Though inspired by his major studies of physical anthropology and primate behavior at UC San Diego’s Thurgood Marshall College, Jason Sarouhan was exhausted by fifteen years of academic study without application. During his junior year he spent five months participating in a conservation and wildlife field program in Tanzania as well as traveling through Uganda and Madagascar. During this gap time, a month-long independent study project with one of the last known tribes of hunter-gatherers rekindled his love of learning and he returned to his university studies with a renewed sense of focus and academic confidence.

After graduation, a fifty-five day outdoor leadership course led to years of guiding wilderness expeditions and merged with his passion for global exploration when he began facilitating community service programs for teens and gap year students in Ghana, Thailand and Tanzania. Later he served as the Africa & Asia program manager and (ultimately) Director of the same well respected service learning organization. He has hired, trained and supported hundreds of field staff in preparing to lead wilderness and cross-cultural immersion experiences. He now serves as a Vice President and counselor at the Center for Interim Programs, the oldest independent gap year counseling organization in the U.S. Jason is also a keynote speaker at gap year fairs nationwide.

Jason has dedicated his career to being an inspiring role model for his students and staff. He continues to explore his ‘stretch zone’ through: ultra-marathon trail running, his yoga practice and further travels to Central America, Europe and Indonesia. As a committed husband, father and educator, he is devoted to supporting individuals in clarifying their interests and taking continued steps towards self-discovery; the essence of his work as a gap-year counselor with the Center for Interim Programs.


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