For teenagers, finding gainful employment and internship experiences is a challenge, and this is especially true for inner-city youth from at-risk communities. With the “Growing Strong” program, City Green offers fully paid summer employment for high school students either working on the City Green farm growing organic produce or working in a leadership role as a camp counselor for younger children. Not only do teenagers earn a fair wage for their time, they gain invaluable career-readiness skills through youth development workshops that prepare them for the workplace and give them the confidence they need to excel in a career of their choice. City Green interns work directly in their own communities and beautify their own neighborhoods, which has a direct and positive impact on their friends, families, and neighbors. Farm interns get their hands dirty and experience the full cycle of organic food production, from sowing seeds to harvesting vegetables to selling those vegetables directly to their community at City Green’s numerous local farmer’s markets. They also learn the ins and outs of market enterprise as well as communication skills and customer service. Garden camp counselors become experts on how food systems work while learning about the importance of a healthy diet. They also experience the joy of passing on this knowledge to younger children. “Growing Strong” internships are one of the most essential elements of City Green’s programming – former interns go on to become successful adults and stewards of the environment, carrying City Green’s mission with them wherever they may go.
And for teenagers who are looking for something different, City Green has several unique opportunities to volunteer in a variety of stimulating roles.