Urban Roots, an Austin non-profit using food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community, announces its inaugural year of the Food & Leadership Fellowship beginning October 12 – November 11. In partnership with Food for Black Thought (FFBT), Urban Roots’ program is a paid, six-week internship for students ages 18-25 that will build life and leadership skills on the farm.
A recent grant through Social Services and Capacity Building Solicitation from the City Health and Human Services Department allotted Urban Roots an $80,000 contract for its first year. The funds of this grant will be put toward the Food & Leadership Fellowship where 16 young adults will learn the ins and outs of growing food, mentor youth, build communication, leadership, life and job skills, as well as learn about food systems and their impact on the community.
Urban Roots focused its recruitment efforts on reaching diverse young people from the University of Texas, St. Edwards and Huston-Tillotson. FFBT will facilitate workshops focusing on race/racism and the food justice system, self-reflection, and practicing food justice. Three to six students will be hired back during the spring and summer semesters, to amplify Urban Roots’ capacity to execute their busy growing season and their signature Farm Internship Program for teenagers in the spring.
“Urban Roots has seen the benefit of engaging diverse youth as leaders in our food system and our community. We’re excited to be working with this age group of young people, providing a paid opportunity for them to learn new skills and grow as leaders,” said Ian Hunter-Crawford, Program and Operations Director. “Food for Black Thought has been a crucial partner for Urban Roots and we are thrilled to see our missions align through this program.”
Since 2008, Urban Roots has served as a program for youth, ages 14 to 23 years old, offering an innovative approach to growing fresh, healthy food in the heart of an underserved neighborhood while empowering their development as leaders and good citizens. Through the Food & Leadership Fellowship, the non-profit will expand its reach to young adults in addition to its youth leaders of tomorrow