Cultivating Youth Employment Program

[catlist name=cultivating-youth-employment excerpt=yes date=yes orderby=date class=post-on-page]

We are no longer operating our Cultivating Youth Employment Program as we have transition to our GRuB School program, however, we are still making this information available to those interested in replicating this program.

GRuB youth in a cornfield

GRuB’s Cultivating Youth Employment & Drop-out Prevention Program engages 30+ low-income teens each year in land & community-based projects, centering their work on overcoming the very obstacles that place their well-being at risk – hunger, poverty, inequality, and oppression. While meeting their own needs, they improve the lives of others by growing food for the food bank, their own families, and for market. In the immediate sense, GRuB offers employment training and supports low-income youth to graduate high school. In the long term, we are empowering a new generation of leaders.

Our proven curriculum centers on GRuB’s core themes of Farming Self, Farming Land, & Farming Community. All activities are based on four tenets found in our country’s best youth programs:

  • Responsibility – Does the program create opportunities for youth to take on real-world responsibility?
  • Relevance – Is it relevant to the lives of our youth participants? Is it relevant to our community?

  • Relationships – Are strong, trusting relationships built between youth and with their adult mentors?
  • Rigor – Is the work rigorous? Will it stretch youths’ capacity for commitment and hard work?

Farming Self (Personal Development)

  • Weekly ‘Straight Talk’ (youth and staff to give constructive feedback about their work and behavior).
  • Trust-building activities.
  • Workshops: public speaking, non-violent communication, conflict de-escalation, & healthy relationships.
  • One-on-one check-ins with staff to set goals in regard to academics, post-high school, family, and life.
  • Support for crewmembers and alumni in completing their FAFSA.
  • Learning to plan and prepare nutritious meals using seasonal products.

Farming Land (Sustainable Land Stewardship)

  • Leading the production and harvest of over 11,000 pounds of produce. Over half of this food is directed to our crewmembers, their families, and the Food Bank.
  • Leading hundreds of community volunteers on the farm.
  • Engaging in needed fieldwork at area farms dedicated to the production of food for the food bank.

Farming Community (Civic Engagement & Community Service)

  • Building free gardens for low-income families through GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project. This past spring, GRuB youth participated in 57 garden builds, a record number for us.
  • Assisting in hosting workshops to support new gardeners using skills they have learned on the GRuB Farm

To get a copy of GRuB’s Cultivating Youth Employment Program manual and curriculum, contact us at 360-753-5522.