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Justin came to Warren Wilson for the community, the Triad and the experiential learning opportunities. He graduated with an Integrated Studies degree and the title of his project was Service Promoting Health and Happiness. While at Warren Wilson, he completed over 2,000 hours of community service.
"I came to WWC to study experiential education and outdoor leadership. I had been doing service work with Conscious Alliance before I came to Warren Wilson. I did two independent studies a semester. From there I joined the non-profit out of college and started running it."
After graduation, he joined Justin Baker at Conscious Alliance for a semester-long internship which turned into the career he has now. He currently helps run Conscious Alliance, a non-profit that works for hunger relief on Indian reservations and also promotes work with cultural campus and language schools, which is run by Native Americans to promote their culture. Since starting in 2002, Conscious Alliance has successfully collected and distributed over 1,000,000 pounds of non-perishable food donations to local food pantries and impoverished communities. They also built a food storage and distribution facility on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which is kept stocked at all times.
Most recently Justin taught a semester long class of 20 students at the University of Colorado called Hunger in America and Abroad, which has a service learning component. Students wrote grant proposals, funding request letters, marketing plans and operations manuals for local nonprofit groups including Conscious Alliance, Growing Gardens and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. The goal of the class was not only to teach students about writing and hunger but also to create hands-on, meaningful experiences. They also brought in Native American speakers from Pine Ridge for the class.
Justin says there is a very direct connection between what he learned at Warren Wilson and what he does now. He took Program Planning with Marty O’Keefe and that’s where he designed the whole service learning program that he now runs for students.
He also travels all over the country speaking to student groups and doing fundraising.