Justin Stokes, 36, is from Indianola, Iowa — a city with a population of approximately 15,000. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Grand View University in De Moines, and

later a doctorate degree in chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa – graduating summa cum laude. Having spent his educational career in the Midwest, he made an unexpected move to Colorado.

“I was visiting one of my best friends who was living in Denver with his wife. I got bored one day while they were at work, and I started interviewing for associate jobs at chiropractic offices, and I got one … and I just never went back to Iowa. [Over time], I got restless and I started looking for different opportunities and 100% Chiropractic had a franchise opportunity open — to work in a place with the option to own it. It appealed to me. I moved [to Colorado Springs], and I dived into the community,” said Stokes.

Who are your clients?

Families [here] get their kids out moving. It’s awesome. People really focus on their health here. So, we have a lot of kids come in — families who want to stay healthy from birth until 90. A lot of research is starting to show that the neurology of the spine influences your cognitive abilities — the better the biomechanics of the spine, the better the cognitive ability is.

How did you choose chiropractic?

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I started school at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. I was taking a lot of powerful medications for back pain, headaches and stomach issues. I was losing a lot of weight because I couldn’t keep food down. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t study and I was really depressed. I dropped out of school and went back to my hometown. I visited my family doctor because I had run out of Vicodin, and he [refused] to give it to me. He sent me over to the chiropractor who explained to me the physiology of the nervous system. [I got adjusted] and the headaches went away, and I was able to put weight back on. I wasn’t getting sick every morning, and I wasn’t in pain. I was able to get off all the medications. I got my life back together … finished my degree, and chiropractic school just made sense to me.

What do you like about working in Colorado Springs?

People [here] respond to genuine people. With my business, there’s an aspect of sales, and I’ve never really been comfortable with that. But my dad sold generators, and I watched him, and his philosophy was always, “I’m going to be upfront … and I’m going to be truthful, and then they can make the decision.”

What do you think Colorado Springs should do to retain young professionals?

Each neighborhood has great things to offer, and I’d like to see the city connected together more through biking and walking paths. There are definitely challenges with the infrastructure that’s already in place, but I know they’re working on it.

The other thing is having more young people on our community boards and commissions. The more you’re active and engaged, the more you learn and fall in love with the community.

In what ways are you involved in the community?

I’m on the OWN board, the Organization of Westside Neighbors. We are basically neighborhood advocates. There are a lot of differing opinions, but we have a good mix of ages, 70 to 30. It can get a little contentious at times, with different ideas, but everyone learns more about different perspectives, which is awesome.

I do the Hope & Home toy drive for local foster kids every year. The first year we did it, they listed specific things that kids wanted, and one 16-year-old wanted Nike basketball socks. It’s those little things. … That’s why I love that organization.

I’m going to join Honest Accurate [Auto Service] in the Bob Telmosse’ Christmas bicycle giveaway. Our mechanic does it, Jesse Schillinger. Jesse and Randy Schillinger are great people. I also volunteered on their committee to give out two cars to families in the community who need a car. They do it every year. They give back so much to the community, and that’s what I strive to do.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about helping people stay healthy. I’m passionate about people who come in with a goal that they want to [achieve] and helping people hit that. That gets me really excited.

What advice would you give young professionals in Colorado Springs?

Get involved in the community. Find your niche. Find what you are passionate about and dive into it, because then you’re going to find your tribe.