Urban Growers Collective: Youth Corps Teen Education and Employement

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2022: $4,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/15/2024
Grant Recipient: Urban Growers Collective
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Manager:
Erika Allen
Urban Growers Collective


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: beekeeping, crop improvement and selection, food processing
  • Education and Training: demonstration, mentoring, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: community-supported agriculture, farmers' markets/farm stands, labor/employment, whole farm planning
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, employment opportunities, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, public participation, quality of life, social capital, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    The Youth Corps’ understanding of many aspects of urban farming and community food system development are reinforced and illustrated through hands-on farm instruction.  Teens cultivates vegetables, herbs and flowers across all phases of farm production. At many of our locations, Youth Corps also manage an onsite community farm stand, and providing a window into the economic and entrepreneurial opportunities within the food system. The goal is for teens graduate with a comprehensive understanding of sustainable food system development and the ability to connect and communicate how their skills gained on the farm translate to any career path they may follow.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Spring/Summer Farm Program Outcomes:

    • Teens will be exposed to career pathways in urban agriculture, culinary arts and micro-enterprise development through field trips and guest speakers. 

    • Community harvest festivals at Roosevelt Square, and South Chicago Farms. 


    Micro-enterprise Program Outcomes:

    • Teens will received advanced training in micro-enterprise development. 

    • Teens will develop a signature product line using Urban Growers Collective flowers, herbs and farm products. 

    • Teens will learn how to market, fulfill orders and manage inventory of the product line. 

    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.