Meet the Team

Marion Taylor and Stashia Kaiel provide professional expertise in the research
and design of customized gap experiences for students of any age

Marion’s thirty years of social work background and twelve years of gap year consulting compliments Stashia’s twenty-five years of international education experience which includes as a study abroad advisor at Gonzaga University.

Marion Taylor - Gap Year Consultant
Marion Taylor

Stashia Kaiel
Stashia Kaiel

Each woman offers a different and unique set of rich personal gap experiences in advising gap year students. Marion draws from her own gap year in Grenoble, France, her 3 years in Peace Corps Senegal, West Africa, her parenting and advising of her four gap year children, and regular research and vetting of both domestic and international gap programs. Stashia’s expertise stems from her independent gap semester in Seville, Spain, her experience teaching English in Busan, South Korea, and advising numerous high school and college students and families on study abroad opportunities. Marion serves as a keynote speaker at USA Gap Fairs nationally and at colleges and high schools in the Rocky Mountain region. Stashia presents regularly at student and family pre-departure study abroad orientations as well as in local and regional high school classrooms in the Pacific Northwest and West Coast.

Marion Taylor

Born and raised in Colorado, Marion Taylor is married and the mother of four children all of whom grew from their own personal gap experiences. Her parenting perspective of four gap year children and 35 years of social work experience enrich Taylor The Gap’s planning services along with her own personal gap experiences over the course of her lifetime. While in the field, Marion intentionally vets gap programs to visit students and field staff during the programs and has been fully accredited by GYA in 2018. She was awarded the 2021 Advancing the Gap Year Movement award and served for two years as the Gap Year Consultant Ambassador of the Gap Year Association Board. In 2023 Marion continues to serve as co-chair of the GYA Membership Committee and planning committee member for the 2023 GYA annual conference .

Marion flanked her own college years with a gap year at the University of Grenoble, France, after high school, followed by three years in a rural development program with Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, after college. In 2015, Marion taught English to women in Tanzania and volunteered with women's co-ops in Rwanda. In addition, she has immersed herself in two different Spanish language programs in Antigua, Guatemala, and Cuenca, Ecuador. In the fall of 2018, Marion visited Batase village in Nepal, a region not only struck by the 2015 earthquake, but struggling to combat human trafficking as well. She subsequently participated in an adult gap program in the Sacred Valley of Peru in Spring 2019. She serves as Global Outreach Ambassador for a women's empowerment program called Street Business School based in Uganda, now reaching beyond Africa to Central America and Asia. All four of her children have participated in gap experiences with her eldest son having worked in Utah and Colorado and having completed a rigorous semester wilderness course in the Himalayas, India. Her eldest daughter volunteered as a pre-school assistant in a township outside Cape Town, South Africa, and traveled independently in East Africa, while her younger daughter interned post-grad for both a public defender's office in Washington DC and a human rights lawyer in Cape Town, SA. She then wrapped up her gap year by participating in an intensive Spanish immersion program in Cusco, Peru, all before completing her law degree. Her youngest son spent a semester abroad traveling to 12 countries while studying in Greece and completed a Coro Fellowship post-grad in San Francisco. He is currently in law school.

Marion Taylor
Marion Taylor, Owner and Founder of Taylor The Gap, in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa in 1979 and visiting her village again in 2012.
Volunteering with women's co-ops in Rwanda in 2015.


GYA Accredited Gap Year Advisor, Owner and Founder: Taylor The Gap LLC 2011-23
Program Director: There With Care 2008-10
Customer Relations: Momentum Fair Trade 2007-08
Program Officer: Colorado Trust Foundation 1987-93
Program Coordinator: Battered Women’s Shelter 1984-87
Colorado Alumnae Director: Peace Corps 1982-83
Volunteer and Regional Leader: Peace Corps
Senegal, West Africa 1979-82


Speaker’s Playground Training 2019
Leadership Denver, Denver Chamber of Commerce, 1990
Masters in Social Work, University of Denver, 1988
The Fundraising School Grantsmanship Center, San Francisco, CA 1987
Non-Profit Management Program, Regis University, 1983
Bachelors of Arts, Middlebury College, 1979, Cum Laude
German Language School, Middlebury College, 1977
American Institute of Foreign Study, University of Grenoble, France, 1974-75

Civic Involvement:

Gap Year Association Board of Directors 2018-2020,
Current GYA Co-Chair Membership Committee, Fair Trade Learning and GYA annual conference planning committees
Global Outreach Ambassador for Women’s Street Business School 2015-present
The Women’s Global Empowerment Fund Board 2010-12
Colorado African Organization Volunteer 2010-12
The Friends School Board 2002-08
Boulder County AIDS Project Board 1995-01
The Community Foundation of Boulder County Board 1995-98
Disbursement Committee for Mayor’s Office on HIV Resources 1994
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado 1994
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Board 1986-87


2021 GYA Advancing the Gap Year Movement Award recipient
Gap Year Advisor Accreditation-Gap Year Association 2018
Richard Petterson Award “Most Valuable Board Member”: Boulder County AIDS Project 2000
Distinguished Service Award: Colorado Domestic Violence Coalition 1987
Honorable Mention For Fundraising: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer 2006
Denver Marathon 1984 and 1986


West, East, and South Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Canada, Nepal, and Western Europe


Fluency in French and Diola; proficiency in Spanish and German

Stashia Kaiel

Stashia was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. Her Spanish high school classroom experiences inspired her to continue learning Spanish and about other cultures. Stashia planned on taking a gap year in a Spanish speaking country after she graduated from high school, but due to the uncertainty of her safety and options as well as the lack of quality guidance, her gap year plans fell through and she hastily chose a university to attend. Her first year of college was full of unnecessary challenges with an immense feeling that she was not attending a school that was the best fit.

Stashia ended up transferring to a better fit university the following year and it was at this university during her junior year of college where she was able to study abroad in an independent customizable program in Spain. This ‘gap semester’ Stashia experienced in college changed her life and from then on she has been involved in international education. Currently, Stashia is the Senior Study Abroad Advisor at Gonzaga University and enjoys guiding and supporting college students planning to study abroad. She is also the founder of GlobalLife Education Consulting providing access to educational opportunities and resources to high school and college students from all over the world. She is dedicated to giving back to students and families the necessary post-secondary guidance that is greatly needed for the transition from high school to college.

Stashia has lived in two countries outside of the U.S. - South Korea and Spain. She has also traveled for leisure and work to a total of 18 countries within three different continents. Stashia has a husband who is an avid soccer player and fan. She has two daughters with one currently attending college and the other in high school.

Stashia Kaiel - Gap Year Advisor
Stashia in 1994 during gap semester in Spain with her apartment roommates making tortilla de patata for the first time; Stashia travelling through Europe for one month during the summer of 1994; and Stashia having dinner with her English teaching colleague and family in Busan, South Korea in 1997.

Stashia received her Bachelor’s in Education with a minor in Spanish from Eastern Washington University and recently completed her Master of Arts degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University. In the past twenty-five years, Stashia has worked in a variety of international educational settings including, but not limited to:

  • Resident Assistant for Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute for Japanese students in Spokane
  • Native English Teacher for Korean Government Program (EPIK) in South Korea
  • English Language Learner (ELL) teacher for K-6 public school in Portland, Oregon
  • Bilingual classroom teacher for Migrant Education Summer Program in Multnomah County, Oregon
  • Volunteer and Info Center representative for education abroad program American Field Service (AFS)
  • International Admission representative for Gonzaga University