This summer, our Youth Internship was revived! We welcomed a total of eight youth from North and West Philly for six weeks of training and service. Our interns ranged in age from 11-15 and worked closely with Beverly Brown, our Outdoor Education Manager, to come up with projects they wanted to address. Throughout the summer, they also worked with QVS Fellow, Ike, Youth Leader, Rebecca, and Lead Gardener, Tito.
In training to be docents of the historic grounds, the interns assisted in grounds work and historical tours. They also field tested different homeopathic pest controls at the Auburn garden. The Academy of Natural Sciences invited the interns to participate in the city wide Heat Study that occurred on Saturday, July 30th. The interns got the opportunity to serve as community scientists alongside Esperanza volunteers in collecting temperature and air quality data around North Philadelphia.
At the end of the program, they all expressed interest in participating again next year and staying connected throughout the school year. They shared they had felt confident, smart, and comfortable when they were at the grounds. When asked what they were most proud of, responses included “being able to learn things I didn’t know about”, “giving a tour”, “that I was saving plants, food, and flowers by pulling weeds”, and “learning about the history of my neighborhood”.
We are excited to extend the internship program past the summer and are looking forward to seeing them grow and thrive in the Fairhill neighborhood!