Meghan Bogutz ’15, graduated from Green Mountain College with a degree in Elementary Education. She boasts about her time at Green Mountain and says it was life changing. Meghan grew up in inner city Columbus, Ohio with a family where sustainability certainly was not a topic of conversation at the dinner table; in fact, her family didn’t even recycle. GMC opened Meghan’s eyes to a different way of life.
Beginning her college education at a large community college in Columbus where Scantron testing and classroom lectures were indicative of the learning environment, Meghan soon learned she wanted something drastically different. When she first visited Green Mountain College and experienced what is offered here, she knew GMC was where she needed to be.
Meghan had never heard the word sustainability before arriving on campus and knows that her GMC experience has empowered her to be her best self. She found that as a student here she was trying new things. GreenMap helped broaden her love for adventure and opened her eyes to activities other than walking, running and going to the gym. Being a student at Green Mountain College sparked adventure and curiosity in her life. She is now an active mountain biker, hiker and climber, and travels internationally, which is not something she necessarily would have considered while living in Ohio. She had never been to yoga class or experienced meditation before arriving in Poultney, but she learned and carried those interests with her, actively practicing both of those arts today.
After graduating from Green Mountain, Meghan’s first job was teaching in an inner-city school in New Hampshire. Transitioning from an experiential open environment at GMC to working in an inner-city public school, where methodologies are ridged and textbooks were more than 50 years-old, was challenging. GMC taught her to think independently and outside of the box, which did not mesh well with this new reality. It wasn’t long before she realized she had more to offer than her current environment allowed.
Like many students who attend GMC, Green Mountain College broadened Meghan’s perspective and helped her to understand how valuable it is to incorporate nature into education. She now is following her passion and teaching wilderness therapy in Vermont.
Meghan has spent the past four years working in the wilderness therapy industry and works with 14-18 year-old emotional behavioral students. Her GMC education provided her with the ability not just to support these students, but to mentor them as well. GMC taught her what she never could have learned in a Scantron-dominated environment: to embody a different educational path. She now knows that there isn’t one way to learn, or get better, or heal; there are multitudes of ways.
Inspired by what she learned both in and out of the classroom, Meghan follows GMC’s example as best she can, from being mindful of what she eats, to living ethically, and economically. She recycles, composts, and currently lives in a small cottage in Ashville where she grows her own vegetable garden.
Meghan also prides herself in being able to teach others what she learned at GMC, to go back to the city and teach people about the things that she wasn’t attuned to prior to her time at Green Mountain. She is living a full and rewarding life. And she strongly feels that if she had stayed in public school, she would not be as fulfilled at she is today.
Her advice to current GMC students? “Embrace the community and the simplicity. Take full advantage of everything that Green Mountain has to offer. Get involved in the different groups and look at Green Mountain as a community and a way of life.”