Program Director: East Africa, Morocco & Spain, & Southeast Asia
Jonathan was raised in the mountains of Colorado. With his father working for the U.S. Forest Service, and his mother passionate about the outdoors and education, Jonathan spent much of his youth camping, skiing, bike riding, and exploring. He was lucky enough to have a family that valued exploration, and their summer vacations were spent discovering the country. At the age of 12, his family took him on his first international trip to Europe, and thus began his lifelong passion for exploring the world.
While pursuing a degree in French language in the University of Colorado at Boulder, he fed his love of the outdoors by spending his summers working for the U.S. Forest Service creating service projects for groups of AmeriCorps volunteers, and working with law enforcement as a Forest Protection Officer. Along the way, he somehow encountered the possibility to become a professional ballroom dance instructor for a few years. Never being one to pass up an interesting experience, he agreed which led to one of his first teaching positions, and the discovery of a new passion: Education.
While completing his degree at CU Boulder, Jonathan studied abroad in France, which opened his eyes to the power of experiential education. Being able to see and touch the world with his own hands while he simultaneously studied the area in which he found himself, was a transformative experience. Upon graduation, he found himself on a plane to Egypt to spend a month visiting his aunt and uncle, who were international educators. He ended up staying three years, teaching English, learning Arabic, and leading adventure tours in both Egypt and Jordan with Imaginative Traveller. For the next eight years he went on to lead adventure tours in South East Asia, Central America, and South America, amazed at the power cultural exchange could have on the lives of his groups, as well as the people visited. Between tours, he found time to become a PADI SCUBA instructor and taught diving in Honduras. Jonathan returned to South East Asia to lead bicycling tours from Vietnam to Thailand and Myanmar for a season with Spice Roads Cycle Tours, and get in some time teaching diving by working on a small island in Indonesia for four months.
After nearly 10 years on the road exploring the world, and working in 20 countries, he decided to return to America to pursue his passion of education. He completed a Masters of Education, as well as received his secondary teaching license in French, Chemistry, and Biology. The last semester of his degree was spent teaching middle school French language in the American School of Bombay, in Mumbai India, where his passion for education was completely solidified.
Having been rather unfocused in his college years (not choosing a major until his Junior year), Jonathan truly believes in the benefits a gap year can provide. He sees the world as the best possible classroom, and is passionate about the experiential and place based education that Carpe Diem offers. This style of learning completely eliminates the gap in education between what students experience in a classroom, and what the real world expects of them. After having led 5 Carpe semesters in East Africa, India, Central America, and Southeast Asia, with 5 incredible student groups, he could not be happier to be joining the HQ staff of Carpe Diem Education as a Program Director, and being able to help further the work he believes so much in.
Loves learning language: Speaks French, Spanish, and Arabic, along with having “survival” language abilities in many others.
Loves swing dancing…..Lindy Hop is the greatest!
Rode a small scooter for 1000 miles across 3 islands in Indonesia as it seemed like it would be fun…..it was!
Has climbed 18 of the 54 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado, with a goal of doing all 54 sometime in his life.
Has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Bought a small, completely unsuitable, 1.2L engine car in England and drove 10,000 miles across Europe, Central Asia, and Russia, to Mongolia with his mother and father for charity.