Community garden program teaches life and career skills to homeless teens

Youth gardening program teaches life skills to homeless teens
[image credit: Seattle Tilth]

Homeless teens get left behind while others are learning key life skills

The teenage years are an especially cruel time to be homeless. While other youth are getting jobs and learning to cope with the demands of education and a future career, at-risk teens are busy surviving. They often exit this formative stage in their lives even further behind than when they started.

Solution: Give jobs and training to at-risk youth by hiring them to run community gardens

While it sounds more like a hobby, gardening can be an incredibly rewarding vocational experience. The Seattle Youth Garden Works project employs homeless and at-risk youth in managing community gardens around the city. Participants split their time between farm work and the classroom, learninig life skills as they plan, grow, harvest, and market the produce while managing teams of volunteers. Experienced youth mentors provide guidance along the way, and various farm stands scattered throughout the city provide a venue for the business side of the program.

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Category: EmploymentHousingHunger

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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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