Dan Adamek, a second year student at Middlebury College, is a student leader invested in the issue of access to safe housing as a basic human right. Dan is a valued volunteer, service coordinator, and Board Member of John Graham Housing & Services where he offers a calm and empathetic presence while helping low-income individuals and families attain safe housing. Dan also worked to raise awareness about homelessness in Vermont by supporting a Sleep-Out to End Homelessness, which raised over $35,000 in funds. Moving beyond direct volunteer service, Dan is working to educate himself and others about the root causes of homelessness while also searching for mechanisms to creating lasting positive social change. Dan also is an active participant and leader in the Middlebury Alternative Break Trips program and is currently serving as a member of Middlebury College Center for Social Entrepreneurships's inaugural Changemaker Class.
Justice has always been a concept that fascinated me. When I was a first-year at Middlebury, I had the opportunity to join a service trip that worked with an NGO in Puerto Rico teaching sexual education to recently incarcerated women. When I returned, I began a summer internship at John Graham Housing & Services. Through my internship, I was able help homeless individuals and families become self-sufficient through our emergency shelter, transitional housing and outreach. Soon after my summer internship ended, I was offered a position there as a service coordinator as well as a spot on the board of directors. As a service coordinator, I am able to work in solidarity with low-income people struggling with issues such as addiction and mental illness to get them to a point where they can move into permanent, safe housing. As a board member, I helped organize our Sleep-out to End Homelessness where 100 people slept outside on a cold December night raising over $35,000 for JGHS. My work has inspired me to lead an alternative break trip this semester entitled Exploring Privilege and Poverty in Our Nation's Capital to create other leaders in the fight for economic justice.