Rick brings his extensive and varied experience to be our Executive Director and received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Mercer University. He was employed as a retail District Leader for 16 years before he began his life-changing career in schools. In 2004, he began with the inaugural team of New Leaf Academy of NC, an all girls’ therapeutic boarding school that he helped lead over 5 years. He continued his career in therapeutic education as he led admissions teams for wilderness programs, assisting families with placements for a variety of diagnoses. During the 3 years prior to joining the team at Solstice East, he was Assistant Head of School at Brandon Hall School, an independent boarding school in Atlanta, GA. Rick joined Solstice East in 2015 and considers it a privilege to lead the caring Solstice East team that brings so much positive change and healing to the lives of adolescents and their families. Outside of Solstice East, Rick is pursuing his PhD and with occasional free time, he enjoys a variety of activities including kayaking, hiking, singing, printmaking and painting. He loves his daily walks and time with his Yorkshire terrier daughters, Katy and BeBe
Before pursuing her passion for helping people move forward in their life journey, Danielle Andrews began her career in the business sector, gathering over a decade of experience. During this time, she worked in the Chicago suburb’s corporate landscape specializing in effective mediation strategies, labor and employee relations, leadership development, collective bargaining, and employment law. As she climbed the corporate ladder, Danielle realized that her role became less about relationships and working with people and more about blueprint conflict resolution and policy. She decided to go back to school to add on to her bachelor’s in psychology. In 2010, she received her masters in counseling (LCMHC) from Naropa University in Boulder, CO, with a concentration in wilderness therapy. Her studies brought her to Western North Carolina, where she became a primary therapist for a young adult recovery program specializing in addiction, trauma, and PTSD. From here, Danielle accepted a position to develop an aftercare program for Solstice East graduates and their families, one of the first programs of its kind. In 2015, Danielle joined Solstice East full time as its first Aftercare Specialist. Since then, she has helped hundreds of families on their path to transitioning home.
Danielle has astutely combined her experience in conflict resolution, systemic change management, and counseling, among other areas of knowledge, into enthusiastically working with adolescents and their families. In 2020, Danielle became the Director of Transitional Services for Solstice East and its sister program Journey Home East. Beyond her expertise in post-treatment aftercare, Danielle also specializes in addiction, anxiety and depression, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), borderline personality disorder, and attachment issues. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, Somatic Psychotherapy, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She is Certified as a Family Trauma Professional (CFTP).
When she’s not providing support for students at Solstice East and Journey Home East, Danielle can be found enjoying outdoor activities like mountain biking, snowboarding, and tennis, or visiting with friends and family. She is an avid learner and continues to seek fulfillment through personal growth and education. One of her favorite pastimes is sipping tea on her front porch in the company of her rescue dogs.
Kaitlyn will graduate from Lenoir-Rhyne University with my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling the Summer of 2019. As a practicum student, she has worked in a day treatment program and outpatient services with youth. She counseled a diverse caseload of children and families using trauma-informed psychotherapy while integrating expressive therapy modalities including art, movement, and play. She had previously done a clinical internship at Solstice East and has specialized training in Brainspotting therapy. She worked with residents on issues of attachment, trauma, family systems, and issues related to identity and relationships. She has also worked at Solstice for three years as a Senior Lead Mentor. Kaitlyn said, “I am grateful to be apart of the sacred work that happens at Solstice, and I am looking forward to becoming apart of the Journey Home family and do the work alongside you all to guide these incredible humans to be ever braver, bolder, and brighter.” When she is not working, Kaitlyn enjoys the simple and small joys — mornings with her husband, a good cappuccino, thrift store finds, a home cooked meal, driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway. She is also an avid explorer and enjoys finding new places to adventure.
Becca has worked in residential therapeutic girl programs since 2004, beginning as a residential staff at a therapeutic boarding school. Becca was able to apply her professional and nurturing skills to creating a Program Director position in the first year of her time with the program and since has been a founding program staff for two other programs.
Becca is dedicated to working with families and young girls to promote healthy living emotionally and physically. “I truly feel that my mission in life includes empowering and educating young women through their healing process.” Becca is a native to Western North Carolina and enjoys all the outdoor activities, and delicious foods, that the Asheville area offers. As a mother of a little girl, her main focus is her daughter. She also values time with her family and friends who provide strong support and inspiration daily, music and recently has began learning to care for and ride horses. Email Becca with your admissions questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Bolgan received her bachelor’s degree in Public Health (minor in psychology) from the University of South Carolina in 2017. Mary was also a member of USC’s varsity swim team her freshman year. Following her “retirement” from swimming, she took an interest in distance running, and most recently found a passion for weight lifting and functional fitness. This led to her becoming a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine this past February while she was working at Gold’s Gym here in Asheville. Mary has always had a passion for the mental health field, and started working at Solstice East in March. Working at Solstice has inspired Mary to go back to school this fall, and she will be pursuing her Masters in Social work through LSU online. Mary is so excited to combine her love of fitness and mental health by becoming the fitness coordinator at journey home. Being an active member of the Asheville recovery community herself, Mary is passionate about helping others incorporate fitness into their recovery, as rediscovering her love of fitness has been a key part in her own recovery. When she is not working, Mary enjoys working out, hiking, or doing absolutely nothing while cuddling with her hound dog, Luna.
Annie grew up in Portland, Oregon and moved to Western North Carolina in 2017 after years of hopping back and forth between both coasts. She has an extensive background in outdoor leadership and first became interested in mental health when she worked as a trail crew leader for teenagers in Washington state. She is passionate about Ecopsychology and the transformative power of nature, and has also worked at an outdoor science school and as a sea canoe guide in the San Juan Islands. She is currently a year into her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Lenoir Rhyne University. Annie previously worked at Solstice East for two years, as a mentor and as an adventure therapy specialist. She also worked as a mentor at Dragonfly Transitions, a young adult independent transitional program in Ashland, Oregon. In her off-time she enjoys kayaking, hiking, karaoke, reading, and spending time with her baby Stella Jo.