Youth are part of the solution. That principle is at the root of Cultivating Community’s youth development work. Teens in our leadership programs grow food and distribute it to people in need; develop job skills; and speak in their own voices while making a difference in the community. All of our internships pay a stipend to youth for their participation.
Cultivating Community offers internships year-round for high school students:
- Youth Growers (summer)
- Culinary Crew (fall)
- Food Warriors (school year)
- Youth Leadership Intensive (winter)
- GROW Internships (spring and summer)
- Alumni (staying involved)
We also work in schools to build gardens and teach food and gardening classes to elementary students, and train teachers to incorporate food education into their curriculum.
Rooted In Community
“The trip to New York over these past three days has been so great. Primarily because it was my first time actually getting to explore New York and the different boroughs. I enjoyed getting to meet the other teenagers from Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey. I also had a great time being able to present all the hard work I’ve been doing to others in the workshop. I loved how diverse Brooklyn was and particularly the East New York farm program. Everyone there was very nice and welcoming. I loved how much of a strong farm community they had and their sprit and energy. One thing that surprised me was how many organic markets where they sold vegetables and fruits Brooklyn had because, coming from Maine, and hearing of somewhere like New York, I’d think there’d be more fast food chains and big box stores around, but it shocked me how many local organic markets they had in neighborhoods that aren’t in the best condition. It’d be nice if Maine was like that, too!” —Maryan Isack, 2014
RIC is a national grassroots network that empowers young people to take leadership in their own communities. We built community gardens, learned about other youth food justice projects around the region and the country, and soaked up the ideas and energy of a diverse and dynamic group. In 2009, Cultivating Community co-hosted RIC.
To learn more about Rooted in Community, click here.
In 2012, we hosted a fantastic MECA student who captured the photos, recipes, and stories from our Youth Growers summer program. The result is a beautifully designed Youth Cookbook with loads of seasonal recipes, colorful photos, and useful kitchen information.
Youth Education Resources
We work with schools and youth-serving organizations to create school-day and after-school garden programs that are high-impact, hands-on, and fun! Students dig in with seeds, seedlings, and garden work and are challenged to think critically about issues of social and environmental justice, self-sufficiency, and ecological sustainability.
Some great curricular resources (click on each title to access these resources):