Grow Kindness

Jae Yoon, Isabella Daniel, David Yoon & Michelle Song

North Carolina

The Grow Kindness Garden Ambassador program creates awareness of hunger and "food desert areas", connects community members to local soup kitchens and senior/community centers, and provides garden kits to individuals, families, schools or businesses for them to grow vegetables, herbs and/or flowers in reusable fabric bags addressing food insecurity in my community. The Grow Kindness Garden team will seek out youth/families in the community to grow produce, herbs and flowers to address these concerns.

Updates from Grow Kindness

July, 2022
Hey everyone! My name is Jae Yoon and I am a rising senior here in Greenville, North Carolina! Growing up, I have been exposed to multiple ongoing environmental issues such as plastic pollution, climate change, and lack of education in my community. In hopes to combat these challenges, I became involved with the awareness organization called Love A Sea Turtle - LAST since the age of 9. LAST is a youth-led non-profit dedicated to creating a community for environmental sustainability through student leadership and nature-based conservation programs to serve as a
platform for youth voice.

My fellowship project, Grow Kindness, is an ambassador program that addresses food insecurity, connects the community to soup kitchens/community centers, and provides garden kits to students, families, and schools to sustainably grow crops in portable and reusable bags. For the initial start-up location, my team and I chose to collaborate with the Greenville Montessori School here in Winterville, North Carolina. We met with the head master, recruited one of the teachers, and she helped engage 20 elementary students as our first ambassadors. My team
recently renovated their existing garden space and then, with the help of parents and students from the Montessori school, kicked-off the program by planting vegetables and flowers and providing instructions on upkeep and daily maintenance. The goal is to donate excess harvested items to the local soup kitchen and have the existing youth participants serve as leaders for the fall and winter program.

In my role as a 2022 fellow, I am excited for the opportunity to connect with like-minded youth across the nation and gather new ideas to improve my community and share what we are doing. Utilizing the workshops and open talking spaces, I will be able to actively network and create a foundational experience that will expose youth to non-traditional lessons that are not typically taught in our local school system.