Avalon Housing's Youth Leadership Program

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2018: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Avalon Housing
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Manager:


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: organic fertilizers, water storage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, mentoring, networking, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: apprentice/intern training, business planning, farmers' markets/farm stands, financial management
  • Pest Management: prevention
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, employment opportunities, leadership development, new business opportunities, partnerships, quality of life, social capital, social networks, urban agriculture


    The Avalon Youth Leadership Program (YLP) provides opportunities for formerly homeless youth living in supportive housing to participate in a year long program involving all phases of operation of a market farm. YLP participants will also mentor younger children in Avalon’s Summer Program for Youth, and visit urban farms in Detroit. YLP teens will work as a team with a focus on experiential learning. The team will be led by the Project Coordinator, with assistance from a part time intern –both of whom will provide gardening and  classroom education, using the evidence-based curriculum of The Agrarian Adventure and MSU Extension.

    Project objectives:

    1. Educate participants on the theories and practices of small-scale sustainable agriculture through information sessions, workshops, and the hands-on cultivation of their own YLP field.
    2. Enable participants to move beyond the trauma and violence of homelessness through person development including self-esteem, managing conflict, working in a team and developing leadership skills.
    3. Give participants practical leadership experience by mentoring younger residents of Avalon Housing through nutrition-based workshops provided by The Agrarian Adventure and MSU Extension.
    4. Introduce participants to sustainable and community-focused agriculture via visits to urban farms in Ypsilanti and Detroit.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.