In early June, a handful of students from Mayor Broome's 2021 Mayor's Youth Workforce Experience (MYWE) arrived at Baton Roots' Capitol High site to participate in an 8-week summer program provided in partnership with Big Buddy. The career preparedness program leads young people through four identified pillars: mentor support, training and enrichment, civic responsibility, and social-emotional learning skills.
Jada Alexander, a returning participant of the program, is a recent graduate of Madison Prep with aspirations to attend the LSU College of Agriculture in the fall. Alexander states:
"I LOVE Baton Roots. This is my second summer with the program. For some people it can be difficult to get fresh food so I enjoy being a part of helping grow food for people."
Alexander is one of four dedicated young people joining the Baton Roots team to spend the coming weeks working diligently to hone career readiness skills while joining in the farm's efforts to combat food insecurity through food access, education, and practical skill-building.
One such skill is cooking and preparing food. MYWE participants joined Capitol High summer school students during a recent June session to learn how to cook farm fresh produce with Chef Traci and the American Heart Association. Students learned to prepare freshly harvested zephyr squash, along with a rainbow of sautéed veggies, scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, and rice. Such demos include information about fresh produce, cooking techniques, and education about the benefits of fresh vegetables.
SK Groll, Baton Roots' Program Coordinator of Ops, reflected on the learning opportunities available at the Baton Roots farm:
"[We] work with young people enrolled in MYWE to teach practical agricultural skills. Students learn to grow seedlings, plants vegetables, maintain garden sites, harvest, and prepare produce for local markets. In working with young people, we hope that they experience the joys of garden work, learn about sustainable farm practices, and explore possible future careers in urban agriculture."
Follow along with the Baton Roots MYWE cohort this summer through Baton Roots' social media and subscribing to our newsletter.
Interested in getting involved with Baton Roots? Submit a volunteer application here!