BIOGRAPHIES

Candice Young

Executive Director

Hello friend, and welcome to the Trek Relief family! My name is Candice, and I believe that you, an individual, can make a difference.

One trip is all that it takes to change a life. That’s what happened to me in 2016, when I discovered earthquake-ravaged Langtang Valley in the Himalayas of Nepal. Fueled by inspiration, my personal fundraising campaign eventually paved the way for Trek Relief to become an international nonprofit. Now, Trek Relief serves as your platform to reach remote communities, where you just might find your own golden path in the smiles of young village children or in providing healthcare to the underserved.

I had lived, worked, and explored developing countries for 4 years before becoming the Project Coordinator of an international disaster relief nonprofit. From working on fishing boats around the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to guiding SCUBA diving trips in the South Pacific oceans, I’ve had my fair share of extreme adventures - but nothing has ever captured my heart more than getting directly involved with developing projects in global communities. Trek Relief is a beautiful combination of service to others, discovering yourself in nature, and realizing your capabilities. As the Founder and Executive Director of this organization, I am proud to present you the Trek Relief experience.

Ellen Ho

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

Hi Trek Relief community! 

I’m Ellen.

I serve as Trek Relief’s Chief Operations Officer - Candice’s right hand and partner in crime. In addition to my expansive network, my experience as a decade-long lifestyle entrepreneur, small business owner, community leader, influencer, avid backpacker, experience architect, photographer, artist, and detailed trip planner has well-equipped me to build this international non-profit and bring the organization to the next level in hopes of raising more money for more causes while bridging the gap between cultures and wealth. I have traversed the length of Africa by land, all of Central America from Mexico to Panama, all over China by the ancient Silk Road, India, Mongolia, parts of Europe, the ends of the earth in South America, everywhere in Southeast Asia… covered about a third of the globe, explored nearly untouched regions in remote parts of the world, and seen a lot of poverty... too much to not do anything about it. I’d like to invite you to join me on this journey of giving, loving, and travelling with purpose. Together, we can make a difference.

Trek Relief is the intersection of all my loves and passions. My heart is devoted to inspiring people to travel well, creating mutually-beneficial meaningful trip itineraries, and most of all, positively impacting communities abroad in the best way possible according to their needs. Ever since I volunteered to build homes in rural Mexico, and worked with orphans and teenage prostitutes in Thailand over a decade ago, I felt like giving back and making a difference on this earth in this specific way was part of my life purpose. Working with girls the same age as myself who were selling their bodies to afford college deeply impacted me. That, volunteering abroad, and travelling alone have changed me forever. I am constantly confronted by the harsh realities of life and humbled by the generosity of those who are less fortunate than myself. I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have what I do and be living the life that I am living, so giving in this way makes me happier than you could ever imagine. Trek Relief opens the door to peace and happiness for others, and gives my life an unparalleled sense of fulfillment.

Sarah Nguyen

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

I'm Sarah, Trek Relief's Chief Information Officer.  With an in-depth background in the aerospace manufacturing & services industry as a Systems Engineer, particularly crafting business systems for efficient and quality operations, I am thrilled to transmute industry best practices of safety, security, and streamlining of information to the nonprofit sector.  To me, I foresee a beautiful balance between technology and humanity, supporting acts of goodness for the earth and its global citizens with the magic of effective systems and tools...something I passionately nerd out on.

Aptly nestled in the Pacific Northwest, I especially love to immerse in forests and mountains of all kinds, which originally brought me to my soul-enriching first trek with Trek Relief in Langtang Valley, Nepal.  Purposeful exploration is an everyday ritual for me, and at Trek Relief we excitedly share that resolve with anyone who wishes to partake, whether an avid member or voluntourist (or prospect of either), regardless of experience level.  I'm ecstatic to facilitate the mission of doing good and providing travel with purpose through efficient systems to ensure that as much positive impact goes directly to communities and our trekkers as possible and goodness is sustainably spread around for all.

Rob Williams

Board of Directors - President

Namaste, trekkers!

Dr. Rob Williams at your service. I am a  Vermont-based media/communications professor and new/digital media consultant who lives and works out of Vermont's beautiful Mad River Valley. I teach a wide range of communications classes at the University of Vermont and Champlain College, and I have consulted with a number of organizations over the years, including PH International, the US Department of State, the Action Coalition for Media Education, and a number of entrepreneurial and nonprofit clients. 

I've been fortunate to trek in far flung regions of our world, including western China, Nepal, and Mongolia, and I am impressed with Trek Relief's mission: joining "travelers with purpose" and under-resourced communities to create "win win" outcomes for all involved parties. Please join our Trek Relief community - as a volunteer, a donor, and a trekker!

Chi Nguyen

Board of Directors - Vice President

Hi there, Trek Relief community! My name is Chi Nguyen, and I am Trek Relief’s Vice President of the Board of Directors. Graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in International Development and a double minor in Global Studies and Public Health, my background (and my heart) lies in the nonprofit sector. I’ve always had a passion to #TravelWithPurpose, volunteering in a number of countries abroad over the past ten years. One of my most notable volunteer efforts was with GlobalGiving, an offshoot of the World Bank and the original global crowdfunding platform. As GlobalGiving’s Partner Relations & Strategic Outreach Facilitator, I spent over six months solo-traveling the nine countries of Southern Africa, conducting site visits and leading online fundraising workshops for over 230 nonprofit organizations in order to provide critical healthcare to rural populations, empower community leaders and facilitators, provide homes and education to children, offer environmentally friendly transportation solutions to the rural populace, and more. I am elated to be able to bring my knowledge & experience to Trek Relief and its community.

Trek Relief is the perfect marriage of all of my passions and loves in life: the great outdoors, adventure, travel (or adventure travel), and most importantly, being in service to others. I hold a deep belief that travel is one of the most amazing things we can do, not only for ourselves but for others, our country, and for the rest of humanity as a whole. When we travel from lands of plenty to lands of need, our eyes are opened to the lives and ways of living of others that we may have heretofore been completely oblivious to. When we learn of these things, our sense of compassion expands and our want to help grows. This, coupled with the sense of calm, serenity, and wholeness the great outdoors has a knack of gifting us, makes for one great adventure. Trek Relief’s mission is one of mutual benefit -- we (the voluntrekkers) benefit just as much as those of the communities we give our resources and lend our helping hands to.

Laura Reige

Board of Directors - Treasurer

I am a professional ecologist and world traveler. I am dedicated to making the world a better place, "whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition." Professionally and personally I strive to find the balance between people and nature, to the benefit of both.

I first visited Nepal in 2010, where I fell deeply in love with the mountains and the people who live there. The spirit of both are deep and calm and solid. This is truly the center of the world. I returned to Nepal in 2014 where I spent even more time with both the people and the mountains and came to know and appreciate the graciousness and richness of both. I was so inspired by the children's smiles, the hard-working adults and the wise elders. Following the Gorkha Earthquake, I knew I needed to help.Through Trek Relief I can reach a larger population and a larger region than I can do on my own, expanding within Nepal and beyond to other regions and peoples. 

Working with local communities to learn from them what they need and what service is meaningful assures that my efforts are well-matched with the desires and needs of the community. Building schools to help educate children, bringing medical supplies to areas with limited resources and sharing what knowledge we have is only the beginning of what Trek Relief can do. Providing adventure travelers with transformative outdoor excursions that empower individuals and uplift the local communities is to the benefit of all.

"The Mountains are calling and I must Go." - John Muir

Grace Kim

Board of Directors - Secretary

Hey there! 

Thanks for coming to visit us — you are abso-positive-lutely glowing today! Perhaps because your soul is alight with the desire for adventure and new horizons? I’m Grace, writer, editor, lover of all things wild-and-free, and I’m honored to be serving the Trek Relief community as the Secretary for its Board of Directors. This is my first foray into nonprofits, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team or a more worthwhile cause.

I believe the following to be true: to commune with the wilderness and to give service are sacred acts; to travel for leisure, an incredible gift. With these values deeply engraved in its heart and combined with its commitment to sustainable, empowered solutions, Trek Relief provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience to enrich community and soul. I’m proud to be part of an organization positioned to create meaningful and lasting change, both at home and abroad. 

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."  - Henry David Thoreau