What is SOYL?
SOYL is a 6-week summer leadership and empowerment program offered by Fresh Roots in partnership with school districts. We run SOYL in three different locations:
- SOYL @ Vancouver.
- SOYL @ Suwa’lkh (Coquitlam).
- SOYL @ Farm Roots (Delta). Those applicants accepted to SOYL will then be enrolled in Delta School District’s Summer School Registration.
The program empowers secondary students to cultivate and steward schoolyard farms for learning, community building, and growing Good Food for All. Through their time with SOYL, youth develop skills in growing, cooking, and selling food, as well as a greater connection to themselves, their community, and the regional food system. Youth also receive a stipend and can receive school credit for their contributions.
What happens at SOYL?
Throughout the summer, youth are learning and leading on the Fresh Roots farms. They’re growing, cooking, and selling, meeting friends and exploring the food system. Youth:
“Doing SOYL, I wake up excited every single morning, excited about all the new amazing things I’m going to be learning, about the amazing people I’m being surrounded with. For so long I was like ‘Another day, another drag,’ but now I’m like, ‘Let’s do this!’” — SOYL 2016 Crew Member
SOYL Mentorship Program
As part of fostering ongoing opportunities for youth leadership, previous SOYL Crew can apply to return as SOYL Mentors. Mentors take on additional responsibilities on the farms, support incoming youth, and continue growing their skills as leaders, farmers, and role models in the community.
This season, we will empower fifteen SOYL Mentors (5 in each location). Mentors must attend extra programming on Fridays and/or Saturdays. In recognition of their additional time and responsibilities, mentors earn a stipend for the summer.
When does the program take place?
Dates & Times
- SOYL @ Vancouver: coming soon!
- SOYL @ Farm Roots (Delta): coming soon!
- SOYL @ Suwa’lkh (Coquitlam): coming soon!
Participants are also expected to attend one or two Farmer Markets shifts, as part of their program experience.
Where are the programs located?
- SOYL @ Vancouver: Vancouver Technical Secondary (2600 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5M 1Y5) or David Thompson Secondary (1755 E 55th Avenue Vancouver, BC V5P 1Z7).
- SOYL @ Suwa’lkh School (1432 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6X5)
- SOYL @ Farm Roots Mini-School (6570 1A Avenue in Delta (Boundary Bay)
How do I get to the program?
Participants are expected to arrange their own transportation to the program each day. We encourage the use of public transit and can provide support in planning transit routes to each location.
How many spots are available in the program?
We have 25 spots at each location= 20 crew members and 5 mentor positions! Not all who apply will necessarily be accepted, so please take the time to prepare a thoughtful and thorough application.
Do I need a reference?
You do not need a reference to apply. However, if you have any adults or other support figures in your life who would like to express their support for your application, you can provide their contact information in the “referral” section of the application form.
How much will I be paid?
SOYL Crew receives a weekly stipend of $100 for their contributions throughout the summer. The stipend is paid in 2 installments: the first, after 3 weeks of the program, and the second upon program completion.
How do I receive school credit for being part of SOYL?
At this time, there are a couple of options for receiving credit for your participation in the SOYL program. Participants in the program are eligible to receive summer credits courses (courses vary across locations). Additionally, if you are interested in receiving Work Experience credit, please talk to the Work Experience teacher at your school.
How much physical labour is part of the program?
Participants will be expected to perform moderate physical labour as part of the program and should be comfortable working outdoors in various weather conditions.
“Even if you think your mind is open, SOYL really opens your mind so much more than you’d expect. And from that, it humbles you because you’re in the dirt, in the sun. Even though being in the dirt doesn’t seem that appealing, it teaches you something. You get great work experience and the environment is really great, and there’s a really diverse group of people that you get to meet and interact with. It’s so much more than just farm work in the sun.” — SOYL 2018 Crew Member
Who do I contact if my question isn’t answered here?
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 778 764 0344 ext 102.
SOYL is made possible by