Howdy y’all! My name is Daniel Bascuñán-Wiley, and I am beyond excited to be joining the Benevolence farm team this year as the Administrative Assistant. I am currently a senior at Elon University and am majoring in Human Service Studies with minors in Poverty and Social Justice and Latin American Studies. One of my goals when arriving to campus a few years ago was to get off of campus. As funny as that seems, I grew up in Raleigh, NC and have been connected to my state my whole life, so I knew that breaking out of the Elon University bubble and setting new roots down in Alamance County would be fundamental to my time in college. I was able to do that and got my first taste of what it means to work in a tight-knit community while working at Alamance Citizens for Education.
ACE is a small nonprofit whose mission is to support public education in Alamance County. There, I learned about the power that community members have in supporting their own. I also learned about the challenges and obstacles that are ever-present for smaller, local organizations. And, most importantly, I learned that there are people in Alamance who are doing the work and who are committed to building an equitable and just county. I feel as though my roots are firmly planted, and, as a result, my current plan is to stay in the area after graduation to continue working with the wonderful people who I have met.
My past few years being involved in community organizing make me all the more excited to begin working at Benevolence Farm. The organization first showed up on my radar when friends of mine shared an Instagram post by them. From there, I learned about the work that they are doing and the connections that they have created on a local and state-wide level. I feel lucky to join a team that I have looked up to in the past. Justice reform, at all levels and stages in the process, is something that I have been passionate about for most of my life. I hope to learn and grow during my time at Benevolence Farm and to support their mission of cultivating leadership, promoting sustainable livelihoods, and reaping structural change with individuals impacted by the criminal justice system in North Carolina. As the Administrative Assistant, I will be wearing many hats and helping out the team as best I can to achieve that mission. I eager to see what adventures are in store for this next year!