In this photo from left to right is Gabrielle, Ohemaa (our Executive Director), and Tarrik
posing together at the 2023 BSSLP YPAR Presentation
This summer we had the pleasure of hosting 3 amazing interns, Zahra, Tarrik, and Gabrielle, from the Black Student Summer Leadership Program, a paid summer learning, mentorship, and training program through the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement (CEBSA). This centre is the first of its kind in public K-12 education in North America. The goal of the program is to introduce students to a range of academic and career pathways through their community partnerships to help improve both experiences and outcomes for Black secondary students. We had the honor to get involved in a meaningful way to support the Black secondary students matched to our summer internship program by helping them to build their knowledge, leadership skills, capacity, and work experience in the field of urban agriculture, food justice, environmental stewardship, and community engagement in our Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Our collaboration with CEBSA was a great opportunity for these students to gain working experience and transferable skills in a field they were already passionate about.
In this photo is our summer intern harvesting a wheelbarrow of garlic from the field
From the first day of their placement, they were able to jump right in with excitement and care. Their desire to give back and become more involved in their community was modeled from their hard work both on and off the farm. They supported the team with daily fieldwork of planting harvesting, and washing the produce. They expanded on their plant knowledge. Helped with prep and selling produce at our weekly Thursday farm stand markets to our customers. They took on administrative, documentation, and communication tasks. They supported our community outreach efforts. They participated in our Youth Program and learned some new culinary skills in our Urban Harvest Community Food Preservation workshops. They also did amazing work supporting the various activities for our 11 Annual Farm Festival, which we had over 730 attendees making it one of the biggest gatherings in our festival’s history.
In this photo is Zahra and Tarrik are harvesting ripe tomatoes from the fields