top of page
Park Background.jpg


Meet our founder and leadership team who are giving transgender and gender-diverse youth the opportunity to experience the magic of summer camp in safe, welcoming places. 

Christina Guiriba



Camp Director

Christina Guiriba is a trans-identifying (she/her) nonprofit professional who has overcome life challenges and overwhelming self-doubt to break through barriers blocking her success. Growing up as a young gay boy in conservative Clay County, Christina was bullied not only by the students but by the school administration as well. Her goal is to provide TGNB youth of today with a different experience that encourages self-expression, self-confidence and self-love in a safe and welcoming environment.


Christina founded Transcending Adolescence in 2019 to provide safe spaces and outdoor summer camp programming to promote mental health and wellness among LGBTQ+ youth ages 10-17. The nonprofit aims to build resilience in transgender youth, utilizing a curriculum founded upon five key components (SPEAR) that contributed to her own resilience and professional success. 


Taking every experience as a learning experience, cultivating skills and thinking outside the box have contributed to Christina’s professional development. From a victim of hate and societal oppression to the executive director of her own nonprofit, Christina is also a full-time student at ASU Online where she will graduate with her Master's of Science in Organizational Leadership. Prior to beginning the pursuit of her degree Christina worked as a full time staff member at JASMYN and is a community activist dedicated to ending the HIV epidemic, empowering the LGBTQ+ community and inspiring others to identify their strengths to build self-esteem and achieve personal and professional goals.

Night Sky with Stars

"Somewhere along the line I developed coping skills that turned me into a happy and proud transgender adult instead of a scared, insecure trans adolescent. These are things I’m hoping to share with the youth that decide to be a part of our program. I always knew that my greater purpose in life was to help others…It was my recent time volunteering at a summer camp for transgender youth that I realized where I want to focus my efforts."

— Christina Guiriba (She/ Her), founder of Transcending Adolescence

Leadership Team

Dr. Christine Rodriguez, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, MDiv, MA


Board President

Christine is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a strong commitment to providing inclusive, high-quality care for historically marginalized populations. Dr. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Applied Professional Studies from Nova Southeastern University, a Certificate in Faith Community Nursing from the University of Southern Indiana, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies and a Master of Divinity from Liberty University, a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Connecticut. 


As a healthcare chaplain and practitioner, she places herself in the quintessential position to understand her patient’s needs through the use of a biopsychosociospiritual framework. Through her own lived experience and the usage of such a framework, Dr. Rodriguez relentlessly strives to advocate and dismantle the systemic oppressive ideologies found within our everyday lives. 


Her research interests are centered on antiracist, social justice, and equity pedagogical methods, gender affirming hormone therapy, 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual) identities, combating religious and spiritual prejudice in healthcare settings, and innovative simulation-based education modalities to enhance cultural humility. 


She serves as Faculty & Assistant Dean of Simulation & Clinical Innovation at Yale School of Nursing, as well as an Affiliate Faculty for The Yale Institute for Global Health. Dr. Rodriguez has lectured, locally, nationally, and internationally regarding the importance of 2SLGBTQIA+ healthcare content within healthcare curricula, conducted numerous sensitivity trainings with clinical partners, and has developed simulation scenarios centered on meeting the healthcare needs of historically marginalized populations.

img_0011_2 (1).jpg

Small Title

Cory Haynes



Cory has been working with nonprofits for over 20 years. Cory is a graduate of Lindsey Wilson College with a Bachelors in Accounting and Masters in Business Administration. His accounting career began in for profit accounting companies, but then transitioned to the nonprofit world. Cory is proud of a career that embodies assisting others while serving in his chosen field. Most recently, Cory served as the Director of Finance and Operations for the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cory is currently

the Chief Financial Officer for JASMYN.


Haiden Baier, LCSW


Board Secretary

Campfire Convos Coordinator

Haiden is the board secretary and a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Florida who has been out as trans masculine for almost ten years. He has dedicated his time to working with the queer community, first working at the University of North Florida’s LGBTQ Center and currently at JASMYN in the Jacksonville area. 


Haiden has worked with queer folks his entire adult life and has a particular interest in assisting trans and gender non conforming young people live their lives as fully as they can. Haiden has been providing support for trans and gender nonconforming people since his college days where he helped start UNF’s Gender Inclusive Housing Experience for these folks to find a safe place to live on campus in 2015. His involvement with the LGBTQ Center at UNF started on day one of his undergraduate studies where he likes to say he walked in and never left, which he has now unfortunately since the devastating legislative sessions in Florida the past few years left the existence of the Center in jeopardy. 


Working at JASMYN in Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood, Haiden has connected even deeper with the queer community in Florida. Having attended rallies, protests, and celebrations of our shared queer experiences has only strengthened his resolve to improve the living and social conditions of the next generation of queer history.

Haiden Baier 450 (1).jpg

Nat Bartlett, RMHCI, NCC


Board Member at Large

Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator

Nat is a dedicated Mental Health Counselor who recently earned their master’s degree from Jacksonville University. With a year of experience at the University of North Florida's counseling center, Nat has a strong commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community.


Having previously enjoyed a career with Outward Bound, Nat possesses a wealth of outdoor knowledge and a deep appreciation for the transformative power of nature. They are passionate about integrating this expertise into their counseling practice to empower individuals through experiential learning.


In their role as the Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator at Transcending Adolescence, Nat is excited to combine their love for the outdoors with their counseling skills to provide meaningful experiences and support to transgender youth.


Jacob Hofheimer, RN


Recreation Director

Jacob is a transgender man who is a Bachelor's level trained recreation professional and outdoor educator with a deep passion for creating inclusivity in outdoor spaces. As his senior project at Cal Poly Humboldt in 2022, Jacob designed TA's Outdoor Adventure Program with the sole goal of creating an inclusive space for transgender youth to experience the great outdoors. Jacob has since stepped into the role of recreation director, allowing him to lend his years of summer camp and recreation expertise in the development of action-packed camp programs with new and exciting activities for our young people to experience each year.


Jacob also holds a unique medical skillset. In addition to being a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and trained Firefighter, Jacob is also a Registered Nurse and is currently pursuing his Master's of Science in Nursing at Yale University where he will graduate as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Jacob is also trained in FEMA's Emergency Incident Command Systems and has significant experience developing emergency contingency and risk management plans, ensuring our program participants are safe and having fun. In his role as a nurse, Jacob is spearheading TA’s comprehensive program analysis where he, along with other members of leadership, are continuously evaluating the mental health outcomes of our retreats, allowing us to adapt the program to meet the needs of our youth. 


Jacob hopes that the teens who join us will find community, support, and empowerment in an outdoor space created intentionally for them, by people like them.

Jacob Bio Pic.jpg

Connor Heibel


Lead Jr. Counselor (JC)

Connor is a teen entrepreneur who started his own business at the age of 14 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amelia Island Microgreens was created to provide people with an easy system for hands-on learning. Connor brings that same passion and commitment for empowering others at TA retreats and beyond. 


Having faced debilitating health challenges and anxiety throughout his life, Connor has a deep understanding of the isolation experienced by people who face disproportionate physical and mental health challenges. He’s proud to share his insight and self-developed coping skills with folx at TA. We cherish Connor’s innate ability to support campers and meet them where they are.


As a trans guy in Florida, he has personally experienced the recent laws being passed for trans kids in Florida. He believes that is why spaces like the ones created by TA are vital in helping TGNB youth become healthy, happy adults. 


Connor came to camp as a camper in 2022. That experience changed his life! He had gone to his school’s GSA for support and found that he was the only trans kid there. Later, he learned that most of his friends didn’t have any support beyond the GSA. Before he knew it, he found himself giving more support than he had the energy for. This left him drained, ashamed, and unable to support his friends in the way they needed. Through his experiences at TA, he gained support and learned that some of his friends had not been modeling healthy boundaries. At TA, Connor found other teens like himself who support each other through their challenges. Connor helps our campers build community year-round by co-hosting weekly movie and game nights on a private server. With the continued guidance of the staff at TA, the campers have a community they can continue to seek guidance from. 

Connor was honored to be invited to join TA’s leadership team as their first JC in 2023. He supported every aspect of the 2023 retreat. He’s proud to be an advocate for his peers and loves helping them in their journeys of growth and self-acceptance. As a member of the leadership team, Connor channels his entrepreneurial spirit to inspire the next generation with the same determination.

Connor Bio Photo.jpg

Alex Zimmer


Junior Counselor Coordinator

Alex is a full-time prevention, outreach and testing specialist at JASMYN. He serves the Jacksonville community as public health professional working to end the HIV epidemic and support individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Alex brings extensive experience in working with LGBTQ+ teens and young adults, drawing upon his own experience as a former JASMYN youth who utilized their support services.He holds a high school diploma from William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and is currently pursuing a degree at Florida State College at Jacksonville with the goal of becoming a social worker.Alex is dedicated to enhancing the lives of trans and nonbinary individuals, with a particular focus on promoting youth resiliency. In his leisure time, he enjoys attending drag shows, exploring the local nightlife, or relaxing with his favorite video games.

bottom of page