Drew Watson ’13 loves dirt. After graduating from college in the spring of 2017, he will take this love of the earth to rural Colorado and share it with kids. Drew has signed with AmeriCorps and will be working with the Montezuma School to Farm Project in Mancos, located in southwest Colorado, a statutory town with a population of 1300.
While studying environmental policy at St. Lawrence University in rural upstate New York, Drew worked on a farm in Canton, NY. On campus, he lived in an environmental house that fed 80 college kids each week in a farm-to-table format. Upon finding his passion of working with agriculture, Drew decided the next chapter of his life would be sharing that passion with others and educating the next generation.
In Colorado, Drew will primarily be working with pre-K to junior high schoolers, educating them on gardening at school and at home. He will also be writing grants for new gardens at the schools, and will be in charge of maintaining the agricultural inventory and property where the gardens are grown. Drew summed up his emotions about moving from Madison, CT to rural Colorado: “I am excited about this opportunity because no matter what happens, I am doing something I love.”
While Drew is a bit nervous about working with kids on such a large scale for the first time, he is excited for the growth he will have in this new position. He will be attending education fairs, using the writing skills learned at Williams to write grants to support the programs he is implementing, using the Spanish learned here with the migrant population that lives in the area, and furthering his education in agriculture.
When Drew completes the year for AmeriCorps, his students will have learned self-sufficiency, understand the importance of growing one’s own food, and the role they play in sustaining a planet that provides that food for them. Last year, the kids at Manco were able to visit the White House after Michelle Obama learned about the programs their school implemented, which Drew will continue.
What does Drew see happening after this year in Mancos? “I could do another year in AmeriCorps, or I could go to grad school to get a Master’s in Public Policy. I don’t know, but I am just excited I am doing something that I started in college, and have been volunteering during my free time in Canton. I also know I have a leg up for a government job in the future.” But for now, Drew Watson is going to share his love of dirt with the next generation.