One of Growing Food and Sustainability’s core goals is to train and inspire a new generation of youth leaders to create their own solutions to the world’s challenges. Our Indiegogo campaign is focused on raising money for stipends so that we can train youth through our summer internship program. Last summer, two local college students participated in our internship. This summer, we plan to select five interns to participate in this leadership development experience. Interns learn through peer-lead trainings as well as by taking an active, hands-on role in our organization. They learn how to plan curriculum for the summer garden camp, serve as camp counselors, workshop leaders, and meeting facilitators, coordinate community workdays, harvest days, the weekly compost pick-up, and the weekly produce delivery, and will learn green entrepreneurship skills by helping to run our farmers’ market stand. Our goal is to make sure that every graduate of our internship program leaves with the skills and knowledge to start an initiative of their own.
Though our experience has proven that young people of all ages do care about current social and environmental issues, we realize that summer jobs must often take precedence over unpaid programs. By providing stipends to interns, we will make sure that these opportunities for enrichment and growth are available to all. Through our model of peer-to-peer training and collaboration, we believe that summer interns will develop leadership and organizational skills that will prepare them for the future as much or more as any summer job. Continue reading