LEARNING FOR AND FROM THE COMMUNITIES WE SERVE...

We believe in the simple philosophy that everyone has skills to offer and that everyone holds the potential to do this work.   We believe that doing this work requires a commitment to both give and receive knowledge.   If you have a skill to offer, let us know.

GARTH MCCARTY
glenwood springs, co

Garth's background includes parenting, law and government, management, life sciences, environmental studies, emergency medicine, law enforcement, and several seasons as a Yellowstone park ranger.

He currently has a private law practice in Glenwood Springs. ​

Favorites: Family; outdoors & wilderness (hiking, biking, paddling, etc.); travel; photography; Africa​

Motto: Carpe diem!​

Vision: "It is never too soon (or too late) to devote your skills and energy to help others.  I try to do this on a general basis in my career but, with HeadStrong, I hope to bring special attention and practical assistance to those less fortunate than myself.  Starting with the basics and expanding as possible and necessary, small groups of people can achieve big things in the lives of people who are indigent or otherwise disempowered.  HeadStrong will remain secular and motivated only by a genuine desire to assist those in need, and to do no harm.   HeadStrong will set manageable goals and build upon its accomplishments, satisfied that success is measured by every individual whose life is positively impacted by its efforts."

 

MUKHTAR AHMED
louisville, ky

Mukhtar is originally from Somalia and Kenya. His background includes sales, interpretation, and community assistance.  He helped to found Somali Youth for Louisville, a non profit made up of young Somalis seeking to provide ESL, citizenship classes, mentoring, and other social services for the Somali community in Louisville.  He has worked for UPS and as a bilingual instructor with Jefferson County Public Schools.  He currently attends college and runs his own delivery business as well as a multi-lingual interpreter service.​

Favorites: soccer; reading; travel; family time​

Skills: getting along with everyone; multilingual; great sense of humor; assisting others with bridging cultures; visionary; survivor​

Vision:  Agriculture in the Horn of Africa; helping the less fortunate

 

WAYNE KOTTKAMP
louisville, ky

Wayne has worked for an analytical instrument company for more years than he cares to count.  On the side he is a general handyman and beer aficionado. His background includes forestry, geology, mine reclamation and lots of travel. ​

Favorites: travel; biking, camping, hiking; humorous mug shots; family hikes; completing his wife's to do list; eating very random foods; fixing things​

Skills: mechanical knowledge; catch and release of neighborhood vermin; unicycling; beer filtering; vegetable fermentation; always being willing to help; efficient email processing; ability to make anyone laugh regardless of that individual's grasp of the English language​

Vision: to do something beyond email processing!!


 

CHRIS AND AISLINN MAST
helena, mt

Chris and Aislinn Mast are husband and wife partners who have a dental practice in Helena, MT. They met there at Carroll college and now live and practice dentistry in that same great community. They run a mentorship program for Carroll college premed student who aspire to be dentists. They believe in giving back to their community by donating dental service to a local women’s shelter, serving women and children, as well as helping young students navigate their dental careers.

 

Dr. Mast is a graduate of University of Minnesota dental school and that is where he first experienced mission work in Jamacia and Cuba with his fellow class mates. It touched him deeply and he knew he wanted to find ways to continue with this important work. After opening his own dental practice he and his wife Aislinn began traveling to Guatamala through a local church to assist the people in Santa Tomas. They brought 3 college students with them to work in a small clinic for one week. They returned two other times cleaning teeth, placing fillings and performing root canals. It was a unique experience working under non- ideal circumstances facing language and facility inconviences. Guess what, they loved it! They wanted to find more opportunities to deliver high quality, pain relieving, compassionate dentistry to those who need it the most.

 

Aislinn Mast is the office manager and assistant for Dr. Mast. They are accustomed to working together since their early 20s working with their first love, the outdoors. They guided youth biking and back packing trips in New Hampshire and Montana. By cultivating their leadership and interpersonal skills in an unpredicatable and rugged environment they share a unique bond and intuativeness that services their mission work very well when they return to unpredicatable environments. It is a challenge they find satisfiying and fulfilling.

STACI KOTTKAMP
louisville, ky

Staci has a background in elementary and middle school education, theatre, outdoor education, refugee resettlement, and microenterprise for women.  She currently teaches English and Theatre to Middle and High School refugee and immigrant students.

Favorites: my boys (including Wayne!); hiking and camping; any free time I can find!; traveling; laughing til it hurts​

Skills: always being ready for the next thing, chameleon-like ability to blend in and acquire new skills​

Vision: to prove that anyone can help someone else halfway around the world just by being yourself, by listening, and by pitching in; to create a replicable model of development that touches people's lives in a way that bigger organizations cannot.