Our Washington II Washington
trip is led by the friends and family of Emmanuel Durant, Jr.
, all of whom participate as unpaid volunteers.
Ann Arbor, MI
Davy Rothbart is the creator of Found Magazine
, co-director of the documentary Medora
, a frequent contributor to public radio's This American Life
, and author of My Heart is an Idiot
, a book of personal essays, and The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas
, a collection of stories. For years he taught creative writing at Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan and coached basketball at Ann Arbor's Community High School. Recent summit hikes include Mt. Adams, Mt. Baldy, Mt. Zeus, and Mt. San Jacinto.
San Francisco, CA
Alexandra Gross is a Social Studies and English teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously, she worked in the non-profit sector, helping to publicize civil rights issues in California and as an advocate for prisoners' rights in Louisiana. The most difficult and rewarding hike she ever did was to Machu Picchu, in Peru.
Ann Arbor, MI
Brandon Baugh is a Master’s student at the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation. Brandon is also a downtown business owner in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2005, he co-founded the Youth with a Purpose mentorship program for disadvantaged youth in the greater Ann Arbor area. An avid community leader and dedicate church trustee board member, he has a passion for empowering minorities through academic and professional development. In his free time he enjoys traveling, playing basketball and spending time with family and friends.
Trip Captain & Videographer
Jason Orfanon is a writer, photographer and filmmaker with a passion for people, nature, and adventure. His credits include projects for National Geographic Television, PBS, NPR, the Smithsonian Institution, and TruTV, as well as a variety of independent short films
and features. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, he recently spent a month in Antarctica, documenting the wildlife, wild places, and modern-day adventurers that live and work one of the harshest and most remote places on the planet.
Cheryl Sanford is a poet, actress, and community activist, and the mother of Emmanuel Durant, Jr.
Erica Andrews is a supervisor for Giant Food Store remodels and a longtime friend of Emmanuel Durant. She loves to play basketball, loves to make people laugh, and is one half of the rap duo 9.19.
Trip Leader & Videographer
Ellyn Church is a filmmaker, producer, and karaoke enthusiast with a passion for adventure and great stories. Originally from northern Indiana, she is now based in Washington D.C. and travels the world working on various independent films and freelance projects. Since 2010, her work has taken her to India, Canada, every region of the United States, and most recently to the United Kingdom. Her passion for documentary began with her work on Medora (2013, Rothbart & Cohn), which was featured on PBS Independent Lens and named one of the top 21 films of 2013 by the Washington Post. She is currently working with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Molly Gandour on her latest documentary, Peanut Gallery, which is due to be completed in fall 2014.
Trip Leader & Photographer
New York, NY
A.J. Wilhelm is a freelance photographer
and filmmaker whose work has been published by New York Magazine, The FADER, Washington Post, and National Geographic Books, among others. His work can be seen at: ajwilhelm.com
Trip Leader & Videographer
New York, NY
Rachel Dengiz is a filmmaker and producer based in New York City. She is currently development coordinator at Olive Productions, a New York-based film and TV production company owned by Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci. Rachel also collaborates on various independent film projects, most recently, as a producer and cinematographer on Overhaul, the first feature film from 21 Balloons Productions. She was also a co-director and producer on How We Survive, a documentary about the political punk band Rise Against. In the early 2000s, Rachel worked on the Jim Jarmusch films Coffee & Cigarettes and Broken Flowers.
Mike Forster Rothbart
Wilderness Expert & Photographer
Mike Forster Rothbart is a photographer
in upstate New York. He worked for many years at Farm & Wilderness Camp in Vermont, and has lived and hiked all over the map, including a North Pole research station, Tibet and Chernobyl. He once bought a 3-speed bike in India and biked for a few months across the country, only discovering after he started that he'd be riding upwind the whole way.
Elizabeth Kleene is a visual artist hailing from Portland, Maine. Since completing her undergraduate degree at Rhode Island School of Design she's worked as a muralist, scenic painter, and photo producer completing many large-scale mural commissions throughout New England including a two-story wall mural at University of New England’s Marine Science Center, and set backdrops for the Washington Opera and the Folger Shakespeare Theater. She's an avid backpacker who's spent many summer weekends exploring the White Mountain range.
James Molenda is the Managing Editor of FOUND Magazine
and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Maggie Smith is a cartographer at National Geographic magazine, a volunteer mechanic at The Bike House in Washington, D.C., and a fraternal twin! Hailing from the coast of Maine and the mountains of Vermont, she's a lover of the outdoors who enjoys sharing her passion for nature and adventure with others. She spent three summers as a leader for Apogee Adventures, taking youth on biking, hiking and kayaking trips. Her bike has taken her as far as San Diego, and as near as the hills of Rock Creek Park.