“After graduating from boarding school in the Northeastern US, I desperately wanted a break from my daily grind of study, sports, sleep, repeat. I was overwhelmed by school and the expectation that I should know what to do with the rest of my life. I wanted time to explore, to study a new language, to travel and learn about the world and myself. I wanted to discover who I was outside of my fairly prescribed existence. And so, with dubious but always supportive parents, I decided to take a break from my traditional education path.
I worked in a restaurant and saved money. I audited classes I was interested in; I volunteered with at-risk youth; I made art and I climbed mountains. I learned Spanish, traveled around Peru and Bolivia, lived with a homestay family, volunteered in a Quechua village, and conducted independent research. When I went back to college in the fall of the following year, I was refreshed and ready to learn. I had been challenged, pushed out of my comfort zone, humbled and able to grow into the best version of myself. I was finally ready for college and I couldn’t get back there fast enough.”
Karly holds a BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and a MA in Development Studies from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She is a certified life coach, a NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner, a TOEFL – certified language teacher, and a Wilderness First Responder. She is a US citizen, and a permanent resident of New Zealand and France. In addition, she has lived in Bulgaria, Austria, Nicaragua, Chile and Peru and has traveled to more than 30 countries.
Before starting Vibrant Gap Year, Karly worked extensively in international education and the international development sector. Among other roles, she was a trip leader for Where There Be Dragons in Peru and Assistant Director of Admissions at The American University of Paris. She conducted research in the Latin American division of Human Rights Watch in New York City, and she worked as a consultant on the integration of refugee and migrant women for the Red Cross in Vienna, Austria. In Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, she was the national fundraising manager for the country’s refugee resettlement organization.
Bringing together her passion for working with students and the belief that cross-cultural interactions are an important agent for positive social change, Karly decided to start Vibrant Gap Year. She relishes the opportunity to support young women at a transformative time in their lives, helping them to become more resourceful individuals who are better equipped to service the world and more capable of carving out the path they want for themselves.
Karly is an avid skier, hiker and all-around nature enthusiast. She loves to cook, practice yoga, and spend time with her husband and two children.