Over 30 young people participate in our Internship Program every year. In this intensive 9-month program, young people engage in hands-on learning around environment, health, community development, leadership and social justice.
Through the work of improving their own community, we unlock the potential of young people in East New York. From March through November, 33 youth from East New York participate in our intensive internship program. They are involved in all aspects of running a 1/2 acre organic farm, and provide support to other gardens through East New York, often run by senior citizens. Through this process, they learn about the environment, health & nutrition, entrepreneurship, and leadership. They also use food as lens to examine issues of social justice. They work in multi-cultural and multi-generational teams to create change in their community. Many youth stay in the program for several years, taking on new leadership roles each season.
Our youth interns say it best in their own words:
When I started off my first year, I thought that I would just be growing vegetables and working in some garden I never heard of. In a way I was right; I did actually grow in the garden, but I experienced so much more. More than half the fruits and vegetables I planted and harvested were new to me. I have experienced working at our farmers market with customers, have met a lot of farmers and gardeners, I started eating better and learning about food security around the world. Now, in my third year, I help lead first year interns in the garden and teach them about why we do what we do.
Musheerah, 16 years old
I have been with this program for three years, teaching people about the history of the ENYF! project and encouraging them to get involved with helping the community. I am able to learn something new as a farmer every day and it is a great experience.
Deasia, 16 years old
I learned from this internship that working together as team and discussing good and new ideas with one another we can make our community a better place with healthy food.
Samuel, 16 years old
Now that I have worked in the garden I help my mother with her garden. I eat organic food a lot. Also this program is amazing.
Mobasera, 14 years old
[We learned] how to respect each other a little better
Elias, 15 years old
I gained the knowledge of growing fruits and vegetables and the effect they have on the communities around me.
Peace, 14 years old