KANSAS CITY, Missouri. (KCTV) — Local non-profit farm helps kids build relationships and teach them how to be entrepreneurs at a farm in south Kansas City.
BoysGrow pays teenagers to work with their hands as a team, helping the farm and growing themselves.
Program director Tariq Nash said: “If they want to make the world a better place, they first need to start with themselves and then gradually move forward in their community.”
They farm, cook, explore and work as a team on a 10-acre property. It expanded from three acres when the organization first started over 10 years ago.
Executive Director John Gordon Jr. said: “The agricultural side is very important, the building side is very important, and the culinary side is very important, but in the end, they are just vehicles for creating relationships.”
Nash is program director years after being one of the boys hired in 2012. He said he met new skills and friendships when he started working then.
“I was an introverted child, so it pulled me out of my inner shell. It made me be one with nature,” he said.
BoysGrow picks up teenagers in downtown Kansas City and heads about 30 minutes south to a farm on East 147th Street.
They assemble, package and present their creations to customers. So far, six BoysGrow products are on the shelves at KC grocery stores.
“Success is definitely hard to measure in the nonprofit world. There are metrics and measurables that everyone uses, but at the end of the day, I think it’s more about relationships,” said Gordon Jr.
Nash wants everyone to feel welcome, just like he did years ago.
“Most of the time, all they need is just a conversation,” he said. “Someone who can communicate with them, someone who can understand them.”
They want the organization to keep growing like seeds every summer.
“Five, six years from now, the goal is for all children who complete the program to become program directors, executive directors, chefs and farmers. So let this program be literally handed down to the generation that helped create it,” Gordon said.
They recruit students from charter and public schools, as well as individuals seen at community centers.
We have a link HERE if you would like to know more information about the farm and the submission process.
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