With a strong background in mental health and humanitarian work, Daryn brings a wealth of experience to her role as the leader of this exceptional program.
Daryn's journey began overseas, spending her early years in Southeast Asia before settling in western Washington. An avid equestrian, she trained her own racehorse to win in hunter/jumper competitions. Following high school, she surprised her mother by enlisting in the Navy, where she served as a nuclear engineer for six years. However, it was her experience responding to the 2005 Tsunami in Banda Aceh that ignited her passion for mental health work. Witnessing the resilience and strength of people amidst the devastation, especially the children, left an indelible mark on her heart.
After her Navy service, Daryn engaged in humanitarian work in Zimbabwe before immersing herself in the mental health field. She pursued a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology at Seattle University, where she was involved in establishing and managing a therapeutic day school for students with Reactive Attachment Disorder, debilitating anxiety and OCD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her graduate work focused on counseling psychology, with an emphasis on experiential therapy.
Throughout her career, Daryn has worked closely with pre-teens, adolescents, and young adults in residential and wilderness settings. She has held positions ranging from mentor and residential staff to program executive leadership. She worked as an educational consultant for about eight years and had been in leadership as a director of admissions for eight years leading up to her arrival at Uinta.
Daryn's profound connection with Uinta Academy has been shaped by powerful experiences with the staff and therapists, witnessing their exceptional dedication and support. When offered the opportunity to take the reins at Uinta, it felt like a natural and meaningful fit for her experience and passion.
Her commitment to the well-being of the clients is unwavering. Daryn believes in the collaborative nature of care, valuing the input and involvement of referral partners, parents, and families in helping clients build healthy and happy futures. As a mother herself, including a special needs child, she fully comprehends the challenges and trust involved in having a child in residential treatment.
Daryn finds joy in the little moments of daily life at Uinta Academy, witnessing the growth and self-belief in the students as they embrace new experiences. Her passion lies in witnessing the growth of a child's love and belief in themselves as they envision and work toward the life they desire.
For Daryn, the safety and well-being of every client take precedence. Her dedication to fostering trust, building strong partnerships, and providing exceptional care drives her work. Parents and families can rest assured that their children are in compassionate and capable hands.
"Teens and young adults who come to Uinta are pleasantly surprised that they live in a home in a residential neighborhood, that the mountains are right outside their door, and that they get to do all the normal things that teenagers like to do."