✨REASON #7 to donate to Fresh Roots this giving season: Youth Empowerment! ✨



“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”


Donate Today!

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:

2 thoughts on “IT’S THYME for Youth Empowerment!

  1. Hey everyone! It’s your former SOYL 2021 farmer’s market pro here. I just wanted to tell everyone that I had an amazing time at Fresh Roots in the summer of 2021. I have to say but I had so much fun making new friends and harvesting the vegetables from the garden at David Thompson and Van Tech. During the summer back in 2021, not only did I take on cashier duties at the market at the Italian Cultural Centre, I also had tons of fun cooking in the kitchen, even though it was hot outside. One thing that I have to say is I enjoyed spending time outside and showing off my dance moves during lunch was one of the many things that miss doing for everyone. In fact I have to mention how I got here. In the end, I want to mention that I still love BTS even though all of them are in the South Korean military now, but I’m still going to see if I can get some tickets if they go back on tour after, so wish me luck with that! ! I also have to say that I miss everyone who I worked with and I hope to keep in touch with all of you who got me here, especially Kat and Trisha who taught me valuable skills and I will also miss them. I hope to be a constant source for everyone who gave me strengths and weaknesses. I hope to inspire you to follow your passion and to never give up and chase after your dreams that make you special on the outside as you are on the inside. I also strongly believe that you can keep inspiring the future generations of Fresh Roots to the next generation of people like myself who can make this place special and beautiful. Thank you for supporting me and Fresh Roots for generations to come.

    Merry Christmas and have a very special 2024!
    Happy New Year!


    • Nika!
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, we loved having you on board. Best of luck catching BTS in concert, we know you will BLOW UP THE AUDIENCE with your incredible dance moves. All the best this year, dear Nika! We miss you lots!

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