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PACIFIC QUEST
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24 reviews

PACIFIC QUEST Employer Reviews

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Great job in a great place with amazing people.
Program Manager (Former Employee), Naalehu, HIFebruary 5, 2014
Amazing place to work! If you like helping adolesents or adults and enjoy personal growth this organization is a great place to seek employment.
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Co-workers are family, but you ultimately are disposable.
Field Staff/Program Guide (Current Employee), Reeds Bay/ HiloMay 7, 2013
Pros: great students and coworkers, super location, great learning opportunity
Cons: no job security, low pay, no workers rights, employees are disposable
I learned a lot about myself during my time at PQ. I have enjoyed my time with the company, however, I have mixed feelings about this company.

The way the company treats its field staff (or program guides, I guess they are called now) is incredible... incredibly poor. They are paid minimum wage-- despite the fact that all have a BA at minimum and quite – more... a few have Master's degrees or several years of directly related experience. Not only that- but PQ had to be sued in order for the current arrangement to take place (after 40 hours of working you are paid time and a half). Despite the fact that even though Field Staff work an average of around 60 hours a week if you were to divide it evenly (approximately 120 hours every shift, 2 shifts a month=240 hours, divided by 4 [work weeks in a month]= about 60 hours a week) The company is still able to somehow claim that Field Staff are "part time." Sorry, but that's the biggest load of you-know-what. By doing this the company is able to deny benefits.. such as healthcare. It's just ridiculous because the only people who spend more time at that facility than the field staff are the two field supervisors.

There is a culture of open feedback, with ideas and suggestions welcome from anyone in the program regardless of their position-- however sometimes I'm not so sure if this is a genuine attitude-- I think there is a bit of hypocrisy in this area-- "your ideas are welcome but if we disagree then your thoughts are invalid" is the attitude I felt coming from upper management.

The company can tell you when you must take time off without any notice. The company can fire you without any notice, and some people have been fired for poor reasons, I've seen some of the most highly dedicated employees, or employees with incredible potential let go for poor reasons. Ultimately you are disposable at this company and the people who may or may not choose to dispose of you are literally NEVER (or at the most RARELY) in the field to see the work you do. I understand that they have things going on, however, I've seen really good staff let go for little to no reasoning, and it has made both myself and fellow employees afraid for the security of our jobs. Essentially the company treats the people who do very little like gods and the people who are breaking their backs working like scum. Only now do I see the parallel to American society within this company, haha. #OccupyPQ

That said- the job isn't all that bad, the hours are long and the students can be tough to work with, but you can see some incredible progress in some of them, and that is what makes the job worth it. When I leave I will not regret my time here, but I will definitely be looking for a job that treats the people who dedicate 100% of their time and energy into their job with respect and benefits. It's a great experience and you will learn a lot about yourself if you work for PQ, but don't expect to be treated as you should by the company. The people who pull the strings know you're disposable-- there are hundreds of recent college grads with BAs in psychology who are willing to come to Hawaii to work, so they have no qualms about letting any of their employees go, even those who have been there a long time. – less
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A great lifestyle for your mid 20s and an opportunity for personal growth.
Lead Field Instructior (Former Employee), Na'alehu, HawaiiFebruary 5, 2013
Pros: shift work, there's a built-in community of people your age, receive great feedback in the face of challenging situations, interaction with the students, a culture of working on goals and personal growth, being goofy with kids and being serious when that's what they need
Cons: shift work, increasing expansion of the program, no healthcare, not trying hard enough to keep field staff for as long as possible
Pacific Quest has been good to me. I came there to see if being a therapist was right for me and to live somewhere else before applying to grad school. While at PQ I learned a ton about myself and was given opportunities to show my strengths in the face of challenging therapeutic scenarios. At the time, half the employees were mainly working there because – more... they loved living in Hawaii, the other half were deeply connected to helping teens navigate the difficult transition into adulthood. I connected with the latter group. I stayed at PQ for much longer than the average employee, and hope that PQ keeps attracting those who love the work. Upon hearing my interest in Rites of Passage, PQ paid for an 8 day training and vision fast in the desert. PQ rewards those who dive into the work and are authentically interested in increasing their skill set. – less
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Passionate group of people and beliefs
Finance Director (Former Employee), CaliforniaJanuary 30, 2013
Pros: flexible hours, open communication with all levels of staff
Cons: not enough time in the day to get it all done
Each day is long but productive and I get to wear so many different hats. Every department pulls together to keep Pacific Quest running for the kids. I have learned how it is not just one department that keeps PQ moving forward. It is truly the efforts of every employee from Staff to Management that pull together to make sure all the parts fit and no – more... balls are dropped. Truly "it takes a village". – less
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Personal Growth
Field Supervisor (Former Employee), Naalehu, HIJanuary 30, 2013
Pacific Quest gave me the support needed. If you are looking for a place to live, work, and discover your personal skills...look no further, PQ changed my life.
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Great work culture
Young Adult Program Director (Current Employee), Hilo, HIJanuary 29, 2013
Pros: healthy and welcoming work environment
I have worked in the field of wilderness therapy for 10 years at other programs on the mainland and consider this the best work experience I have ever had. Pacific Quest makes decisions based on the care of the students we serve the priority at all times. The upper management and owners treat employees with respect and kindness, I immediately felt part – more... of the Pacific Quest “family” upon arrival to the island. The leaders have daily involvement in the facilitation of the programs, and genuinely care about the well being of the students and staff.
My co-workers are dedicated to the program and work well together as a team. There is a culture of open feedback, with ideas and suggestions welcome from anyone in the program regardless of their position. I would whole-heartedly recommend this organization to anyone looking for a great work experience. – less
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A Job That Saved My Life
Logistics Supervisor (Current Employee), HiloJanuary 29, 2013
Pros: great people, challenging work, rewarding
I'm not surprised to find that people have written brief, negative reviews of they're experience with Pacific Quest.

I've been with the company for 4 years and I've seen a lot of staff come and go. Its inevitable that in this span of time some people won't work out. I feel that many of the negative reviews may stem from the latter. That being said, – more... I'd like to take a moment to describe MY experience with this company, and how it changed my life.

When I first heard of Pacific Quest I had just graduated from college. The economy was at its peak of recession; I had sold my IRA retirement fund that I’d been working on for four years just so I could pay the costs of living for my last quarter of school. Once I graduated I sent out an ungodly number of resumes to different company’s, searching for employment. I received not correspondence back from any of the companies or organizations I contacted. Nothing.

With my last $600 I ended up driving my car down to L.A. to live with my two brothers. I paid no rent and had no income, except for when I would occasionally get temporary, “one day” work in the city. I was living on a couch with no direction and no passion. It was a nightmare, and I didn’t see a way out. I remembered Pacific Quest, and sent a resume. Low and behold I heard back from them and was ecstatic to get a phone interview with one of the recruiters. I remember being so nervous for the interview; I wanted this job so bad. I remember I even dressed like I was going to a real interview. By the end of the phone call I had a job and a start date for employment. I sold my car and left for Hawaii with two backpacks and a one-way ticket. I’ve never looked back.

I started at the bottom of the totem pole, an entry-level field instructor with NO experience working with troubled youth, I was up for the challenge and I think they saw this in me. Now I’ve worked my way into the upper management of the company. If you work hard, pay your dues and have a great attitude anything is possible. I left for Hawaii knowing no one, and having no idea what to really expect. This leap of faith and unexpected course I’ve taken has been one of the best decisions I’ve made.

When I started the company was completely different than where it is today. Its continued to evolve and change with the times, actively working on enhancing the culture and making the work more sustainable.

Let’s be honest though. Wilderness Therapy is hard work. Until you’ve experienced it for yourself, there’s no real job that compares. This can be a very difficult adjustment for people who’ve never worked in this field. I’ve seen a huge change in the company to support new staff and keep those that are the companies rock stars. I’ve seen a lot of hiring from within, which is fantastic.

Make no mistake though; there is feedback every week for staff. There are always things to improve on, or things to learn from. It’s hard to look at yourself and ask “what can I do better? What can I do different? What can I learn from this?” and I personally feel we don’t ask ourselves these questions enough in our day-to-day life, so it can be challenging for people to have an employer ask them these questions.

Pacific Quest has high standards, and they have too. They’re dealing with therapeutic outcomes for clients, trying to help young people with severe problems. If your not willing to look at yourself and make yourself better at your job, and t what you do-so you can best serve these kids, then maybe this isn’t the work for you.

I didn’t get to where I am today, by not hearing feedback. I look at feedback as a motivator. Use it as a tool. Use it as a learning experience. Being defensive is the worst thing you can do. A closed eye sees nothing.

The management is great. I have the best bosses in the world. I’m proud to work for this company and these people. They’ve helped me get through some tough times when I had nowhere else to go. It’s hard to forget that. I feel that the company is always looking to better itself and find the people to take it to the next level. The question you have to ask is “do you want to be a part of that?”

I wouldn’t have stayed with them since 2009 if I didn’t.

Aloha. – less
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Positively Challengeing Working Environment
Supervisor (Current Employee), HawaiiJanuary 29, 2013
Pros: working for one of the top wilderness programs around...
Cons: for you to determine...
I am currently an employee of PQ and I will be the first to admit that this Company is not for everyone. It takes a special type of person to work here. I have seen many people come and many people go, even some of those who wrote reviews above. I will say that the type of person who works here and survives here is a person with strong personal determination – more... and the ability to over come tremendous personal obsticles just as you would in life. Being able to stay positive and sharing that positivity with the students of PQ is a blessing in itself. Like every other company there are it's ups and downs, but unlike every other company, PQ learns from the mistakes and prides itself in being able to overcome whatever may attempt to get in it's way, which they try to teach the students who attend. You will never find a company that will have everything you want but I can promise you, when your time comes and you decide to depart from PQ, you will have grown much wiser and self determined then ever before. Hard work, perseverance and self awarness could take you far in this company. If nothing else, working for PQ will bring you the satisfaction of helping students who are in need of the guidance you may have to offer. For myself I am greatful for this oppurtunity and to show PQ and the students, what I have to offer. Again this is my opinion and to find out for yourselves take the chance, you can always go home... – less
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You Get Out What You Put In
Senior Program Supervisor (Current Employee), Reeds Bay, Hilo HawaiiJanuary 29, 2013
I taught for nearly ten years and loved every second of it yet I would have to manage kitchens or any of a million odd jobs to compensate for an experimental program run on what grants we could land. When the economy tanked all that grant money finally ran out and I was left with a hard decision, to carry on trying to work for free or to seek out something – more... new.

I came to Pacific Quest at 30 not in any way really wanting to start over or leave my community back home, but I came for the work. I tend to be both skeptical and stubborn in the face of change but after a couple months of working for PQ I discovered something amazing: I no longer had to live two disparate lives, instead I earned my way doing work I loved. You are asked to not only do a job but to do the work the students are doing along side you, to be vulnerable, engaged, and open to personal development. In my time I've seen those fresh out of school with a BA in psychology, seasoned wilderness instructors and everything in between learn more about themselves based on our feedback and goal setting methods self admittingly than in any other single point in their lives.

I was lucky enough to come to the Young Adult program when the executive director had to come and take it over in the interim between program directors and I inadvertently found myself working alongside him and others in the development and implementation of practical and innovative systems to better serve the client population. I have rarely worked for better superiors. It has been collaborative, empowering and deeply inspirational to be mentored and in turn mentor others towards creating a place that is truly exciting and fulfilling to work. – less
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Amazing Opportunity
Former Field Instructor (Former Employee), Ka'u HawaiiJanuary 28, 2013
One of the most rewarding jobs I have ever worked. Very much a supportive family atmosphere. PQ's model is very successful and its because of the great staff who show up invested and full of care. I love the fact that you can give feedback to your co-workers in a healthy way at the end of shift. I was amazed coming from a Summer Camp background with – more... limited boundaries or structure to the opposite and everything having an "intention" behind it. Land, Cooking, Groups, Reflection, all were amazing resources to provide healthy outlets and much needed processing for these students. . They refer to them as gaining "tools". and by the last phase, "Ohana" you watch them use these tools in healthy ways. Calling groups to express emotions, gardening their aggression away instead of escalating themselves, taking on rolls, ownership, learning identity and independence (the list goes on). As staff, you learn your own tools to be successful and your emotional investment drives you from the early morning to night. Loved the field work at PQ, not really much that compares. – less
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Hardest Job you will Love to Love
Current Employee (Current Employee), HawaiiJanuary 28, 2013
Pacific Quest offers challenge in the forms of personal and professional growth for all employees. When working in such an emotionally rich environment, employees must manage their own process and maintain a good balance between personal and professional life and boundaries. As will all human service work the hours are long and rewarding, the clients – more... can challenge your confidence and patience and are constantly teaching you about yourself as you learn about and with them and the guidelines to follow are many in order to minimize risk for the clients. But all of the challenge leads to fruitful growth for those who invest themselves in the work and for the hundreds of young people we work with each year. The invested and dedicated employees that you work with are the glue of PQ and create the ohana I am proud to be a part of. – less
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Excellent Company Working to Enact Change With Struggling Kiddos and Families
Therapist (Former Employee), Hilo, Hawaii and Naalehu, HawaiiJanuary 28, 2013
Pros: working on an organic farm, having the ability to work intensively with students and families, amazing work environment, and great compensation.
Cons: far away from family if you have to move & can be working with complex family systems.
A typical day at work: I spent half of my time working in the field, which involves working at different organic farm "camps" with students. This could mean working with the young adult population in Hilo or driving to PQ's other adolescent farm which is further south on the Island of Hawaii. I provided individual and group therapy sessions to students – more... 2-3 days a week while on the farm. On my field days, I would also work in collaboration with the field staff to plan a therapeutic treatment plan for the week and interventions to use with students. The other 2-3 days was spent in an office, working with families and consultants via telephone and catching up on progress notes and documentation. During the week we would have weekly clinical meetings and supervision with our supervisors and rotate with on-call duties.

What I learned: Words cannot express how much I learned during my time at Pacific Quest. If anything, I would say I really blossomed as a therapist and left feeling confident and supported. I learned a lot about helping to work with clients in a holistic way, focusing not just on their "emotional problems", but also focusing on how they physically feel-what they are putting into their body, and healthy ways to challenge themselves rather than just through traditional "talk therapy". I also learned the importance of having no distractions for students: the ability to be 100% in the outdoor environment, without cell phones and computers and how this can be so powerful in a student having to face their struggles. I also learned about organic gardening and how this relates to our day to day lives.

Management: My supervisors were incredible at PQ and I would say that I had the opportunity to learn from the "best of the best". From my immediate supervisors, to the other directors, up to the owners of the company, they are all incredibly supportive people and I hope I can be so lucky in the future to have such a positive team I can work for. This was the hardest piece about leaving PQ and relocating to the Mainland-saying goodbye to such incredible people.

My co-workers: My co-workers were my family!

The hardest part about the job: The toughest part was maintaining self-care as you invest a lot into the kiddos and families. Trying to maintain balance for myself was probably my weakest point. I also think it can be difficult to watch a student struggling and repeating unhealthy patterns-but once they have a breakthrough it can be so rewarding!

The most enjoyable part of the job: Watching a student blossom and build incredible awareness and healthy coping tools to use in the future. Getting updates from families after a student has left and knowing that you were part of something that can be so healing was incredibly powerful. Also, the best part was working with all the incredible people at PQ. – less
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Innovative and Healthy Program
Field Instructor (Former Employee), KauJanuary 27, 2013
Without a doubt, the greatest place I have ever worked! Each day was filled with growth, joy, and a feeling of community. Management creates an atmosphere of support and encouragement that I hope I can find as I move forward. Working with youth in organic farming has taught me life skills that will last forever.

Thanks to all the amazing staff. I miss – more... you all!!!! – less
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Best Job I've Ever Had In My Life: REWARDING AND GRATIFYING ON ALL LEVELS
Field Instructor (Former Employee), Hilo, HIJanuary 27, 2013
Pros: progressive company, feedback culture to improve and build off strengths, rewarding work, 6 days off to enjoy hawai'i, close friendships with co-workers, free therapy because of all the therapeutic groups and conversations you're a part of daily, gardening and learning about small scale farming, organic eating and exercise daily, teaching creatively everyday, experiential ed at its finest
Cons: shift work and balancing off shift/on shift lifestyles, balance in general, getting used to the food and lack of your personal food in the field, lack of sleep, constant feedback culture (can weigh on you), high turnover rate=losing friends, being on same shift as your friends and if you switch you never see them again
One of the top wilderness therapy companies to work for with competitive wages, beautiful location, highly respectable in the industry, amazing staff, and ability to move up within the company.

Young company that started in 2002 and has recently opened up a young adult residential facility in Hilo, HI where they are doing very well. Young and innovative – more... owners who have a progressive look on their business and ideas.

Co workers: Tight-knit group of people who will become your closest community and friends. Amazing people from all over the world, mostly Mainland. Teachers, famers, experiential ed teachers, outdoor ed, yoga instructors, psych majors, councilors in training, social workers, and more. Innovative, creative, happy, outdoorsy and active, fun, sensitive to non-traditional values, worldly, humble yet confident, empathetic and compassionate, want to help others, KIND, non-materialistic, emotionally and physically healthy people.

Most Enjoyable part of the job: Working with the students for a week straight and returning the next week to see how much progress they've made and how YOU'VE helped make a difference in their world. Feeling the reward and accomplishment at the end of the work week, knowing how much blood, sweat and tears you've put into the kids and the camp, and seeing that you've helped them along their way in a positive manner. Knowing that none of your work was futile and that you're helping shape the future generation of empowered and powerful young people. Another enjoyable part of the job is working intimately with your staff team of 3 people over the course of the week and developing those bonds that last your whole stay on the island. Getting to know your team and going through the ups and downs with them throughout the shift creates a very powerful bond and comradery that no one can break. It is so awesome to see other people's way of teaching and feel like you're part of a indestructable squad that has so many tools to help these young kids. Another enjoyable part of the job is leaning how to garden and farm and being able to eat the harvests with the students. BEING OUTSIDE IS THE BEST TOO! Your office is the jungle with fresh air, palm trees and gardens producing veggies and greens all around you. It's paradise.

Work Hard, Play Hard. Where else can you work for a week, and take a week off to explore one of the most beautiful islands in the world. I was enticed by the lifestyle and it's amazing if you're able to balance your off/on shift. I enjoyed the free time to decompress and experience the island with my friends, and then go back to work and be "in it" for a whole week, doing really important work with the students and constantly feeling rewarded by the work I was doing.

I started working at Pacific Quest in 2010 as a field staff who had never worked in the industry before. I was welcomed with open arms and given more hands on training and learn by doing/observing staff rather than by booklets or classroom tutorials. There really is no other way to learn the industry other than by being in the field and watching how its done, also by jumping in and trying it yourself with the support of your seasoned teammates.

With hard work and dedication, I was promoted within a few weeks to the Wellness position, and then on to the Lead Positions a few weeks after that. I was enamored by the work, the level of dedication to each student, the environment, the dynamic daily routine that consists of SO MUCH! (Exercise, cooking, landwork, gardening, curriculum, therapeutic groups, individual check ins, meditation, group games and group meals, and much more. I was active from the moment I woke up to the moment I laid my head down on the pillow and I was loving the healing process that was going on with students. I really began to understand the company's positive intentions with all the rules and why we had to hold certain boundaries.

The longer I worked, the more I saw it as a benefit and reward for the students to be exposed to this type of life, these types of staff, this level of care, the things we taught them about life, and all aspects of the program, because it's making them better people for their future and their family dynamic. I worked in a variety of camps with different students each week (many times the same students who had progressed) and with different staff each week so I got to learn new teaching styles. I worked with young adults and adolescents and gained the respect of my field supervisors and managers by my style and tenure in the field for 1 1/2 years. With that, I was able to become a staf trainer/facilitator when I had been in the field for over a year and then moved on to Field Supervisor at the new Young Adult Clinic in Hilo.

I whole heartedly believe in the quality and level of care PQ provides to these students. The level of investment from all the staff is unprecedented and incomparable. People are there because they want to help others and work for a company that provides a foundation of community and positive change for youth. From mind/body/emotion to teaching them how to grow food for themselves, PQ offers a well rounded wholistic approach to emotional and physical wellness. I have seen hundeds of students benefit from their time at PQ and go on to live happier, healthier lives. I have seen many staff go, saying that this was the best, most meaningful job they've had in their lives. I've listened to students tell me they don't want to leave and how much I've changed their lives. I've watched my co-workers blossom into

I took a leap of faith and moved out to the island for the job, and I was pleasantly rewarded both professionally and personally. If you're looking to empower yourself and students around you, work on dynamic teams each week, make a difference in the future generation of people, learn about yourself when put in difficult and emotionally charged situations, teach outdoors, grow your own food and learn about the future of communication and personal growth, PQ is where you should come. It is SOOOOOOO worth it. I've learned so much about people, education, youth and what they're going through now, families, gardening, hawaiian culture and gardening, and HUMANITY. – less
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Amazing program and culture!
Supervisor (Current Employee), Hilo, HIJanuary 26, 2013
Students and Program Guides are amazing to work with each day. Leadership and management have shown a commitment to practicing what they preach. I have worked at other wilderness programs and this company is by far the best I have experienced. I highly recommend working here!
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By Far My Best Work Experience Ever
Current Employee (Current Employee), Hilo, HawaiiJanuary 26, 2013
Anyone who posts a negative review about Pacific Quest is probably afraid of good, honest work. Its employees come from diverse backgrounds, both in education and work experience- and ALL are passionate about helping kids. I have been here 4 years and this is a wonderful place to work!
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Un healthy work, outragously low wages
night staff supervisor (Former Employee), Hilo, HIDecember 15, 2012
Cons: no respect, pittaful pay, unrealistic expectations, unhealthy environment
I was hired as the Night Staff supervisor. That sounds pretty special and as a MA psychologist with 30 years of experience I expected to be given a job that reflected my expertise. Instead I was expected to report in at 8pm and work till 4am two nights a week and then work two nights from 11pm to 7am. My job was to alternate sitting at the doorway of – more... the boys or girls dorm and take notes each time any of the kids got up to go to the bathroom, or were talking or give them counsel if they needed it or discipline them when they acted out. There were to other staff doing the same thing and I was expected to watch over them, I guess to make sure they took the same notes and did not fall asleep. Also I was expected to be a security guard and walk around the property every 15 minutes to make sure no vagrants were trespassing. The nights were cold and the place where I was to sit was outside. I was not allowed to go inside. There were never any problems with the kids or opportunity to interact with them because they were asleep! After two weeks of this my health was in jeopardy, I lost about 10 pounds from lake of sleep and my life was upside down. I was given the blessing of being relieved of my job with out a warning or an offer to adjust to the situation (because I read a book and used my laptop, which was the only way I could manage to stay awake). Go figure... – less
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Sustainable Growth for Students and Staff
Wellness Supervisor (Former Employee), KauDecember 3, 2012
When I moved to Hawaii, I was excited, nervous, and curious. Upon my first day at Pacific Quest, the staff and supervisors set my mind at ease. For the first in my career, I felt apart of family or as they say in Hawaii, an "Ohana". The "Sustainable Growth" I achieved will last me for a lifetime. No matter what challenges I am faced with, I know I am – more... better prepared to handle them based on the skills I developed under the Program Director and supporting staff. Having worked at numerous other Wilderness Programs in the US and Australia, Pacific Quest is hands down, the most innovative Wilderness Therapy program in the United States. I completely grateful that PQ is a part of my life, Ma halo... – less
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Very rewarding job opportunity
Field Instructor (Former Employee), Ka'uOctober 30, 2012
I learned so much about myself as a field staff. This is a tough job, but the benefits definitely outweigh the hard stuff. This program is one-of-kind in that it combines all aspects of the self that make us happy people (a whole-food, mostly organic diet, exercise, therapeutic groups). I found that, for the most part, I had a lot of autonomy in my – more... job and my creativity was utilized and highly encouraged. On the downside, shift work was hard for me to maintain long-term, but it was great for the year that I did it...6 days off at a time, long breaks during slow seasons if I wanted.

This job is a great place to use as a stepping stone for graduate schools, where you learn a ton about every aspect of life that is applicable for any job field while living in Hawaii. It's also great for those with lots of experiential program experience to try something different. Also, since PQ is growing there is constantly room to advance within the company if you fall in love with Hawaii and the type of rewarding work that you can do here. They do a lot of advancement from within.

The staff that work here have a love of helping people and are usually very active, adventurous, and loving of the outdoors. This is an amazing community to be apart of let alone having it while living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. – less
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A job that has changed my life
Human Resources (Current Employee), HawaiiOctober 30, 2012
Pros: support and aknowledge your growth cycle as staff, a week to lay on the beach, and have numerous dance offs, leadership opportunitys in a growing company, life skills
Cons: early morning person struggles, adjusting to diet change can be rough
Almost two years ago I took a risk and answered the call to Pacific Quest. I bought a one way ticket to Hawaii and started working within three days. That person that flew in on that plane seems almost unfamiliar to me at this point, and this is why.

As a Field Instructor, it was quickly apparent this was not a normal job. I remember my first lead – more... shift, very nervous, afraid of the unseen. I would of never done it without a healthy push, and possibly would have avoided it all over the lack of confidence, this would not happen for the support that was given to me. The validation of my qualities and the feedback of where and how I could strengthen my character was something I had never experienced in any other job. The investment in my personal growth with this healthy amount pushing, made me take chances both emotionally, and physically. This experience happened very fast and helped me better understand the students in our program, eventually gaining comfort of the language necessary to help them process their own growth and struggles. It did not come without heavy emotions, laughter, complaints and weeks of being utterly exhausted. I look back now, and would do it all over again, for what I have become now is a strong confident, outgoing, funny, supportive, leader. I wouldn't dare admit those qualities in myself on that plane ride over. As much as I would like to give all the credit to all the staff, it wouldn't be true. It was the students who also helped me with this growth. This job is not for those who can't learn to understand the positive intention behind the most harsh of words or actions from a struggling teen or young adult. Your ego must be in check, and your desire to help those in need (despite all that you are confronted with) must be strong and real. It is also not for those who simply seek just the beauty of Hawaii or money. It is for those who know that true growth and eventual sustainability comes from a consistent awareness that you need to be taken out of your comfort zone, learn to give up your dependencies and rationalizations, learn the healthy version of yourself, and make it permanent. This job is for those who love life, fresh air, getting their hands dirty, watching a child open up and change in ways that some deemed impossible, getting goofy after a long shift, eating food that has more color than a box of crayon's, exercise in the rain, heart racing moments, crying while laughing while drumming, learning culture, language and respect of the world and others.

I could go on forever, but honestly if you know the truth in what I say, there is no explanation needed. Working in this field is something you can never really explain, and as corny as it sounds, I feel lucky to have been recommended to Pacific Quest sold everything I had, and bought a one way ticket to the sense of self I carry with me everyday. – less

About PACIFIC QUEST

At Pacific Quest, we create life-changing experiences for struggling teenagers & young adults through outdoor therapeutic – Read more