Another 186 young people in Detroit are earning paychecks and learning life lessons this summer. The Greening of Detroit’s youth employment program, created in 1998, continues to evolve and provide a growing list of enrichment and learning opportunities for its Green Corps members.
The Green Corps program has collectively employed more than 1,800 Detroit youth since its inception. By maintaining thousands of trees across the city, Corps members are investing energy and time in their communities. These youth also beautify parks and participate in conservation projects that have meaningful and beneficial impacts for Detroit residents.
In addition, Green Corps members spend time learning about agriculture and farming at The Greening’s farm gardens and Detroit Public Schools’ gardens. This year, some of the returning Green Corps members can earn a Farm Stand Certification. These students will be trained by The Greening’s Urban Agriculture staff using a youth Farm Stand curriculum created by Michigan State University, and volunteering at the farm stand at Palmer Park Preparatory Academy on Wednesday afternoons throughout the eight-week program. They will learn all aspects of operating the stand. Enrichment and life-skill training is a program priority. Green Corps members participate in conservation and environmental stewardship projects; financial literacy training; conflict resolution and management training; career and college fairs that focus on green careers; and visit several state parks to kayak, hike, swim and learn and explore the great outdoors.
The program impacts the youth in multiple ways. According to a couple of Green Corps members from last year, “Working for The Greening made me realize that I need to take more pride in my neighborhood.” Another young man said, “After watering so many trees this summer, I have a new appreciation for nature.” The ultimate goal of the youth employment program is to provide young people with opportunities for work, career development, and to nurture a sense of environmental stewardship. “We want our youth employees to not only earn a paycheck and learn about job responsibility, we want to impassion them to become true ambassadors and stewards of the environment,” said Devon Buskin, director of – More- Workforce Development.
The Green Corps youth work in teams, and are mentored and supervised by Crew Leaders — many of whom are college students or former Green Corps members. For more information visit http://www.greeningofdetroit.com