Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Finding Your Happy Place

The United World College (UWC) is an international High School where students from 95 different countries around the world attend for their junior and senior years of Highschool. UWC strives to teach students to be change makers in their communities, from local, national and international levels. Apart from normal classes like math, and science there are other interesting programs like the wilderness adventure expeditions students can partake in. As well as EXPR classes like farm and forestry crew. Overall their goal is to give students great opportunities to work within their community and gain new experiences both on and off campus. 


The Agroecology research center is the school’s farm, where I have worked for the past month alongside Amelia, Adrian, Ben and Rocio. Its main goal is to create a sustainable living space for students and faculty.  Apart from sustainability, the farm is also used as a learning center. Ben is the science teacher. He teaches many classes on the farm, the most recent was the BioBlitz. This is a project where students will help identify plants, insects and birds. They keep track of their findings and collect all the data and at the end of the day they enter all the information into a database. There is also farm and forestry crew, students volunteer time for school credit. They help with any work needed on the farm and around campus. With students helping work on the farm it creates an outdoor space full of fun and laughter and learning. 

To keep campus as sustainable as possible, the compost program was created. The compost is one of the most important aspects of the farm. The compost gives needed nutrients to the soil which promotes plant growth and microbial growth. Every Tuesday and Friday we will collect the bins from around campus and the dining hall and take them back to the farm. We pour the food waste into the compost pile where we will mix and add water to promote decomposition.  All the plants that are grown on the farm go to the dining hall, and all food waste from the dining hall goes back to the compost, saving money and the environment at the same time. My favorite part of the farm is their initiative to create a sustainable environment, and give back to the school and community. It isn’t rare to have townspeople come and visit the farm or help out every once in a while. This creates an amazing outdoors community space for everyone to enjoy.

 There is always something to do on the farm, my main job is to keep up with day to day farm operations such as compost, harvesting, chicken care and any other projects that come up. My main project on the farm has been to raise baby chicks from eggs. I started on April 16th where I put the eggs from the farm into an incubator. I waited for 21 days till the eggs were ready to hatch. The experience of raising these chicks felt like a roller coaster of anxiety and anticipation. There were points where I convinced myself that none were going to hatch and I was doing everything wrong. I am glad to say that the farm is now home to 12 new baby chickens. 

My time here at UWC in Montezuma New Mexico has taught me so much. Both professionally and personally. It taught me that a job can make you incredibly happy and doesn’t have to produce mental burnout. You can enjoy what you are doing and be proud of the work you have accomplished. Here, within the growing of lettuce and strawberries, the tomatoes and chickens, I feel like I have found my happy place. From going rock climbing, biking and swimming on wilderness expeditions to weeding and fixing the high tunnel. It has built a foundation for what I want to do with my life and has inspired me to think about creating my own little farm in the future. 

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