We’re over the hump and getting into the second half of the Youth Internship Program — making some serious progress on the Urban Farm at Enston Home build, harvesting the heat tolerant summer veggies to fill our weekly CSA bags, and engaging in educational sessions & critical discussions with community partners. This week we were visited by Kenya & Germaine from Fresh Future Farm, who led a discussion on food injustice, Greer from The Harbinger Cafe & Bakery who joined for our “Power of Planning” lesson and shared simple snack recipes for energy boosting trailmix & refreshing Kale Aid, and Joselyn Johnson, local business entrepreneur an owner of Eventions by Joselyn. Read on for more details, photos and reflections from intern of the week, Will, as he discusses growing as a leader & the YIP theme of the week: Initiative.
Will Brown is a 16 year old student at Academic Magnet High School. He enjoys playing guitar, basketball, and computer programming. He is passionate about serving the community and looks forward to working with Green Heart this summer!
REFLECTING ON INITIATIVE
This week of Green Heart’s youth internship program, our educators inspired us to think deeply about what leadership means in our lives. Throughout the week, we were pushed to take initiative in all aspects of our work and to strive to be a leader when no one else would. As I reflected on the sessions we participated in this week, I began to implement these practices into my role as an intern. During the farm build on Friday, I delegated tasks to my crew members, as well as put my best effort into my own assignment. I tried to lead by example, pushing through the hardships and working to complete each task as efficiently as possible. I think this rallied my crew members into emulating that energy, and made our collective efficiency much greater. Although I took the initiative to support my crew in this instance, if I hadn’t been able to step up for any reason, I’m fully confident that one of my crew members would have fulfilled that role just as well. Taking initiative in the ways our educators have shown us can have an influence on our lives far beyond the boundaries of this program. If you have experienced injustice in your life, or even witnessed an injustice that plagues your community, taking initiative is the only way to address the issue. So often people act as though they are deeply offended by the issues in our society, yet do nothing to remedy them. The mentality that if you just leave a problem alone someone else will fix it is a major reason that so many of these systemic injustices have stood for so long. Even acts that may seem insignificant, like signing a petition or donating the change out of your pocket, can compound into a large movement for change. Everyone has the power to be a leader in the fight for a better future, all it takes is a little initiative. No matter how colossal the problem, there is always a solution. In the words of Langston Hughes, “I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.” – Will Brown
ADDITIONAL CREW MEMBER REFLECTIONS & EXCERPTS
“Initiative is an essential skill in wanting to make a change; if you don’t have the drive to do something who will? And when will it happen? You have no say or impact when you wait it out.” -Z Dunnigan
“Initiative plays a big role in what I want to do in the future and the big impact I will have on my small bubble. This bubble may be small but I know I’ll be making a difference. An initiative goal I have set for my self is to one day be an advocate for small children and help them with everything from malnutrition to sexual abuse through agriculture therapy.” – Jayla Ford
“Everything I have learned about initiative, has come from all of the people I have met through this program. While getting to know the other 7 interns I have heard everyone’s stories and learned all about how they take initiative every single day. Many of the interns have large families and have to put themselves before their siblings. They always get the job done before anybody asks. I have seen them take initiative in their future by putting themselves out in the world.” – Harper Reed