Get Rooted Youth Leadership Program
The Get Rooted Youth Leadership Program began in 2015, mobilizing Richmond youth ages 16-25 who are passionate about food security, social justice, and environmental sustainability issues and supporting them in becoming advocates and educators in our local community.
Youth Leaders are given access to workshops on current food security issues, social justice, sustainability, advocacy, and policy-making, led by university professors, active advocates, and seasoned professionals in the community. Participants not only gain knowledge and awareness around these topics, they also have opportunities to network as they see experts in action.
Workshop topics include:
- Food Justice
- Challenges to Change
- Re-imagining Our Food System
- Food and the Environment
- Social Determinants of Health
- Youth Leaders in Social Change
Additionally, interactive components allow participants to join discussions, share ideas, practice public-speaking and debate skills.
Both issues and interventions for food insecurity are community-based, therefore we offer Youth Leaders many volunteer opportunities with various organizations fighting hunger in the Richmond community. In 2016, 15 Get Rooted youth accumulated 236+ hours of volunteer hours at 18 community events with six agencies, including the Richmond Food Bank, Gilmore Community Meals, RFSS’ own Stir It Up Youth Community Kitchen and fruit recovery programs, and more.
Youth Leaders are supported to take tangible action to combat food insecurity. Collaborating in small groups, Youth Leaders identify specific areas needing intervention, create an action plan, and take initiative to improve food security status. Youth are given resources and guidance to tackle tasks at hand; they also gain skills in leadership, teamwork, communication, project-planning, and advocacy from the challenges they overcome.
In 2016, Get Rooted Youth Leaders authored a photo-blog series “Stories in Your Stew“, designed and piloted the Richmond Bike to Farm Tour, saved seeds, raise public awareness for food security through the Get Rooted Symposium.
What Youth Leaders Said
“GR inspired me to stand back and learn from other youth leaders in the community. I was inspired by the group members of my team. They showed me you could do so much with your life and still affect others to take actions” – Julia, Youth Leader, Get Rooted 2015
“GR gave me a more concrete and realistic idea of food security. It showed me the importance of food security with examples of everyday life. It taught me skills such as organization, communication, and leadership skills. It also provide me a very good platform to expand the textbook knowledge that I learned at school. GR inspires me to be a leader. It shows me that there are opportunities that I can be involved in to make a difference.” – Emily, Youth Leader, Get Rooted 2015
“Before GR I was oblivious of food security. However, after the experience I’m confident that I can educate those who are not aware of the importance of food security. I saw lots of engaged/inspired youths through GR and was motivated with my personal goal. GR allowed lots of youth to volunteer in places where helping hands were most needed. Three most important learnings I took away from GR were that food security is important, helping others is very satisfying, and that we can make change by taking action”. – Luke, Youth Leader, Get Rooted 2015