Jane Sarouhan is Vice President of the Center for Interim Programs, the first and longest running gap year counseling organization in the United States.
Her professional path began (unbeknownst to her) in 1991, when she made a global circumnavigation (England, India, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand and Colombia) as an anthropology student during her junior year at Boston University. Like every known cliche in the book, she came home feeling confident, inspired, and highly motivated to engage her life’s education. She guided her first program of students on a month-long community service trip to Belize in the summer of 1994. It was challenging, overwhelming, and exhausting … and she was hooked! She has been working with high school, gap year and college students in international and experiential education ever since that fateful summer, 25 years ago.
That first decade was devoted to leading programs overseas. Jane brought students to Africa, Asia and Central America where she honed her skills as a logistician, problem solver, nurse, cultural ambassador, general contractor, conflict resolver, co-leader, financial planner and mentor. The next decade was a time of making bigger change on an organizational level, so she hung up her backpack and moved into an office in California, where she expanded her skills in ethical and sustainable program development, risk management, hiring and training staff, admissions procedures, pre and post departure trainings, and experiential education curriculum. The next and current chapter – in combination with starting a family of her own – transitioned Jane into gap year consulting, a perfect culmination of everything she has accomplished to-date.
Jane is an accredited professional gap year counselor, and former board member, of the Gap Year Association, and has been one of the keynote speakers at the USA Gap Year Fairs since 2011. She speaks at conferences and schools around the country promoting the gap year on a national level, travels the world to vet quality programs and placements, advises new programs on best practices, and works closely with families to curate the gap year options that will best meet the needs, interests, goals and budget of each courageous gap year student.
Not an armchair gap year advocate and counselor, Jane continues to pursue her own opportunities for growth, connection and adventure. She has summited peaks from 12,000 to 18,000 feet in Nepal, Costa Rica, and Tanzania. A facilitator at heart, she is also a ski instructor, wedding officiant and birth doula. She is a passionate, 4-season New England resident and outdoor adventurer (skiing, SUP boarding and trail running), and a recent but eager ukulele student. But by far her greatest joy is sharing her wonder (and wander) in the world with her husband and their daughter, most recently to Costa Rica, Iceland, Ireland, Italy and New Zealand.