June 5, 2015

Six summer interns, led by our Programming & Education Coordinator, are teaching on-going garden classes for children and youth at 15 different sites this summer. Each week, more than 300 children are reached though our classes. Children are learning lessons on soil health, vermicomposting, pollinators, planting, and more. We couldn't be more proud of this great team of interns and their hard work to increase food security in our area!
Meet our interns:
Taylor Sjogren
Hometown: Ayr, Nebraska
Special memories of the internship:
The first class Kay and I taught at Indian Hill Educare, I was in charge of the vermicompost bin. I loved seeing the 2 year-olds' excitement when I opened my 'secret box' and pulled out a worm. Some giggled, and some squealed, but they all had the courage to pet my "wiggly friends."
How do you think you will use your internship experience/knowledge in the future?
I would love to grow my own garden to have fresh produce for my family and neighbors. It has also been great to gain more experience teaching/working with kids of all ages, and learning about the correlation between food security and poverty.

Kay Wilwerding
Hometown: Omaha, NE
School: UNO, Environmental Studies & Studio Art
Special memories of the internship:
We had to move SO MUCH dirt at the Intercultural Senior Center and fill double high raised garden beds. It was a lot of work, but seeing the seniors out planting the garden the next week made me so happy!

Mallory Finch
Hometown: Omaha, NE
What is the hardest part about the internship?
The hardest part is realizing, little by little, that our city is very blind to its own suffering. I see the spiritual & emotional poverty at least as often as I see the physical poverty, if not more.
How do you think you will use your internship experience/knowledge in the future?
I want to continue to share my knowledge and passion with others—I want to keep the old field traditions alive and keep working towards social equality for every neighborhood.

Cenise Walker
Hometown: Omaha, NE
School: Bryan High School
What drew you to the internship?
I like helping people and giving back to my community. Before the internship, I knew nothing about food security and little about gardening. I am learning while being in the garden!

Mary Hanten
Hometown: Orono, MN
School: Creighton University, Biology
What are you most enjoying about the internship?
I am most enjoying the people I am working with & learning from all their social justice & horticultural knowledge. The kids and teachers are amazing to work with because they always bring up new questions that I don't have answers to, so we all learn together.

Erin Higgins
Hometown: Council Bluffs, IA
School: Grinnell College, Psychology & Neuroscience
Special memories of the internship:
Over the course of about 10 minutes I was able to see a group of 3-4 year-olds learn the difference between a ripe strawberry and an unripe one. I held a jar of water and waited as kids brought strawberries that they had just harvested. When a child brought a white strawberry, we observed that the tastiest strawberries are red. By the end, all of the strawberries being harvested were red.