Jon Young

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Biographical Information

"Jon Young grew up in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and was mentored from from the age of 10 as a naturalist, tracker, survivalist, and mentor in a Native American tradition by the tracker and author Tom Brown, Jr. He received his BS in Environmental Science in 1983 from Cook College, Rutgers University, with particular emphasis on natural history and anthropology and a focus on how native cultures helped their children understand and connect with the natural world. From 1984 to 1994, Jon was mentored as naturalist, tracker, cultural specialist and mentor by the African Akamba elder M. Norman Powell (Ingwe). Inspired by his mentoring with Tom Brown, Jr., fueled by his studies in natural history and anthropology, and guided by the elder Ingwe, Jon has pioneered blending Native mentoring and cultural techniques from around the world with a broad array of tools for connecting with nature, and developing refined and holistic tracking skills. Jon co-founded the Wilderness Awareness School with the support of the honored elder Ingwe in 1983, and has created several popular training tape series, including being the principal author of both The Kamana Naturalist Training Program and The North American Master Shikari Sequence for CyberTracker. Out of the Wilderness Awareness School, Jon developed a system that is now called “8 Shields Cultural Mentoring”. This system tracks processes and mentoring techniques that are built into the design of one-on-one mentoring programs, family mentoring practices, community-based mentoring, and more traditional modes of education. The 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring model has now influenced well over 100 nature and eco-community programs in the United States, Canada and Europe, and is also used in his consulting for organizations, government agencies and communities worldwide. Jon has utilized the 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring model to develop and enhance community development for communities interested in working with peace-making as it relates to nature connection. This has evolved into a world-wide network of practicing communities. Jon has given over 1000 public presentations and has helped many PhD and Masters students as well as undergraduates with the completion of their degrees on topics ranging from native education to wildlife tracking. Jon is married and has six children, and truly wants his children and future grandchildren to experience the joy and benefits of living in a whole and healthy world and as part of a remarkable community of mentors! For more information on Jon Young visit www.jonyoung.org " [1]

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  1. Living Mandala Facilitators, Trainers & Consultants, organizational web page, accessed November 7, 2013.