE LEADERTREKS PRODUCT

    Student Leaders Start Here

    WHY DO YOU LOVE STUDENT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT?

    Leadership development is key to the transformational process as followers of Jesus. We are at our best as disciples when we are learning to follow Jesus and influencing others in trusting Him. This dimension of faith is best learned and lived experientially. I love being a part of LeaderTreks passion to provide students with opportunities and resources to become transformational leaders.

  • DOUG FRANKLIN: President

    DOUG FRANKLIN President

    DOUG FRANKLIN: President

    ABOUT ME

    I love youth ministry and the people who serve in it. I work with an incredible team creating tools and resources that enable youth workers to develop students into leaders. I want to influence youth workers to challenge students and prepare them for leadership in the kingdom of God.

    I am married to a wonderfully creative woman named Angie Jones. We live in West Chicago, Illinois, but we love to serve those in the world that don’t have enough.

    I am passionate about leadership development in the church. I was a youth pastor for 12 years and during that time I had many different focuses in my ministry: evangelism, discipleship, missions, teaching, community, and service. All were good, but one thing made all of these focuses better: students leading them.

    I’m focused on innovation; when I started LeaderTreks in 1994, all I wanted to do was create exceptional resources and experiences for students to grow into leaders. Not just for the sake of leadership, but because I wanted students to see early on God had something incredible for them, and I didn’t want them to wake up years later regretting all the years they had missed out on impacting His kingdom.

    So here’s the end goal: I would love to see youth ministry move towards preparing students to lead the church by allowing them to be the church now. Youth ministry is not the ministry of the church to students. Youth ministry needs to be the ministry of students to their world.

    FAVORITE LEADERTREKS RESOURCE

    The Sweet Spot

    WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT?

    I want to put students in leadership roles and let them lead. And I mean truly lead, even if it means students will go through failure or the event they are leading will fail.

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