Anasazi Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Anasazi Foundation Reviews

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4.2
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Michael J. Merchant
4 Ratings

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Life-Changing Job!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Anasazi Foundation part-time

    Pros

    Working at ANASAZI has been one of the best experiences of my life. It has helped me become a better person and it has improved my relationships with my family, my friends and my spouse. One of the other reviews here said that this is a Mormon organization (??). There are quite a few Mormons here, yes, but the organization as a whole is incredibly diverse and very accepting of all kinds of beliefs. My life is fuller and more rich for having worked here! SURE LOVE IT!

    Cons

    Haha! One of the frequently-used phrases at ANASAZI is "It depends." It's hard to definitely say if/when something will be able to happen because there are a lot of factors that go into different aspects of the job (for example, "When will the bands get to Final D?" response: "Well, it depends—some of the YoungWalkers aren't used to hiking that far and the band needs to pull together and help those YoungWalkers." etc.)

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management would be to try to spend more time with all of the different departments. We all get along, and our meetings are all very fun, but perhaps we should spend more time working together on various projects and out on the trail. That could be fun!


  2. "Know what you are getting into"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trailwalker (Field Guide) in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Trailwalker (Field Guide) in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Some of the most devoted ideological people I have worked with. Natural environment was unbelievable, and the personal growth that came of this experience was priceless. I didn't mind the 8 days in the field, it was a treat. The amount of freedom you have in the field as a "Trailwalker" is pretty incredible. The administration trusts and supports your decisions.

    Cons

    This is a Mormon organization, which I was not told upon being hired. They say they are non denominational, but about 98% of the employees are devout Mormon. Many "troubled" kids are sent here because they engaged in sexual activity, experimented with marijuana or alcohol, or because they are gay and their families did not accept their sexual identity. In other words, many of these teenagers were not "troubled" by normal American standards, only in the context of the Mormon community.

    I realized this was Mormon organization when I was sitting in a room with 19 recruits and the founder asked us, "who is Mormon here?" All nineteen people raised their hands, I was shocked! I am an extremely open minded person, but I felt deceived. During the time I worked here I received four copies of the Book of Mormon simply because I expressed curiosity about Mormon values and beliefs. I appreciate that ANASAZI asks its employees not to drink, smoke, or use drugs, but they also do not allow opposite sex employees to share housing with one another (even though male and female staff work and live together in the field). The founder Ezekiel Sanchez is adamant that Trailwalkers "are not therapists", and therefore the training program does not equip staff with any therapeutic training. The majority of staff are students at BYU, and many have had no previous experience with kids or working in the mental health field. I felt extremely isolated working in this environment, and over time I became very angry with many of the staff, particularly for the way that LGBTQ kids were treated.

    Out of the 20 new employees 3 were asked to leave within two weeks, and one month later only 13 employees remained due to a shortage of work. I felt terrible for the employees that turned their lives around to come out to Arizona, none of them were fully aware that there was such a high uncertainty that they would not get the job.

    This all being said, if you are a young Mormon college student looking for an intense four month experience I can guarantee you that your faith will be revived, you will learn valuable lessons about yourself and your capabilities, and you will find a community that is supportive and accepting of you.

    Advice to Management

    Increase your diversity, accept other beliefs, live up to your "non-denominational" promises, provide adequate training for field staff

  3. Helpful (1)

    "This is a place where magic happens, families come together, and hearts are turned homeward."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trail Walker (Behavioral Health Paraprofessional) in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Trail Walker (Behavioral Health Paraprofessional) in Mesa, AZ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    At Anasazi you don't just have a 9-5, you become a part of people's journeys. As a Trail Walker (Behavioral Health Paraprofessional) you go out into the forest for 8 days at a time with a group of young people and help them navigate the wilderness and process their feelings and thoughts with a new person who is there because they care and want to help.

    Cons

    Plain and simple: it can be hard to be out there at times. The elements are unpredictable and it can be too hot or too cold or too wet or too buggy but with patience and time anyone can learn how to remain relatively comfortable in the outdoors. Another factor is the schedule. It is 6 days on, 8 days off so this can be a big change for people who are used to a routine daily schedule. It can also be difficult to take on the emotional baggage of others who have been through so much. It takes strength and heart. Luckily Anasazi is the most caring place I've ever worked. Support pours from fellow Trail Walkers, Ridge Walkers, and all the staff at the office. (I know this sounds cheesy and too good to be true but it's for real! I'm just a former employee who has a lot of love for this place because I've seen what it can do for myself and others.)

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!


  4. "Greatest place to change your life forever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - "TrailWalker" Or Behavior Health Paraprofessional in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - "TrailWalker" Or Behavior Health Paraprofessional in Mesa, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Anasazi Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Learned more about myself, interpersonal relationships, and how to find the positives and the lessons in every task and every experience, no matter how difficult. You don't have an excuse to blame anyone else, with mother nature providing the only consequences any of the children have, the are given an unparalleled learning tool to see themselves and begin to care about their impacts on their own lives and others.
    -You get an amazing workout through excruciating hikes each week, whether in the summer heat or the freezing cold, you'll learn how to adapt to anything!
    -12 days off a month, lots of free time to travel around, visit family, or do more off week hiking!
    -You yourself benefit from the program as well or better as if you were a student. You have awakenings all the time, and always new amazing stories to share!

    Cons

    -8 days working straight. Sometimes this mean very little sleep, and the exhaustion can run through most of your six days off. Not for everyone.
    -Pay could be better, but at least more time than not you're not even home racking up electricity or food bills. They're non-profit anyways, so it's hard to view this as a negative.
    -It's like a nursery for the soul. It's lovely and necessary for growth, but at some point you have to move on. :-(

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps better training in PCS? Fortunately I never needed to use it, but I sure didn't feel confident in my skills at it either.
    I hear that there is no longer a "Speaking of We" each week. BRING IT BACK. And if you could, perhaps teach the TrailWalkers some small skill with each one, as well. As great as it was learning with the kids, I feel I would have been far more beneficial spending more time teaching them.


  5. "Life changing with life-long lessons."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Trailwalker in Mesa, AZ
    Former Contractor - Trailwalker in Mesa, AZ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Anasazi Foundation as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You'll learn things with Anasazi that everyone should get a chance to learn, while helping youth.
    Living in the wilderness 8 days on, with 6 days can be difficult, but you will learn lessons that will transfer into your future in ALL aspects, family, work, marriage and friendships. You will also learn wilderness skills, and how to communicate.
    I wish everyone in my family and every child I know had a chance to experience Anasazi.

    Cons

    If you are not Mormon you will be one of the few if not only one. The longer you work there the more "trail gossip" is hard to stay away from. From what I've heard, the more you can stay out of, and know little about the office politics and history the better.
    A few of your co-workers may be overly optimistic/naive to the point of being a little out of touch with reality. As long as they're not above you, you'll be fine.
    If you don't like getting dirty, this is not the job for you.

    Advice to Management

    Good Buffalo Eagle (the founder) is amazing.


  6. "MAJESTIC! Client or Employee, Anasazi will change you forever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trailwalker in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Trailwalker in Mesa, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Anasazi Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    In 4 months I learned more about interpersonal relationships than I have in the last 20 years. Also had more fun than I remember having a very, very long time. ^_^ Absolutely epic. I honestly wish this was a required rite-of-passage for teenagers in our society.

    Why this program stands out above other wilderness therapy programs:

    - 2 weeks of training. They are very serious about having qualified field staff.
    - Mentors everywhere. They are the funniest, most inspirational, caring people you'll ever meet.
    - Anyone will drop anything at a moment's notice to talk to you. Literally seen people take half-cooked food off the fire to listen before they even knew what the topic was.
    - No "contrived" punishments. We rely on natural consequences to guide the Young Walkers. Besides enhancing safety, this ensured that changes in behavior were heart-deep... The Young Walkers came to care about the IMPACT of their choices, rather than the punishment they personally had to face.

    Plus:
    - You'll get ripped fast.
    - Astonishing scenery. Varied. Every week is like something straight out of a movie.

    Cons

    Hardest thing I've ever done. The hikes are long and hot and hard. There are flippin' hordes of biting bugs. The people you walk with are imperfect. But the fact that there are imperfections is VITAL to this program... If you didn't have anything to fight through, you would have no opportunities to develop the strength of body and soul.

    Only real con is that you can't stay forever. ^_^ I miss it a lot, especially the quiet simplicity of living happily without electronics.

    Advice to Management

    Oh, Management has already listened to my concerns. =D Standard procedure during exit interview. They even took notes. Management here was awesome at taking out comments to heart and turning them into solutions.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Best Experience of My Life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trail Walker in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Trail Walker in Mesa, AZ
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great summer job. Really hard, but its great working with the the kids. The benefits of working with the kids is much greater than anything you can imagine. Working 8 days on 6 days off might not be your thing, but as a young guy with a summer job, I loved it.

    Cons

    Hard to do once you get married, may be impossible.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!!!