Week 1: Welcoming our 2021 YIP Cohort and Reflections on Community | The Green Heart Project

Week 1: Welcoming our 2021 YIP Cohort and Reflections on Community

The second year of our Youth Internship Program is officially underway and we are so excited to welcome eight new interns and four returning interns to our Summer 2021 cohort!

Week 1 focused heavily on program orientation, helping our interns to learn more about what to expect from the summer and get to know each other. Interns engaged in goal setting & vision workshops, icebreaker activities and participated in their first introductory lessons on sustainable agriculture, cooking and nutrition and financial literacy. We also capped off the week with a visit from Renee from Stone Soup Collective, who shared her insights on Week 1’s theme: community.

Each week this summer, we will have a featured “Intern of the Week,” who will take over our Instagram stories to share their “day in the life” experiences and share their reflections and insights on the blog. Check out below to learn more about Michelle, our first Intern of the Week, and read her thoughts on community.


Michelle is a rising senior at Ashley Hall who approaches each situation with diligence and open-mindedness. She enjoys swimming, violin, lacrosse, and leading in student government. At Green Heart, Michelle hopes to foster authentic relationships with her fellow interns and have meaningful reflections together. She hopes to contribute empathy, determination, and a good laugh to this program. Michelle is firmly passionate about the breakfast menu and sunscreen reapplication.


“A community is a group of individuals who collaborate towards a common interest and create an atmosphere where everyone feels a sense of purpose and belonging. To be in a community entails that every member is inspired, seeks change, and strives towards a larger goal. 

Learning to build a healthy community is a fundamental leadership skill and in order to do so, it requires every individual to be open-minded, supportive, and vulnerable. Already in this first week, we’ve expounded on these requirements. We displayed open-mindedness by having our first Straight Talk where we recognized each others’ positive attributes and identified areas we could improve on. We supported one another by crafting SMART goals and how we can help each other stay on track of these goals. Lastly, we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable during our meaningful sit-down where we conversed on our unique stories… This is an ideal foundation for a healthy community; these activities helped us connect and understand one another. 

Throughout this week so far, we’ve been able to communicate what we need/want from each other and recognize each other’s interests, limits, and capabilities. By practicing how to build community early, it becomes a habit. And this habit will carry on past 759 King St. and impact the larger community.”


“I define community as a group of individuals who don’t require the same background, culture, ethnicity, or beliefs to come together and work towards the same goal and will encourage and support each other along the way. Also, I define community as being willing and able to achieve a common goal you couldn’t as an individual.” – JP G.

“Prior to this program, I defined community as a group of people with one goal in common, each giving their all to make it happen. The beginning days of this internship have brought to my attention a vital part of the community that I neglected to think about: mutual support. At the Green Heart Project, it is encouraged, even expected, that we identify and share our difficulties and shortcomings in order for our teammates to empathize with us and find solutions.” – Leddy S.

“Over the summer I hope that I will have the opportunity to build the YIP community by bonding with my fellow interns. Trust, vulnerability, and communication will all be vital in forming stronger connections in order to build our community. I expect this summer to be very impactful on my understanding of what it means to be a part of a community, and how to build a positive and inclusive one.” – Mitchell M.

“A community is a support system. A place where you are unjudged, loved, and cared for. A community is built when you bring people of different backgrounds or the same backgrounds into one area. You build it higher when they all spark a connection, a friendship, and a system.” – Lois V.

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