Derek is one of the campers that worked in the Y’s community garden over the summer. He has grown tremendously along with the vegetables. Derek’s family is less fortunate, a fact that he is very conscientious of and makes him different from the other campers. However, the garden became a vehicle for him to turn those differences into advantage. Derek’s family has had their own garden. Because of his experience, he became a leader-coming out of his shell to help others with garden tasks. As a result, he gained confidence and made more friends, but importantly, he learned that it’s ok to be different.
When asked what they wanted to do with the vegetables, instead of taking it home for themselves, the children unanimously agreed to give the fruits of their labor to Manna Food Bank. Our goal was to educate the children about living healthy lives through gardening and nutrition-they learned this, as well as learning to giving back to your community.