We have an amazing set of staff who are here for the long term, which is exactly what this campus, and what these students, need. Ultimately, we want to accomplish the organization’s mission, which is changing hearts and bringing hope to individual, families, and communities
Andrew Stroup is the campus director to Caribbean Mountain Academy. He has been committed to children and families for his entire career. He began by obtaining a double major in Youth ministry and Biblical studies from Grace College in Winona Lake Indiana. In 2008, Andrew began working at Lifeline Youth & Family Services as a direct care staff at Pierceton Woods Academy. During Andrew’s almost 10 years of leadership at PWA, he became a certified Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Instructor for Lifeline/Crosswinds by the Residential Child Care Project based at Cornell University. He was also certified by IN-AJSOP (Indiana Association of Juvenile Sex Offender Practitioners) as a Credentialed Sexually Abusive Youth Professional (CSAYP) for working with sexually abusive youth in Indiana. He also completed his Masters in Business Administration in 2017. Andrew’s love for youth and family ministry made his transition to CMA a natural fit, so in April 2017 he transitioned with his wife Erin and their 4 kids to continue their work helping families be restored.
Vini Westfall is the Missions Manager at Caribbean Mountain Academy. Prior to her time at CMA she taught Biology, Biomedical Science, and Integrated Chemistry and Physics at Carroll High School. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Saint Francis and a certified teaching license in Life Science and Physical Science. She is TCI and CPR certified. She is passionate about serving the Dominican culture and helping others to do the same. Her favorite part about working at CMA is seeing heart changes in CMA students and even mission team participants that come to serve short term.
Andrew Stuck is the Education Coordinator at Caribbean Mountain Academy. His responsibilities include overseeing the education of all the students as well as providing campus with a healthy dose of sarcasm. He is a third generation missionary, raised in Ecuador to church-planting parents. He graduated from Bethel College with a degree in Social Studies Education. He holds certifications in TCI and CPR and is working towards a masters in Educational Leadership. His diverse educational background includes teaching English in South Korea, working in a middle school life skills classroom, coaching mentally disabled adults, and supervising the education of teenagers in a court-placement residential program. Outside of the classroom, he keeps busy making life an adventure for his four children. He and his wife enjoy hiking, reading, board games, and debating which is the best iteration of Doctor Who.
Favorite Part about working at CMA: Witnessing the “aha” moments in students’ relationships with parents and with God.
Max Harris is the House Coordinator at Caribbean Mountain Academy. Before coming to CMA, Max worked as a youth pastor at a local church and as program lead at a nonprofit for at-risk youth in Illinois, as well as spending a number of months living and working with the church in El Salvador. He holds an undergraduate degree from Greenville College in Youth and Family Ministries, a master’s degree from Duke University in Theological Studies, and a certification in TCI. CMA combines his love for Latin America, the church, youth, and teaching beautifully.
Favorite Part About Working at CMA: Spending time showing the students how to really hoop on the basketball court.
Jon Rex is the male counselor at Caribbean Mountain Academy. He earned his bachelor of arts in both sociology and counseling at Grace College in Winona Lake, IN. He then went on to get his Masters also at Grace completing his program in 2017. Jon received a portion of his clinical experience from Lifeline at their residential facility in Pierceton, IN working with male teenagers in the court system. Prior to finishing his clinical hours he was told of a job opening to serve at-risk teens in the Dominican Republic through Crosswinds (Lifeline’s sister company). Six months later he and his wife moved to the DR in hopes to teach and model for the students how to cultivate positive relationships. All with the driving purpose to share with them the love of Christ. Jon enjoys a wide range of activities in his spare time that includes playing board games, doing outside activities (running, biking, and/or hiking), playing video games, but what he enjoys most is spending time with his wife.
Ruth Anne Ackerman is House Staff at Caribbean Mountain Academy. Before coming to CMA, she volunteered at Jubilee Academy working with at-risk children. She holds certifications in TCI, CPR, and First Aid. Ruth Anne is passionate about people and spends her time developing meaningful relationships with the staff and students at CMA. Her favorite pastimes are exploring new places in Jarabacoa, writing on her blog, and talking with her family back in the States. Her heart is that Christ would be glorified in all that she says and does.
Favorite Part About Working at CMA: Sharing the Gospel with the students.
Jil Castillo works as a youth coach at Caribbean Mountain Academy. She is from Jarabacoa and has served along with her family in ministries within her community helping children and teens grow closer to God. She graduated from high school two years ago and is attending college to obtain her law degree. Her favorite part of CMA is developing personal relationships with students and seeing how the Lord is working in their hearts.
Jocabed Reyes is a youth coach at Caribbean Mountain Academy. She grew up working with her family to help those struggling in her community, including the homeless and those with emotional and addiction problems. She enjoyed being a youth leader in her church where she helped teenagers learn about God and serve the community. She is currently studying clinical psychology with a goal of getting her master’s degree to continue helping others. Jocabed grew up in Jarabacoa in the central Dominican Republic. She loves hiking, riding her motorcycle in the mountains, and visiting local rivers with family and friends. Her favorite part about working at CMA is building relationships with students through one on one conversations and helping them improve their lives.
Benjamin Sede is our Chaplain at CMA. He served as a Youth Pastor for seven years at the Dominican Methodist Free Church while serving as Scoutmaster for the Dominican Scout Association in San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. He graduated in 2013 from Universidad Nacional Evangelica, UNEV (a Christian University) in Santo Domingo, D.R. with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. He worked for a worldwide sales and customer care business as a senior supervisor when he resigned to respond to God’s call into the ministry as a Seminarian Student. While Erick Benjamin was part of the Resident Life Staff at Hillcrest Academy, he also served as the Baseball Coach. He served for nearly two years as Youth Pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Underwood, MN. Erick graduated with the Master of Divinity, M.Div. in the spring of 2018. In the Fall of 2019, Erick accepted the call to serve as Campus Pastor at Caribbean Mountain Academy where he brings his vast international leadership experiences with Youths, Churches and families. He gets to provide spiritual care and biblical teaching to the CMA Staff, the Students, their families and also to the Missionary English-speaking community in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic Erick enjoys spending quality time with his fiancé Fabiola and planning their wedding for September 2020. Erick’s Favorite part of CMA is being able to spend time individually with students and staff during mealtime.
Damaris Garcia is our Staff Support Coordinator. She served prior at CMA for 4 years as a House Parent alongside her husband Alex. She came with an extensive experience in the mental health field working with children and their families. She worked 12 years for the Florida Health Department as a Family Support Worker and spent 8 years working for an Outpatient Mental Health Center as a Psychiatric Coordinator and Human Resources Manager. Damaris currently is part of our recruiting team at CMA and enjoys serving the staff and being a liaison between both cultures, making the hiring and the adjustment process smooth for new staff. Her favorite part about CMA is watching how God works in the hearts of the Staff, Youth and their Families and how God has worked on her own heart by working and serving at CMA. She enjoys spending quality time with her husband and both of her daughters and also being our “campus Mom.” Damaris wants to continue to grow in Christ and impact the lives of the Youth and Staff here at CMA.
Roger Gavidia ia a Youth Coach at Caribbean Mountain Academy. Prior to his time at CMA he taught Languages (Italian, Spanish and English) at W.R Languages and Computer Center in Venezuela where he also volunteered his time working assisting his students with life projects. Roger holds certifications in TCI and seismic events. Roger is passionate about helping others to succeed in their lives and their relationships with their families and being more conscious about how God works. Favorite things About Working at CMA: Hiking up Pico Duarte (One of the tallest mountains in the Caribbean located in the DR) with the students, being able to build relationships working out with the students or teaching them Spanish also the good feeling of being with his CMA family.
Analuz Adames is our Family Case Manager here at CMA. She is excited for the relationships, adventures and experiences that she will gain here. Being Dominican and growing up in the country since a young age, she is familiar with navigating different cultural challenges, language and traveling throughout the island. She has extensive experience in advising and mentoring at Girls Inc., her local YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn, Massachusetts. Being involved with her community and in many Life Coach Programs, she is excited to unite families through Christ with long term success in sight. Through her studies with a Dual Degree in Psychology, Sociology with a minor in Education, she is well determined to stop at nothing for the change in each student that steps foot in CMA. With love, faith and guidance from God, she works towards building and maintaining a relationship with all students and families. Helping them overcome their difficulties, learning their strengths and preparing them to return home with clear goals in hand. She thanks God every day for the opportunity to be at CMA and change lives.
Alex Garcia has been the IT Manager at Caribbean Mountain Academy for the past six years as he also worked as Youth Coach for about two years. Alex has brought his knowledge in Information Technology to bring CMA to a higher and more solid infrastructure. As he has shown hard work and dedication in his fields of expertise, Alex was also recently promoted to Facility Manager, based not only on general knowledge in maintenance, but also prior experience working as a facility manager. Alex is excited to develop full potential in his new position bringing the facility to a new level. He also likes to spend time with his wife Damaris, reading the Word of God and walking in nature.
Jordan Lingle works directly with our students here at CMA as a Youth Coach. Before coming to Caribbean Mountain Academy, Jordan was in student ministry in a few churches in the Midwest and then taught pickleball and tennis professionally in southwest Florida. He holds an undergraduate degree in Christian Education and Youth Ministry from Olivet Nazarene University. In his off time you can find Jordan playing a good basketball game, Playing ping-pong with Students, or simply reading a good book with some coffee in hand. He feels CMA is a perfect fit for him because it combines student ministry, preaching and teaching, and growing as a servant leader on campus and in the community. His favorite part about working at CMA is building relationships with students to help them come to know God and who He created them to be.
Daniel Vincent Schlenker serves as Youth Coach at Caribbean Mountain Academy. Prior to coming to CMA, Daniel worked at a Christian Therapeutic Boarding School for Struggling Youth in the Kansas City area for 9 years. Daniel served in several roles including: Mentor/house staff, volunteer and service project coordinator, Director of Activities, teaching assistant, campus cook, and Domestic & Haiti Mission Trip Coordinator. Throughout all his years there Daniel was most passionate about the mentoring and discipleship of youth and young adults. Daniel loves cooking and finds creative ways to integrate it into most days; he finds it to be one of the best ways to encourage as well as to mentor and teach the students. Daniel is excited to have the opportunity to express his heart for worship getting to sing at church on campus as well as to be able to practice and apply his Minor in Spanish.
Maribel is a native from Honduras. She lived in Miami, FL, where she and her husband raised their three children. In 2002 they moved to Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, her husband’s hometown. Maribel holds a degree in Accounting and served as the Business Manager at Jarabacoa Christian School, for nine years. During her time time there, she was able to build a closer relationship with God. In 2012, she started working at Jamaca de Dios, she was their Restaurant Manager for less than a year. In 2013 while self-employed she was contacted to offer translation services for a CMA board’s meeting, where she met the Director at that time and was offered a part time position as his assistant/secretary. Some months later she was promoted as CMA business manager. She believes God has a purpose and a perfect plan for each one of us. Becoming a CMA staff member in March of 2013 was a privilege and an honor, and here at CMA she has the opportunity to do that every day. By being part of the Dominican staff creates an opportunity to serve our students, their families and make an impact in someone’s life. Leading this group of people enabled her to serve them and learn about their struggles and challenges. During her free time Maribel enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, spending time together, she loves to cook, especially traditional Honduran food, to entertain friends and family.
Kenneth Winter is a counselor/therapist at Caribbean Mountain Academy. He has a Bachelors degree in Education and a Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Kenneth has prior experience at numerous youth-based programs such as the Juvenile Justice System, Private practice counseling at risk teens suffering from addiction and a residential drug treatment center. He has been a Royal Ranger (Boy Scout) Commander and Sunday school teacher over thirty years. Ken has been married to the love of his life over forty years and has raised seven of their own children and several foster kids. He enjoys the adventure built into the Dominican Republic and wholesome atmosphere within the community at CMA.