Aja was born and raised in New England. Since the age of 4 years, she has had a complicated relationship with the outdoors. It has taken most of her adulthood to slowly make her way back outside. She now enjoys having fresh air in her lungs and overcoming the challenges nature can offer. 2017 was monumental year for Aja where she climbed her first mountain learning the many intricacies that climbing had to offer. On top of that she took adult ballet classes to better engage with the dance community. It was the year of challenging her limiting beliefs about what she's been told a body of her size can do. She continues to challenge herself and discover just what she is capable of doing!
She has a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Sculpture and a Master's in Intercultural Youth and Family Development. She offers the EOMT Coordinator Team 18 years of non-profit experience and a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion - in the realm of outdoor recreation as well as all other white-dominant spaces. She has been back in Montana since 2013 and has one cat named Jean Luc Picard.
Aja identifies as a cis-gender, white and Puerto Rican bi-racial woman. Pronouns: she/her/hers
Frances was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario for the first 15 years of her life before moving to other major cities in the United States. She attended the rest of high school in San Diego, CA, went to college in Los Angeles, CA pursuing a degree in biochemistry, and finished a Masters in Public Health in May 2017 in New York, NY before moving to Bozeman, MT. As someone who did not discover the outdoors until her 20s and experienced the isolation of the predominately white outdoor community, Frances aims to try different outdoor activities while breaking down those systemic barriers. Otherwise she enjoys cuddling with her cat and sewing clothes.
Frances self-identifies as a pansexual Korean-Canadian-American. Pronouns: she/her/hers
Muy was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and raised in Wyoming. She finds joy in exploring long climbing routes and skiing down couloirs in the backcountry. She has climbed all over the West, British Columbia, Canada, and Thailand. Muy has worked as a sales associate at the Black Diamond headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. In 2016, she obtained her certification as a studio pilates practitioner through Polestar Pilates. She is a functional movement specialist. Her clientele consisted of people ages between 20-60 years old. Whether they have scoliosis, spine fusions, and various other injuries or a curiosity for Pilates, Muy is driven to help people discover healing while activating their power through movement. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Montana State University. Muy is an EMT and plans to continue her outdoor education by attending a American Mountain Guide Association rock guide course in 2019. From her time at Black Diamond, as a pilates instructor, and recreating in the outdoors, Muy noticed a lack of cultural relevancy and accessibility to proper movement, healthcare, and the outdoors. She made it her life goal to help close that gap and break down systematic barriers. You can find Muy devouring donuts at Granny’s Gourmet Donuts and fully immersed in her books.
Muy self-identifies as Cambodian-American. Pronouns: she/her/hers
Born in San Diego, CA, raised in Bozeman, MT, Maya remembers being the only Black kid from the inaugural year of Emily Dickinson Elementary School, through Chief Joseph Middle School, until she entered Bozeman High School. Maya has spent a solid chunk of time studying and working in Germany and is fluent in German. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study on the intersection of Psychology, Mythology, Creativity & Mysticism and a Master’s from the California Institute of Integral Studies in Transformative Leadership. Since 2014, she has run a social entrepreneurial clothing store in Bozeman called MaYarising and has been transitioning out of that to focus more concertedly on community development and advocacy work. Maya particularly loves floating, hiking, and camping in summer and skiing in winter. She is most experienced in yoga, which has practiced yoga for 9 years, her foundation being in Bikram. Wacky and wise, Maya can be counted on for sage insight and a barrel of laughs.
Maya self-identifies as Black and White bi-racial, but was brought up in a Mexican-American family and therefore also culturally connects as such. Pronouns: she/her/hers.
David Samollow was raised in San Antonio, Texas. The outdoors was always a large part of his family life. He eventually graduated from the University of North Texas and went on to earn an MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking. When not making films about whales and nature, he is hiking, backpacking, and gardening. He resides in Belgrade, Montana with his spouse and cat.
David self identifies as a a Cis-heterosexual male with a Native American ancestry. Pronouns: he/him/his
When Vasu was only nine months old, he was diagnosed with septicemia, resulting in the amputation of one of his legs. Since then, Vasu has not looked back; with the help of his parents, brother, and friends, Vasu has built up the confidence needed to face new challenges with grace, courage, strength, humor, and unwavering determination.
Vasu witnessed extreme poverty growing up in India, and has been living most of his life with a “dis”ability. He looks at these experiences as a blessing; they have allowed him to truly hone in on his ability to empathize with others. He continues to strengthen his vigor through his work in advocacy for those who face mental and physical limitations. Vasu will continue to inspire others to be a positive influence in their own communities by pushing personal limits, putting others first, and encouraging people to believe in themselves and in their own unique abilities!
He has continued to challenge the biases that go with being a person of color with a disability through his current work as the Adaptive Sports Program Director for Eagle Mount Bozeman, one of the Coordinators for Earthtone Outsideᴹᵀ, and the first adaptive athlete for The North Face.
Vasu self-identifies as a cis-hetero first generation Indian-American living with a disability. Pronouns: he/him/his