Meet Donna: Chef, Artist, & Outward Bound CR Instructor

Edited & Written By: Maia Seals and Brynna Rao

Our talented staff and instructors come from all around the globe and strive to make each student experience valuable and inspiring. Each group that journeys with us brings a new dynamic, which not only helps students learn about who they are, but helps teach instructors more about themselves. Donna has been an instructor with Outward Bound Costa Rica for almost 10 years and still loves every aspect of being a part of the team and part of our family.

Donna’s spirit is that of a Mountain Lion. She is fiercely protective, loyal, and finds solace and peace roaming through nature. She gives the best hugs and is full of energy. It’s always a sweet surprise when we hear a tap-tap-tap at our door, and find Donna smiling with a pan of freshly baked scones on a Sunday morning. We love Donna. She makes everyone feel at home, away from home. Here is her story:

unnamed (1)What is your full name?Donna climbing
Donna Gaye White

Where are you from? What’s your hometown?
New Bern, North Carolina

What brought you to Outward Bound?
I decided it was time to redesign my life the way I wanted it to be. I had always wanted to take an Outward Bound course, but it never seemed to be the right time. I decided at 49 it was the right time.


What is your favorite part about being an instructor?
Being able to make a difference in my student’s lives. I feel I do this by leading by example, because the joy that comes from living the life you want is contagious and it encourages those around you that anything is possible. I also believe that sometimes we don’t see all that is within us, and I like to help open my students eyes to see how amazing they are as well as all the potential they have within them.

Where is your favorite place that you’ve been while being an instructor?
I enjoy all of the places we visit, but I love being in the indigenous reserves in the Talamanca Region. Sharing time and working alongside the natives of these places gives me a sense of peace and harmony.

What do you like doing in your free time?Donna and student
I enjoy exploring, hiking into the areas we visit with students. It is a different experience in the role as an instructor. I like to make jewelry; some with stones I find during my hikes. I like to paint, read, and last but not least… cook. I love being in the kitchen; it is my favorite room in a house. I like cooking, baking, coming up with new flavors of ice cream and then trying them out on my friends.

What’s your favorite thing to paint?
I like to paint landscapes and water—rivers and oceans.

What’s your favorite thing to cook?
I don’t think I have a favorite- I love food! But if I had to choose… pizza, because it is fun, creative, and usually a group effort which makes it even more fun! I also love the flavors in Pad Thai… it’s like a party in your mouth!


Meet Donna on Course with Us

Each of our instructors bring a skilled and unique personality to each course we offer. Join us for a semester abroad, week-long expedition, or a custom group course to meet them.


Submit an inquiry below or contact our Enrollment Manager at 800-676-2018 or emailing