HARLEM GROWN wrote -
This past year, Harlem Grown placed sustainability mentors in 6 partner schools, reached over 4,200 youth, grew over 2,200 pounds of food, helped open a new urban farm at Wagner Houses, created 4 above minimum-wage jobs for our workforce development graduates, and learned one powerful lesson: you change lives and create healthy habits by forming relationships and building community.
We are proud of the produce we grew and distributed and the food & farm curriculum we developed, but we would not be able to have our impact without the young men and women, like Edgar, who graduated our Workforce Development program and work with over 1,800 youth every single school day mentoring and encouraging our youth participants to make healthier choices.
Mr. Edgar (pictured above), as our youth like to call him, is the Sustainability Mentor at PS 125, where he spends his mornings and afternoons overseeing mealtimes in the cafeteria. He uses the mediation training and farming education he acquired through his 9-month internship at Harlem Grown to encourage students to make healthy choices both on and off the plate. At night, he's taking classes at Lehman College towards his Bachelor degree--which would be the first in his family.
When Edgar came to us through a partnership with the Police Athletic League, he was a justice-involved youth who was out of school and out of work. Joining Harlem Grown as part of the first Workforce Development cohort was a challenge that Edgar was up for, he completed the on-farm training and in-school residency, while working towards his GED. His 180-degree turnaround is a testament to both his will to work and his desire to help youth in his community. Edgar's consistent presence has created bonds that are irreplaceable and that extend beyond PS 125 cafeteria and school garden and spill over into Harlem Grown's own urban farms throughout the community.
Help support Edgar and Harlem Grown this year by making a donation to Harlem Grown for #GivingTuesday.