Our volunteer highlight for June focuses not on one individual but on a group that has come together to define the power of hard work and applying newly mastered skills. This group of students from South High has been working on leadership skills and learning the ropes at the farm as part of a partnership with Unum Insurance. All of their hard work during the month of May was focused on three dates in June where they will have the opportunity to showcase their skills and lead adult groups of volunteers from Unum in farming activity. The group has been through the same training as our Team Leaders with a focus on communication and youth leadership of adults. This is not always an easy task but this team has the will and great personality to prove their merit. In their time with us they learned the “sandwich” technique of giving feedback and how to engage volunteers by communicating about the work that we do here. They also learned creative ways to focus volunteer efforts, how to redirect work, how to network for success, troubleshoot on the fly and how to succeed in trying weather conditions. The teamwork, innovative thought process, mutual respect and fun that they brought to all of the challenges thrown their way was incredibly powerful. In fact we likely learned more from this amazing group of students than they did. We could not be prouder of their energetic approach to learning and their focus and determination in learning the skills that they needed to do the job right.
We would like to thank and congratulate Waly Duran, Austin Truong, Net Andino, Ryan Hale, Anasia Williams, Xeron Piper, Alexi Rithcotte, Shirley Acero, Tayla Weeden, Leslie Sleywion and Ben Kam for volunteering to participate in this program. Their ability to remain flexible, ask the right questions and test what they have learned with each other made this program go extremely smoothly. Their commitment to take on this challenge at the end of the school year and to still do all of the hard work to wrap up loose ends at school speaks volumes to their character and effort in giving back to their community. We would also like to thank Mrs. Papadoupoulos, South High’s Assistant Principal for helping to coordinate all of their training and visits to the farm and Unum Insurance for sponsoring this program.