✨REASON #7 to donate to Fresh Roots this giving season: Youth Empowerment! ✨
DONATE HERE: https://freshroots.ca/its-thyme-year-end-fundraiser/
“What do you want to do when you’re older?” is an age-old question in society, yet for most young people this can be an overwhelming thought. For many it’s full of barriers. So, at Fresh Roots we take this question outside on our Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership (SOYL) where all are welcome on our schoolyard farms. Together we breathe some fresh air into that big question, mix in some sunshine, rain, mud, seeds and education to see what happens…
Over six weeks of SOYL in the summer and year-round in our after school program, youth from all walks of life get the chance to learn about food – how to grow, cook and sell it at local markets. Digging into meaningful connections with the land and each other, SOYL “grows more than just plants, it grows people” (SOYL participant). For their efforts, youth receive a stipend, a simple yet powerful form of recognition that supports and motivates youth to keep showing up on the farms, for themselves and their community. Many return to be SOYL mentors and increasing numbers are even becoming our summer camp staff!
Whether youth leave knowing they might want to be a farmer one day or have no idea, the seeds of self-worth and confidence have been firmly planted and their mental health boosted:
“Personally, I have always had a lot of stage fright and feel anxious in environments with more people (especially when it comes to presenting). However, during SOYL I felt safe enough to want to present and talk to new people. I have also learned an extensive amount of information about nature and SOYL has contributed greatly to my environmental knowledge. I feel like I’ve grown more in 6 weeks of SOYL than a whole year of school!”
“I have been able to gain a better idea of what my future might hold and the type of career (environmental sciences) I am interested in for the future”
We are com’minting to raise $40,000 to get kids and youth learning and growing on schoolyard farms, and we need your help!
🌻6 people donating $100 supports a stipend for one 6-week summer SOYL youth participant to learn and grow.
🌻12 people donating $25 provides crucial training for summer staff on working with youth with neurodiversity and mental health challenges.
Impact of SOYL 2023
Join one of our Vancouver SOYL facilitators, Carolina, as she reflects on the importance of SOYL for the youth this season and also for herself: https://freshroots.ca/2023-soyl-stories/