by Rachel Waldron
Returning Service Member Rachel Waldron reflects on the previous year with the Young Urban Farmers program while orienting the new group of students.
September began with the promise of a new crew: new talent, new questions, and for some, renewed dedication. Last year, the Young Urban Farmers (YUF) program provided 16 Athens-Clarke County high school students with sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship education, work experience, and personal development. This year, we received nearly 30 applications! It was clear that last year’s participants had spread knowledge of the program simply by word-of-mouth when new applicants showed up to their interviews, bright eyed and enthusiastic. Their palpable excitement was evidence of last year’s success, a justification of our work, and a confirmation that we should continue.
Now, its October. The trials — of interviews, hiring decisions, paperwork and schedules — are over. We have a solid crew of 21 youth from three local schools, which includes five returning students from last year. For the 2015-2016 YUF crew, orientation is over, and the bonds of friendship have begun to form. Let the work begin!