Staff Spotlight: Mariel Amador



Mariel has worked with young adults as a tutor, teacher, mentor, and adventure guide. Mariel believes in connecting with people on a personal level in order to maximize their professional and personal development. Her background in both the business and education world allows her to level with and help her team set actionable goals.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory has got to be the very first time I traveled abroad. I was catapulted into this entirely new world, where the language was the same (English) but the accents, the food, the culture, and the people were so different! I was gearing up for my very first Trek with TrekEpic and was hooked on traveling abroad every since. I believe it was because I realized how much of the world I had yet to see.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

The biggest change in myself has been connecting with others who are at a fork in the road like I was. I am stimulated and overwhelmed with empowering young adults because I know to what extent my own life changed when I starting preparing for and reaching personal and professional goals.

I went from a “Master of Business” corporate professional who was succeeding but was unhappy. Working as a TrekEpic guide, I can now help others pave their life in a manner that not only makes them happy but also leads them to their own definition of success.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

The best story I have heard from a student was one of a young male rapper from London. Between high school and college, he completed two gap year terms in a low-income school in Texas where he mentored high school students. Post gap time, he applied for and was accepted into the University of Texas at Austin where he meant to continue learning about music and production. Since his first year at UT, he has taken a break as his music career has grown - from shows in Los Angeles, Canada, London, and Japan, he is well on his way.

Wise beyond his years, he plans to expand his knowledge of the industry by completing his degree after a bit more real-world experience. All in good time.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

If I could go on any program, it would be one that is catered to 25-32 year-olds.

I have trekked with the 18-24 year-old age range, as well as with the 40-70 age range (Legacy walking experience), but I have yet to trek or guide with my own age range (I am 28). The trek with the younger people was one of “where do I go from here” and “who am I?". The trek with the older folk was also a question of “who am I?", but it also included the “what legacy will I leave behind?".

There is a major difference in the way that people reflect - whether you are about to embark on your first job post-college or looking back at 40+ years of career. I am curious how the people in the mid-range trek would be different (if at all) in their reflection. I would like to learn/observe how the sessions differ and be able to have experienced the core gift work with people of all age ranges.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

What makes TrekEpic unique is that most participants arrive at TrekEpic through word of mouth and by personal recommendations. This makes it possible, or rather easier, to seamlessly transform our little trek group into a community. It allows people on the journey to be able to let go of inhibitions and really dive into the experience that TrekEpic offers.

When I went on my first trek, the opportunity to go on one of these treks was reserved for 18-24 year-olds. Now, opportunities for 25-32 year-olds and 40-70 year-olds have come to life. In addition to this, the Core Gift Institute has emerged (from these same leaders) and they have gone on to provide “Core Gift” certifications to leaders and participants of the treks who are looking to continue making a difference in the lives of others.

Absolutely incredible how much positive and concentrated growth I have witnessed in the past 6 years.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The biggest factor in being a successful company: You must never lose sight of WHY you are doing what you are doing. You must consistently ask yourself if your next step will get you the results you want - but it is essential to also ask yourself how they can indirectly get you further away from the reason you began your journey in the first place.

For example, it would be great if everyone could take part in the TrekEpic experience, but would excessive/repetitive/blind marketing bring people who will genuinely benefit from and be invested in the experience? Or will it (excessive/repetitive/blind marketing) simply raise participant rate?