Hi! My name is Julie and I currently work as the Food Security Coordinator for Next Course: Food Recovery Network at Drake. I am a double major in Sustainability & Resilience and Rhetoric, Media, & Social Change with a minor in Sociology and am both passionate about Next Course and see it as an intersection of my two major areas of study.
Next Course recovers excess food from Drake’s campus that would otherwise be thrown away, and donates it to one of five local partner agencies on a rotating triweekly basis. When I first started my position, I was encouraged to visit and get to know the people and mission behind each of our partner agencies. This led me to schedule tours at Central Iowa Shelter and Services (CISS) and YMCA Supportive Housing Campus. Touring both of these local charitable organizations alongside other Drake students allowed me to see the complex and immense effort of local individuals to help, support, and enable people in need. The tour at CISS revealed all the services that are provided there beyond meals, such as job application workshops, a hydroponic garden, and Veterans Assistance apartments. I was utterly inspired by the psychological and sociological considerations put in by CISS faculty to address local issues. Working for Next Course has not only broadened my perspective about Des Moines, but also lead me to new considerations about my future career path.