By Alison Duncan, HON Urban Agriculture Program VISTA
The whole group poses for the camera. From left to right: Sara Shaghaghi, Lydea Adkins, Daniel Pannock, Chloe Vaccaro, Michael Ding, Janie Liu, Audaris Blades, Rachel West, Nick Dietrich, Natalie Beck, Josh Corlew, and me (Alison Duncan).
It may still be cold outside, but the Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Program is already heating up with the launch of our newest program: the Urban Agriculture Fellowship! This unique service-learning opportunity places ten high school students at nonprofit gardens across Nashville.
After a highly competitive application process last fall, ten outstanding young people were selected to serve as the inaugural class of Urban Agriculture Fellows. These inspiring students have already proven themselves to be real rock stars, having completed an intense two-day training session over the winter break. Throughout the spring, they will attend monthly workshops here at HON that will help them acquire the project development, volunteer management, public speaking, and organizational skills needed to become effective community leaders. Without further ado, I am very excited to introduce you to the Fellows:
The fellows get to know each other on the first day of training.
Audaris Blades – A senior at Glencliff High School, Audaris is actively involved in a number of service clubs at his school. He is also an athlete, playing on both the tennis and baseball teams at Glencliff. His fellowship project will be at the HON Urban Farm.
Chloe Vaccaro – Chloe is a junior at MLK Magnet High School. She is captain of her school softball team and participated in the Urban Farm Apprenticeship program this past summer. Chloe will be at Good Food for Good People for her fellowship project.
Daniel Pannock – Daniel is a junior at University School of Nashville. He has recently cultivated an interest in gardening through his work at the Outdoor Academy and as a member of USN’s Environmental Club. Daniel will be working at the Perk Garden.
Janie Liu – A junior at MLK Magnet High School, Janie is passionate about the environmental impacts of our food system. She swims on the MLK swim team and has a small garden at home. She will be working at the Martha O’Bryan Center.
Lydea Adkins – Lydea is a freshman at Nashville School of the Arts. She is very involved in the Harvest Hands WOW soap program and is an avid reader. Additionally, she is the oldest of seven siblings, which keeps her pretty busy. Lydea will be working at Good Food for Good People.
Michael Ding – A junior at MLK Magnet High School, Michael is a committed environmentalist. He is a core member of his school’s Green Club and is a coalition ambassador for Tennyen, a youth-led environmental group. Michael will be working at the Perk Garden.
Natalie Beck – Natalie is a junior at Brentwood High School, where she is a Student Council member. She is an artist, and often integrates her talents into whatever projects she is working on. Natalie’s fellowship placement is at the BELL Garden.
Nick Dietrich – Nick is a senior at MLK Magnet High School. He enjoys nature and being outdoors, and is interested in learning more about agriculture as a possible career path. Nick will be working at the HON Urban Farm.
Rachel West –A junior at Brentwood High School, Rachel plays a variety of sports, including lacrosse and cross country. She is interested in starting her own nonprofit, and has worked in gardens in the past. Rachel’s fellowship placement is the Martha O’Bryan Center.
Sara Shaghaghi – Sara is a junior at MLK Magnet High School, where she is a key member of her school’s swim team. She is currently pursuing her Gold Award in the Girl Scouts. Sara will be working at The BELL Garden for her fellowship project.
Stay tuned for updates on the good work these high school students will be doing this spring, including how you can get involved and support their service project.
Alison is a born and bred Tar Heel, having lived in North Carolina for most of her life. She serves as HON’s Urban Agriculture Program VISTA and oversees youth programming at the Urban Farm. Alison can tie her shoes in 2 seconds flat.