High Desert Center

Gap year programs in Colorado for young adults seeking adventure, leadership skills, community, and a sense of purpose.

About the Director

Dev Carey

Dev Carey

Dev Carey directs the High Desert Center and all Gap Year program. From his website:

I like adventure. I like the kind of learning that changes who we are and how we see the world. I like trying to outcrazy the many young adults who often share my house. I like exploring the uncomfortable and finding beauty there. I like rooms full of people who don’t think they agree. I like standing on the shoulder of a highway with my thumb in the air and waking up with raindrops bouncing off my face. I like knowing how to feel full on an empty stomach.

Early on, I discovered that I was happy outside and that led me to photographing birds and studying bugs. I earned a Ph.D. in ecology and had fun doing it. Later, I discovered that while chasing butterflies made me happy, education made me passionate, and I’ve been sharing adventures with young people ever since. Some of those adventures have been in traditional classrooms, but mostly we’ve been outside in the world figuring out how to lead a life full of meaningful, wonderful moments.

Currently I live with family in a home-made, off-the grid house on co-owned land. Life is full of community potlucks, dances, relationships, gap year adventures and projects. It feels good. My time is my own; an adventure is always in the offing; and I often am surprised.

Learn more about Dev, read his online book about education, and watch his TEDx talk (below).