Rockland, ME, January 19, 2021 – Kaleb Robinson, class of 2015 from Oceanside High School, hails from Thomaston and joined the team as a Program Manager. In October, Trekkers said goodbye to Principle Program Manager Lindsey Veilleux, grateful for her over 5 years of strong leadership on the team.
After attending the University of Maine in Orono to receive a bachelor degree in Business Management, Robinson spent four months in Chile studying abroad. He earned a concentration in International Management and minor in Leadership Studies. Then, he returned to Maine to work with young people at both Camp Kieve and Mainebound.
Robinson credits Trekkers as being a “doorway for becoming more interested in recreating outside” and says “if I could be a fraction of a leader as any of those I had [at Trekkers], I would be making a really positive impact…which very early on I felt was really important to do.” He said he “recognizes and appreciates the way Trekkers does things” pointing to the long-term, six-year relationships formed with students. He says the programs “eventually become about friendships and relationships – a lot of growth comes from that.”
He sees combating isolation, now and later, as important work at Trekkers. “We’re all getting used to [social distancing] and not doing the things that we used to.” He says, “when the time comes, getting back to in-person relationship-building will have its own challenges” and that Trekkers has a big role in supporting students through this.
alumnus, Mitchell DelFrate, class of Oceanside High School’s 2017 is originally from St. George. He joins Trekkers as an AmeriCorps member. DelFrate is pausing his studies at the University of Maine in Orono and seeing this time as an opportunity to evaluate his path forward. He says having been a student during the pandemic, he can identify with students who are challenged by remote education.
“Right now, their life is tough,” he says and that having someone who can “understand what they’re going through and be there for them is really important.” He mentions at first struggling with online classes and at the time “was really nervous but it actually turned out ok. It definitely takes training to get into the [mindset.]”
He returns to Trekkers because he wants to help create “that same environment [he had] to prosper in…to help make that a possibility.” He says he knows how important Trekkers was for him and wants to help “make Trekkers a passion of theirs…to meet them on something they want to do…to just be there to break that ice, have fun, and create a stress-free environment.”
Both Robinson and DelFrate bring forward their experience of growing up in the midcoast, which could be a benefit in relating to the students. They also bring the energy and desire to make a positive impact. The team is excited to have them on-board as important voices, who are familiar with what makes Trekkers great during this time of adaptation and innovation.