Applications for our fall 2018 Food & Leadership Fellowship are open through September 18th! This is a paid fellowship for 17-23 year olds interested in growing fresh food, serving the community, and developing leadership skills. Check out the link below for more information about the fellowship and applying!

Apply today!


Okra King here.

I am so blessed to have the chance in my life time to have been a part of this unique and rare organization. Being part of Urban Roots has created for me the foundation on which my adult life is being built. I have learned the skills of money management, public speaking, and confidence. I have made amazing memories. And I am excited to see and experience the growth of Urban Roots to new levels!

Let’s celebrate another 100 decades of Urban Roots!

Love,

Nithin
2013 Youth Alumnus and 2013 Okra Race Winner (aka Okra King)

For the 2018 Farm Internship Program, we’re going to be hiring our largest cohort of Youth Interns yet! Will you be one of them?

If you are a young person who will 14 to 17 years old by February 24, 2018, or know of one, who would like to SERVE, LEARN, and EARN — we’d love for you to apply! Please click HERE to learn more about the Farm Internship Program and apply today.

We are now accepting applications to join our Crew Leader Program for the spring and summer of 2018. Crew Leaders build their leadership and mentorship skills by working with high school aged youth interns on the Urban Roots farm and supporting them through regular feedback, facilitating workshops and activities, and leading farm tasks.

Click here to see the job description. Applications are due on October 30th.

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.

Click here to apply for the FLF program today!
Applications are due by May 12, 2017.

The Farm Internship Program at Urban Roots not only aims to transform the lives of youth through food and farming but it also aims to provide job and life skills through a paid internship.  Youth Interns learn to be responsible and that there are consequences to their actions such as showing up late for work.  We aim to provide a place for youth to grow and to gain valuable skills they can take with them into their next job and opportunities.

The Washington Post recently published the findings of a study done by University of Chicago Crime Lab and published in the journal Science.  The city of Chicago started a summer jobs program for teens a couple of years ago.  In addition to giving teens work, officials had hoped that having a summer job would also curb the incidences of crime committed by teens.  Students in the program had 43 percent fewer violent crime arrests over 16 months than students not in the program.

What is the significance of this statistic? “That number is striking for a couple of reasons: It implies that a relatively short (and inexpensive) intervention like an eight-week summer jobs program can have a lasting effect on teenage behavior.”

To read more, check out the full article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/08/one-cheap-way-to-curb-crime-give-teens-a-summer-job/.

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Ines

A few Saturdays ago, our volunteer morning was completely full! We had a lot of new volunteers and a few people who had been out to the farm before. Our outreach interns had been trained to lead their group in the fields harvesting squash, weeding, and using row cover over certain crops to protect them from hungry bugs! Our volunteer days start off the same way with a quick check in question, a few group games, and then a run down of what the day will entail. There was a mother and son who were volunteering on the farm for the first time and seemed especially excited about jumping into the fields.

Once the groups were divided up, the mother and her son who put into the group of one of our female interns Ines, who is in her 4th position at Urban Roots. Their first task was harvesting squash. Our squash plants are very healthy with huge leaves covered in tiny little spikes. For a lot of the plants, their leaves are so full, that they hang into the pathways where people walk. After Ines explained the task to her group, she partnered everyone up. The young boy suddenly realized that he would be have to walk between these large plants with the tiny spikes and search through them for the squash, and he wasn’t having any of it! He wanted to badly to experience harvesting, and finding the squash, but was pretty scared of what else he might find.

Through this entire process I saw Ines be extremely patient and find ways to engage him that didn’t require him walking into the big squash plants. She found creative ways to have him be a part of the experience, while also helping him to feel safe.

However, as the little boy became more comfortable with the farm, he was able to push himself a little more with each new task. By the end of the day when I came by to check on Ines and her crew, he was weeding and finding all sorts of critters to share with the group! Ines did such a great job of celebrating him overcoming his fears, and the hard work he put into helping the group finish their tasks.

There is always growth happening on the farm, but it was really special to witness such a beautiful example from our youth intern of what it looks like to be a patient leader who sees the value in celebrating someone’s personal victories.

 

Green Hero

Civilian 1: Captain Kale! Captain Kale! Dr. Burger escaped from Jail!!

Captain Kale: Come on, Kiwi, we have a junk food villain to catch!

Narrator: It was a dark and stormy night when Captain Kale and Kiwi arrived to Dr. Burger’s Fast Food mansion. Meanwhile, Dr. Burger is working on his Evil Veggie Destroyer.

Dr. Burger: HAHAHAHA. That healthy Captain kale doesn’t know what he’s up against. He doesn’t have a chance against my evil Veggie Destroyer! He’ll be a burger just like me in no time!!

Narrator: As Captain Kale and Kiwi started snooping around the mansion, looking for Dr. Burger, kiwi fell into the juicer.

Kiwi: AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Captain Kale help me! I’m about to get juiced!

Narrator: With his strong bones, Captain Kale goes in the juicer and pulls out kiwi.

Captain Kale: Don’t worry Kiwi! I’ve got you.

Narrator: Now that they’re past the trap, Captain Kale and Kiwi go on the hunt for Dr. Burger standing inside.

Kiwi: We’ve got you now Doc! There’s no escape!

Dr. Burger: It’s too late! My evil veggie destroyer is complete and there won’t be a single healthy vegetable left on Earth! Muuuuuahahahahahaha!!!

Captain Kale: You’ll never get away with this!

Narrator: As Dr. Burger aims his evil veggie destroyer at Kiwi and Captain Kale, a masked hero flies in and smashes the veggie destroyer with her strong bones.

Dr. Burger: NOOOOOO!!!

Super Spinach: You just got cooked, Dr. Burger.

Captain Kale: Thanks for saving us, Super Spinach! We owe you big time!

Narrator: Dr. Burger was once and for all captured and put on a healthy diet.

THE END

Written By: Urban Roots Outreach Interns

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