Susan Staley, Founding Director, Lead Advisor
Susan developed an incurable case of wanderlust during her gap year in Chile and spent the next 14 years traveling, learning new languages, and reaffirming her optimism in the generosity of strangers. She earned a bachelors degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from the University of Virginia and a masters in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Susan led gap year and study abroad programs in Asia, Latin America, and Europe for five years, working closely with over 150 students. In 2015 Susan founded Free to Roam Adventures where she utilizes her travel expertise and experience working with adults in transition to curate transformative experiences for her clients. Susan resides in Nashville, TN where she is an avid runner, Girl Scout troop leader, and member of the American Gap Association's advisory committee. Susan has traveled to 50 countries.
Sheldon Yoder, Advisor
Three summers abroad in Russia, Nepal, and Botswana as a teenager started Sheldon's pursuit of service and adventure in colorful new locales and cultures. At present he has lived in three Latin American countries and spent time in over 18 countries. He has a bachelors from Oral Roberts University and a masters in international development studies from the George Washington University. In addition to mountaineering in the Andes, trekking along the Inca trail in Bolivia, and rafting down the Zambezi river, he has crisscrossed many of the remote regions of North America, notably on a 4,500 mile self-supported bicycle tour across the northern US and a 13,000 mile motorcycle journey through the national parks of the western US and Canada. Sheldon is currently preparing for a 3 month family sabbatical with his wife and their two children.
Xiao Wang, China Program Partner
Xiao completed his graduate studies at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development in Nashville, Tennessee. During his graduate studies, he worked for the office of Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville and Educational Leadership Learning Exchange program at Vanderbilt University. He established a partnership between Vanderbilt and Xidian University, his undergraduate alma mater. Xiao is passionate about helping his students become effective global leaders. He lives in Beijing, China where he works as an educator and instructor for international educational trips. Xiao is a huge fan of American baseball and enjoys going rock climbing and playing soccer every chance he gets.