Youth Growing Organics in Worcester
In 2003 REC’s Food Justice Program initiated YouthGROW, an urban agriculture-focused youth development and employment program for low-income teens. YouthGROW (Youth Growing Organics in Worcester) employs 32-40 low income high school teens (age 14-18) year-round who gain leadership and jobs skills as they maintain two urban organic farms. YouthGROWers complete a curriculum focused on Professional Development, Leadership Skills, Urban Agriculture, and Social Justice (PLUS,) through participation in the 8-week summer session, monthly workshops, internships, and community service.
Each year 7 returning teens are selected as Youth Leaders and 4 teens with at least 2 years of program experience are given junior staff positions. These Youth Leaders and junior staff attend weekly meetings with adult staff before and after the intensive 8-week summer training program to plan the curriculum and activities. All decisions within YouthGROW are made using a consensus process which ensures that youth ideas and opinions are given real value in the decision-making process and that participants craft decisions that all can agree with. The YouthGROW project is a model of participant-led design and implementation that has been shared at regional and national conferences.
For questions about YouthGROW or how to get involved, please contact
Stacie Brimmage at
Thank you to our sponsors!