Support Team USA in NIC 2.0 (Dominica)

"She who has the will to win, cannot be beaten"

The Nature Island Challenge is our first major competition as a team. We are here to represent TEAM USA and women everywhere! As the only women competing in the challenge, we have set strong personal and team goals. As we strengthen ourselves we are greatly concerned with the health and well-being of women worldwide. Therefore, we will be using this platform to raise global awareness of human trafficking. Our TEAM GOAL of 1,500USD includes the race entry fee and team costs. Please consider making a donation! Funds exceeding our goal will be dedicated to our chosen organization; Exodus Cry. 

The Nature Island Challenge 2.0  (NIC 2.0) is held in Dominica, an island of the West Indies on April 7 "“ 11, 2014. This endurance challenge will cover nearly 50 miles of the Waitukibuli National Trail. Each day the race will cover 10-15 miles of trail and include several cultural challenges. During the first NIC (2013), participants had to learn traditional dance, craftsmanship, and fishing techniques.

The NIC 2.0 will test of our mental and physical stamina. Check out the link below to view what participants of NIC (2013) endured.

Dominica is our temporary home. Each of us traveled here to support our husbands, fiancés, and boyfriends who are attending Ross University School of Medicine. As members of the Ross Spouse Organization, we engage ourselves in outreach programs within the local Dominican and Ross communities.

Exodus Cry is an international organization that is committed to aid in the abolishment of sex trafficking through prevention, intervention, and restoration. Trafficking occurs on a global scale, generating almost 32 billion USD per year. It is estimated that 21 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide and 98% of victims are women and young girls.

What Is Human Trafficking? 


Sarah D'Alessandro, Captain
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Age: 30

I am an artist, avid hiker, runner, and nature lover. I recently completed my Masters of Arts in Arts Management, married my best friend, and temporarily moved out of the country! Phew! Those challenges surmounted, I found The Nature Island Challenge and couldn't say no. I am stoked to have found other women who are willing to take this on with me and get dirty. The Nature Island Challenge presents the perfect combination of adventure, physical challenge, and cultural exploration and my goals are to soak up each of those with all of my being. I look forward to the sweat, dirt, meeting fellow racers, and the laughs that are inevitable. I am so stoked to get to know this wonderful island in such a unique way!
Tara Jorski
Hometown: Harrah, Oklahoma
Age: 28

I am a graduate of Oklahoma State Univeristy with degrees in Zoology and Biological Sciences. I enjoy art, music, playing soccer, hiking, running, and traveling. Physical fitness is a beautiful and empowering thing to be a part of. I enjoy witnessing individuals pushing themselves and exceeding limits they never thought they could reach. The Nature Island Challenge is a perfect opportunity for me to set new personal goals and to experience the vibrant culture of Dominica. I have lived in Dominica for over a year and have fallen in love with its incredible beauty, unique natural settings, and can not wait for this new adventure! I look forward to working with my team to make this an amazing experience that we can cherish for a lifetime!
Madeline Pletta
Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota
Age: 26

I am avid outdoorsmen, hunter, and hiker. I graduated from Bemidji State University with degree in Wetland Ecology. I then proceeded to continue my education and earn a Master's of Science from Missouri State University. Physical fitness has always been important to me. I participated in intercollegiate soccer at Bemidji State University and recently continued my passion for fitness at Crossfit Provision in Springfield, Missouri. Now training for the Nature Island Challenge, I realized that I am privileged to have been given the opportunity to compete alongside other women athletes. I believe that with perseverance and dedication, that we can motivate one another and influence the younger generation.
Mercedes French
Hometown: Chone, Ecuador
Age: 27

I graduated from Law School at UEES (Guayaquil-Ecuador) and completed the last year of my BA in Economics at Kansai Gaida (Osaka-Japan). Two years later, I obtained a Master's Degree in International Business Law from Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Currently, I am pursuing a Master in American Law from Florida Coastal School of Law (Jacksonville, Florida). I also speak 4 different languages (currently taking French). Three years ago, I became a Zumba instructor and submerged myself in the fitness world. I taught Zumba and boot camp in 7 countries across the world. FITNESS, LANGUAGES, CULTURE AND TRADITIONS have been my life for the last 6 years. The Nature Island Challenge is giving us the opportunity to find those roots, be submerged in nature, and become part of Dominican history. My biggest motivation is seeing how others overcome their obstacles and reach further to achieve their goals. This is US: We are here to MAKE HISTORY and REACH OUR GOALS!
Jennifer Manly
Age: 34

I was raised a true army brat having lived 8 different places by the age of 12, to later proudly serve in the United States Air Force. Home has always been where the heart is for me. I am a wife and mother of 5. I worked as a paramedic in Colorado Springs, CO for 10 years. I enjoy living life to the fullest, running, swimming, camping, skiing, hiking, rock climbing, you name it! My goal is to be an inspiration to my children teaching them the power to overcome obstacles and to always push themselves.


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