Women’s Leadership Clinic – Vivian Synder

I cant say enough about the leadership rafting event this May (2018).  When I found out that a spot opened up for me I was overwhelmed with feeling blessed and excited and it outdid my deepest emotions.  It was so very well organized and ran without a hitch.  It was so much more than a rafting trip.  We had time to get to know each other and support each other and offer guidance and good ideas to run our lives with.  I felt safe at every moment and every moment was a valuable live changing time.  We had new leadership techniques to contmplate and share our ideas on each and every day.  The feeling I had while on the trip was pure happiness, peace and joy.  I felt so relaxed and mellow and ready to take on life with a new perspective.  During the trip I pondered a lot about a recent attack I suffered.  I tried not to i tried to be exactly in the moment and memorize the river, but it wasnt meant to be.  But when I tossed my torn shorts and ripped blouse into the trash at the end i also left with them the agony of those memories.  The trip enabled me to bring that mellow ready to rejoin the world of the living and to begin a new life afresh.  Living now moment by moment, after processing those thoughts i am able to rejoin the world of the living in a new way filled with hope and endurance.  I am now up off the couch, no more rumenating and no more “bingeing” on netflix, im back to living thanks to the trip.  I really felt from the leaders and guides love and careing and they renewed my hope in human kind and in myself.  What a SPECIAL group of women.  Thanks Rachael for making this VERY SPECIAL time available to me, Ill never forget that River Feeling.
Very Sincerely, Vivian

Vanessa Jones

Committe Co-Chair

Vanessa A. Jones is a dynamic force dedicated to fostering
inclusivity, encouraging discussion, and promoting a culture of
belonging in the outdoor sports community. Hailing from
Washington, DC, she brings a wealth of diverse experiences and
perspectives to her endeavors.
As a US Army veteran and ordained Chaplain with a focus on
seniors and caretakers, Vanessa is deeply committed to serving
others. Her work as a patient-caretaker advocate reflects her
passion for supporting vulnerable populations and ensuring their
voices are heard.
Currently, Vanessa is employed by a resettlement agency, where
she confronts challenges head-on with resilience and
compassion. As a single, Black woman veteran, she embraces
the unique hurdles she faces, viewing them as opportunities for
growth and empowerment.
In her downtime, she wears many hats, including that of a
missionary, spreading hope and positivity wherever she goes.
Weekends are spent paddling, immersing herself in West African
dance and finding solace and joy in nature’s embrace.
Vanessa is committed to equitable principles, ensuring that
everyone’s opinions are valued and heard. Through her
unwavering dedication and inclusive leadership, Vanessa is
paving the way for a more equitable and diverse outdoor sports