Sheldon Oak will use the grant money to fund a youth internship program, led by our Community Planning & Outreach Coordinator, Sonsharae Owens. Sonsharae has been leading youth internships for years through her nonprofit organization, Summer of Solutions.
Summer of Solutions (SOS) is a Hartford-based grassroots nonprofit community organization. Summer of Solutions’ goal is to advocate for food security, encourage youth leadership, facilitate community workshops on equity and inclusion, and help our own communities regain power over their food production. This is done through youth internships, community organizing, urban farming, and mutual aid campaigns.
Our summer 2021 internship program will engage low-income, at-risk youth in Hartford by getting them involved in our community gardens, as well as by providing them with learning opportunities through our workshops and with opportunities for community engagement. They will be paid a living wage for 10 hours per week of fun, positive, and educational activities.
We will also engage families and the entire community by hosting events where all generations can come together to enjoy the gardens and have a good time. We have already hosted one event to kick off the summer, a cookout on Juneteenth. We plan to host a community day where youth can invite their families to come and garden with them.