About the Growing Entrepreneurs Program
New this year, New Haven Farms is partnering with New Haven Land Trust to deliver a powerful, two-year program designed specifically for youth. The Growing Entrepreneurs Program works with high school students in the New Haven community, developing their professional, and entrepreneurial skills, teaching them about farming and carpentry, expanding their understanding of environmental issues, and building their sense of character.
All of this is accomplished by having students actively participate as employees of New Haven Farms, farming, building, and participating in business ventures such as the Saturday farm stand and assisting produce wholesale to local restaurants. The experiences and skills gained from the program, help prepare students for secondary education and future careers, as well as helping them to become better stewards of their own health and of our environment.
New Haven Farms has three remarkable students working with us as Growing Entrepreneurs this year. One of those students was willing to share about her experience with the program.
Growing up in New Haven, Laysha’s family has a long history with New Haven Farms. Not only was Laysha herself a former NHF volunteer, but her mother is a graduate of New Haven Farms’ Farm Based Wellness Program who says that the program helped her manage stress and lower her blood pressure levels. It was while her mother was in the program that Laysha and her brother began volunteering. What an incredible way to support family!
Laysha’s brother later joined the New Haven Land Trust as a Growing Entrepreneur. She learned about the Growing Entrepreneurs, when he recommended the program as wise investment, both for her future and enjoyment. Laysha says she was not disappointed.
A Junior at Career High School, Laysha enjoys staying active by playing soccer and softball. Right now, she is working toward high school graduation so that she can attend Southern Connecticut State University for her undergraduate studies where she plans to pursue to a degree in nursing. Ultimately, she plans to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
As her first year in the program is wrapping up, Laysha says she feels like she has learned a lot and is really glad she chose to apply and participate in the Growing Entrepreneurs Program. While she says she could do without long days of weeding the farm beds, she greatly enjoys group projects, working together and fostering friendships with the other Growing Entrepreneurs as well as learning carpentry skills.
Overall, her greatest take away from this year has been preparation for her future goals and the friendships she has formed. She is looking forward to everything else the program has to offer and what next summer holds.
Thanks so much for sharing, Laysha!