Born and raised in Durango and its surrounding areas, Kalen has called Colorado and the American Southwest home for over three decades. Having graduated high school in his hometown, he yearned for a change of pace and enrolled at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism in 2013. A full decade later, he is now pursuing a Master of Arts in counseling psychology with a concentration in wilderness therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO, and is on track to graduate in spring 2024.
Throughout his life, Kalen has amassed an eclectic work record outdoors, including having grown up on a fourth-generation family farm not far from the Open Sky field area. In addition to laboring on his family's alfalfa farm in Colorado, he also worked on a cactus nursery in Arizona, a tomato farm in California, and for a wholesale flower retailer in Utah. While in California, he spent time as an AmeriCorps service member planting trees across Silicon Valley to help combat ongoing and widespread development in the tech industry. Aside from working closely with plants, Kalen has spent time laboring in kitchens, delivering parcels, sports writing, mowing lawns, and driving trucks. In the last few years, he has dedicated his life to the mental health industry, having worked at two teen treatment centers and a psych ward on Colorado's Front Range.
As a result of myriad health challenges faced and overcome in his own life, Kalen has learned to greatly value holistic ways of healing as well as steadfast principles that accompany the integration of these difficult life circumstances. These values include grit, fortitude, mindfulness, responsibility, humility, critical thinking, connection, humor, spirituality, somatic intelligence, and a healthy diet, all of which are core aspects of Open Sky programming. Having seen firsthand the results of these tenets, Kalen is honored to be part of a program that not only creates local jobs but changes lives forever by implementing the practices necessary to achieve sustainable and robust health outcomes mentally, physically, and emotionally.
When not at work, Kalen loves to spend time with his dog hiking, discovering new (and old) music, exercising, reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. Kalen is also a lifelong Denver Nuggets fan.