Our Outdoor Education Team

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

Colter Christensen, B.S.

Colter Christensen, B.S.

Outdoor Experiential Education Manager

"Gateway Academy’s outdoor experiential education program is very near and dear to my heart. Not only do I get to share my passion of the outdoors and outdoor adventures, I also get To work with a wide variety of amazing students and share amazing experiences with them. Being able to plan therapeutic focused activities here in the beautiful state of Utah cannot be beat.”

Read More

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

 

Dustin Martin, B.S.

Dustin Martin, B.S.

Outdoor Experiential Education Manager

“The OEE program has a unique ability to see the students' grow and confront challenges in real time. Whether it's physically overcoming a whitewater rapid, or mentally conquering fears through canyoneering and skiing, as mentors, we get to be a part of a student’s therapeutic process in unique ways. My favorite part of my job at Gateway is seeing the students laugh, sometimes for the first time in a while. The joy found in the OEE program can help bring healing that transfers to all areas of a student’s life.”  


Read More
Credentials 
  • B.S. in Outdoor Leadership & Education
  • Experience in Outdoor Education since 2012
  • Extensive experience in outdoor programming, skiing, & rock climbing
Philosophy 

Dustin has been with the Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) Program at Gateway Academy since 2019.His philosophy of mentorship is focused on building relationships and rapport with each student. This approach creates mutual respect, where hard conversations are able to be both given and received. Working with students in a therapeutic program, it’s important to find a balance between challenging them and supporting them on their journey towards mental and physical health. As an OEE mentor to both employees and students, Dustin is a personable and encouraging team member who supports and guides each person towards professional and personal development.

Professional 
Dustin holds a Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Leadership & Education from Toccoa Falls College. In addition to working at Gateway Academy, Dustin has worked as a counselor at Strong Rock Camp, and an outdoor mentor at Camp Anderson. He has also used his outdoor skills internationally through an internship program in Australia and a sailing expedition in the Bahamas. In 2019, Dustin joined Gateway Academy and the Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) team as an outdoor educator where he worked until spring of 2021. In 2021, he was promoted to his current position as an OEE Manager. Dustin is highly experienced in all four OEE Modules and understands how to integrate the residential, outdoor, and therapeutic programs for a student's growth while at Gateway Academy.

Personal

In Dustin’s free time, you can find him road tripping to National Parks, playing basketball, hanging out at a local park with friends, and trying to make people laugh. Of course, he loves skiing and rock climbing too!

Creating Student Success

A student’s success story that really stands out for Dustin is when a student came into the program with walls up in every area of his life. He had major behavioral, authoritative, and interpersonal issues with both peers and staff. Although it was a slow process, all of these problems started to resolve one conversation at a time and one outdoor experience at a time. The student was able to see value in himself and in his relationships with other people which allowed him to work towards creating a healthy framework and worldview that set him up for success for the rest of his life.