avatar for Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird

Program Manager
Nine Mile Falls, WA
Ben has been working in the Youth Development field for the past 18 years and has experience working with and for a wide range of organizations and programs. Before joining SOWA, Ben was the Assistant Manager of Youth Development at West Central Community Center serving under-represented youth and families in the West Central and Emmerson-Garfield neighborhoods of Spokane. Raised in Spokane, Ben grew a love for the outdoors. This passion fueled his approach to youth work, believing that our natural and wild places can be utilized to greatly impact the hearts and minds of young people, and led him to create The Outdoor & Wilderness Learning School (OWLS), a top Washington State - No Child Left Inside grantee in 2016-2017, that teaches self-reliance and positive life skills to children and teens by using outdoor experiences as a catalyst for learning.

Ben is a certified Peer Assistance and Leadership (PAL) instructor with the Workers Assistance Program out of Austin, TX; a mentor with The Mayfly Project, a National organization that uses fly fishing at a relational tool to improve outcomes for youth in the foster system; and an Ad Hoc Educator at The Community School, a project based high school in the Spokane Public Schools system, where he facilitates the Leadership and Peer Engagement activities.