Sharon Sperry-Clegg is the Program Director for WinGate Wilderness Therapy. Her expertise and knowledge of the industry makes her a strong leader in this area. Sharon started her career in Pre-hospital EMS after graduating from Utah Valley University with an EMT Basic, and later on an Advanced EMT, where she spent hundreds of hours assisting people in crisis. Sharon loved her job and the adrenaline of what the next call would be. She also saw a lot of undo heartache and suffering that was difficult somedays to process. It seemed there was not enough help for those that were struggling with mental health issues and far too many that did not see any hope in their future.
During that time, Sharon finished her bachelor’s degree at Utah State University in Community Health Education and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix.
Sharon had her first glimpse of the mental health industry in 1993 when she worked for a community-based program Community Family Partnership in Logan. There she would assist families in learning about hygiene, nutrition, and necessary medical care. Families worked with a therapist to obtain needed services and skills, including therapy.
In 2006, Sharon received a call from a wilderness therapy asking her to join their team. Sharon had been working in the academic world and had been teaching nursing students, EMT’s, and Medical Assistants, and honestly didn’t know anything about wilderness therapy. She went to the “field” one time, and fell deeply in love with the process, the children, and the way the outdoors became the healer.
This chance encounter became her passion. Using her skills of medical, education, and risk management, Sharon has since worked with two more wilderness programs, has served on the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council, presented at multiple conferences, has played a lead role in obtaining multiple accreditations, and has served as a council member for six years on the Association of Experiential Education Accreditation (AEE) Council.
Sharon has been involved in site reviews all over the country and abroad ensuring that programs are adhering to the highest level of guidelines in their programming and following strict safety protocols.
Sharon has used this knowledge and skills to bring the highest level of standards to WinGate and its programs. Having programming that is at its highest quality, while maintaining safety (both physically and emotionally) and mitigating risk is Sharon’s number one priority.
Sharon has three sons, loves to travel, golf and be outdoors. She loves spending time with her family, especially family trips and adventures. Sharon was once told by her supervisor that he had never seen anyone love each client as much as their own children. This is a statement that she will always treasure. Sharon’s mantra is everyone has the right to feel loved and cared for while feeling safe and secure.