Today we spotlight Nina crew member Kyle Jackson. Here is what father Duane, sister Megan, and other family members have to say about this amazing young man.
From Kyle’s family:
Kyle thrives on adventure, but also knows how to take care of himself and others in difficult situations. Kyle grew up in the Sandhills where most of his childhood was spent living on cattle ranches where he developed a love and adventure for the outdoors. He and his sisters would often spend all day exploring surrounding woodlands, the canyons of the Niobrara River, inventing games, building forts, and challenging each other to dares. His childhood was the foundation for a strong family relationship, fierce independence, and a deep love and respect for the land.
In 2004, Kyle went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study natural resources and environmental studies. During school, Kyle studied in Argentina, worked for the National Park Service in Valentine, NE, and was an outreach assistant for UNL’s Water Center. As an accomplished undergrad, Kyle was awarded a McNair Scholarship to study environmental law after graduation. That was his intention until after he graduated in May of 2009; instead, he chose to take time off from school and pursue a life of adventure.
The summer after graduation Kyle completed a Wilderness First Responder certification and worked as a river guide in Moab, Utah with Red River Adventures. When that season was over, he traveled to Thailand with a friend. It was a pattern of living Kyle adopted for the next several years: doing seasonal outdoor work in recreation, conservation, and environmental education, and in-between jobs, going hiking, camping, or climbing. He embraced opportunity wherever he found it, making quick friends, and living life to its fullest.
Kyle moved to Portland, OR in the fall of 2009 where he held jobs at the Outdoor School, as a Trail Crew Leader for Parks and Rec and with an AmeriCorps position, at a ski resort, and with the River Network. He traveled more, biking from Oregon to Utah one summer and hiking the Eastern Sierras the next, always meeting good people and having one adventure after another.
Through all his adventures and job opportunities Kyle has learned many valuable life-saving skills. He is strong not only physically, but also mentally. He has a spirit that inspires others.
From Megan Jackson:
Kyle opens himself up to life, people, adventures, and new experiences. And, as often happens when you embrace the world with an open heart and open mind, the Universe puts opportunities and good people on his path everywhere he goes. With that same attitude, we are going to bring him back home.
So, before you read further, stop. breath. smile. and open your heart to hope. Everything is going to be okay. Even better, there will be one damn good story.
With Kyle in mind, say prayers, call on the Universe, meditate, do some yoga, dance, laugh, have a (safe!) adventure, and anything else that will bring good energy, love, and hope to help bring him home. That’s the most important thing we can do right now for Kyle and the others on Nina.