Urban Roots uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community. Founded in 2007 as a program of YouthLaunch, Urban Roots has transitioned to become an independent non-profit agency in the fall of 2011.
Urban Roots provides paid internships to Austin youth, age 14-17, to work on our 3.5 acre urban sustainable farm in East Austin. Each year, we have a goal of growing 25,000 pounds of produce with the Urban Roots community of youth, community volunteers, and staff. We donate 40% of our harvest to local soup kitchens and food pantries and sell the other 60% at farmers’ markets, through our Community Supported Agriculture Program, and wholesale.
During the 25 week spring and summer youth program, youth Interns develop essential life and job skills while growing food for the Austin community. Each fall we hire 24 youth Farm Interns, three youth Assistant Crew Leaders, and three youth Agriculture Interns to work with us for the upcoming program year. Additionally, youth Interns receive variety of workshops on sustainable agriculture, healthy lifestyles, life and job skills, and food justice issues, including hands-on service at hunger relief organizations. Through our dynamic and holistic program, Urban Roots youth Interns grow into some of Austin’s youngest leaders, advocating for a sustainable and healthy food system for all.
The Guiding Principles of Urban Roots:
1. We provide a High Quality, Transformational Experience for youth and community members.
2. We celebrate “Rigor” and Meaningful, Hard Work.
3. We build Strong Relationships.
4. We cultivate Intentionality in our work.
5. We engage our work with a Spirit of Celebration and Joy.
6. We Honor and Respect Diversity.