17% of $10,000 goal
Giving Tuesday 2023 Happy Hour
Tuesday, November 28th, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST
Check us out on Instagram Live! Our handle is @ujimastl
We are sowing seeds for The Sunflower Institute 2024! Learn about the program's impact in 2023 and our exciting plans for next year. Join us Tuesday, November 28th at Eighteen North at 6pm for some food, drinks, and fun. Come meet the Ujima team and find out how you can support!
Ujima, George Washington Carver Farms, Optimistic Theory LLC, The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Department of Conservation, and STL Youth Jobs are partnering to facilitate the 4rd cohort of The Sunflower Institute. This summer and fall experience will provide paid apprenticeships to local teens living in the greater St. Louis area. The 6 pillars of The Sunflower Institute are agriculture, culinary arts, occupational therapy, conservation, entrepreneurship and professional development.
In 2024, Ujima will grant 18-20 teens with an immersive, empowering, hands-on experience. They will learn about agriculture while supporting our urban farm and community garden. Our teens will harvest vegetables, herbs, and flowers from our green spaces. Afterwards they support us with distribution and join us at local farmers markets in North St. Louis city that creates access to families being affected by food apartheid. They will learn about health and safety in the kitchen and feeding folks with dietary restrictions during cooking classes with local chefs and culinary artists. The teens will experience occupational therapy with Dr. Brittany Conners who supports them while they build social skills, create and execute personal and professional goals, engage and build better relationships with their families, and create systems to support mental health emergencies. They will experience several different sectors in the conservation career field through activities like scientific journaling, bee surveying, stream sampling, seed collection, hiking, camping trips, a float trip, cave tours as well as interviews with staff at The Nature Conservancy and MIssouri Department of Conservation. The teens will meet local entrepreneurs ranging from film makers, digital content creators, jewelry designers, bee keepers, community outreach leaders, and caterers. These Black business owners will connect with our teens while sharing their amazing stories and career lessons. To culminate the program, each teen will create resumes, cover letters, and connect with professionals to support their next chapter in life. Ujima hosts a job fair with community partners to connect the graduates with future volunteer opportunities, scholarships, paid internships and job opportunities.
“Imagine the impact if we radically changed the way we educate the next generation,” says Ujima’s Executive Director, Nick Speed. “Instead of charging tuition, pay them $20 an hour to learn! We are teaching culinary skills that will help them feed themselves and their families. They will learn about the agricultural ingenuity of our ancestors, grow fresh produce, and reconnect with nature. After this experience, we want to have equipped these young people with the tools they need to gain employment, start their own businesses, grow their own food and become servant leaders in their communities.”