Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Growing Opportunity

Wow it's been a busy spring for the Dreamkeeper Garden!  After a winter filled with greens, greens, and more greens, the garden is starting to get back some of its other hues: yellow and orange tomatoes, red strawberries and hot peppers, purple eggplants, and flowers of many colors.  Springtime is such a time for growth.

Plants aren't the only thing that grows in spring.  It's also a time for our scholars to grow, and just as the seasons were turning some of our middle school scholars participated in a growing opportunity of their own.

30 scholars headed over to Grow Dat Youth Farm for "Growing Opportunity," a special event sponsored by the NCAA, Tulane University, and Grow Dat Youth Farm.  Our scholars spent the day working alongside student athletes from Tulane to plant 64 blackberry bushes and 32 fruit trees, symbolizing the number of teams in the first two rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.  The group planted four families of trees in total - blackberries, citrus, fig, and avocado – to represent the Final Four which took place in New Orleans.

Speakers at the event highlighted the importance of creating social, civic, and economic opportunities for youth in New Orleans.  Grow Dat works towards those ends by creating a healthy and supportive work environment for New Orleans high schoolers who face limited job opportunities.  In 2012, Grow Dat hopes to employ 20 teenagers to grow 10,000 pounds of food!

Trees often don't bear fruit for years after they're planted, but with diligence and care they become a source of sustenance.  Just like planting fruit trees, the work of creating opportunities for youth involves patience, commitment, and an eye toward the future.

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