Behind the Scenes: Food and Leadership Fellowship
Nichole is a FLF alumna and currently is working as a Crew Leader for the High School Farm Internship Program! Here is a little on her experience being a part of the Food and Leadership Fellowship:
What did you find most valuable about your experience with the Food and Leadership Fellowship?
The Food and Leadership Fellowship gave me a safe space to ask questions, have discussions and develop my leadership style in relation to food and social justice. I gained experience working in the community, learning about sustainable agriculture and our local food system here in Austin. I left the Fellowship ready to engage my community and be a better leader for change.
How did this fellowship inform the work you want to engage with in the future?
I went into the Fellowship wanting to learn more about sustainable agriculture but came out with a passion for youth development. Working directly with youth on the farm has given me the chance to grow as a leader and further my skills as a mentor. Watching youth grow as individuals and leaders on the farm makes me happier than I ever though possible.
Do you think this fellowship shifted or changed your life path in any way?
YES! Having gone to business school and befriended artists while living in NYC, I was never around people who were passionate about social justice. The Food and Leadership Fellowship gave me the space to explore those topics with people who were also interested and were at times far more knowledgable. Learning from the Urban Roots staff and my the other Fellows gave me the opportunity to develop my own sense of direction and the support to follow through with my passions.
What advice would you give to future fellows?
Don’t be afraid to grow. Step out of your comfort zone. Be awkward and lean into situations that make you uncomfortable. Have the conversations you’ve been wanting to discuss but have been too afraid to address. Fail, embarrass yourself, fall down – and then get back up and learn from it.