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July 8, 2024 | Education

Summer Stories: Youth Development Program, Week 2

Week Two of the Youth Development Program included a field trip, team bonding exercises, and farm work.


The Youth Development Program is a paid opportunity for high-school-age students to develop and hone various skills in preparation for life beyond the classroom. The summer session is called the Seed Crew, and is 8 weeks of working, learning, and connecting as a team.

Here is a recap of our 2nd week:

Monday we had the opportunity to visit Wickiup hill for a hike and water quality activity.  The goal was to show the students what we do locally to aid in water quality and how the farming practices we employ at the Urban Farm impact the environment. Students also had time for independent exploration.

Tuesday was all rain, so we pivoted and planned our day to be at the main office. We took the opportunity to take an office tour and had the returning students lead it. They did a great job remembering the other programs at Matthew 25 and showed confidence in speaking in front of their peers. We worked through a food justice workshop with the students, encouraging them to think about how their own lives are, or are not impacted by food injustice. We had the opportunity to do the first baking of the year as well. This included an unintended lesson on quality control and the importance of following a recipe for a consistent product. We ended the day with our first “Straight-talk” session. This allows the students to partner up and practice giving thoughtful, constructive feedback. It was a challenge for some students, but others were able to handle it well. 2nd and 3rd year students found it easier, mainly because they had worked together longer. 

Wednesday was all farm work and getting prepared for the market that evening. We began the day with a student-led game, before jumping in to farm work. We are trying to implement more student-led activities to build confidence and leadership skills for our students. Students spent the rest of the day harvesting and washing carrots and potatoes, as well as basil and greens. 

The students were then treated to a long holiday weekend.