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A GEM of a Banquet
Posted On:
Monday, October 01, 2007
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Sowing Seeds to Grow Opportunities

The following students were recognized for their efforts and participation in the Growing Entrepreneurs with Mentoring (GEM) Program. 

GEM Participants

Antonio Cowlin

Rodrequis Green

Erica Hughes

Kelvin Jackson

Raeshard Kennedy

Deneidra Lee

Brandon Lewis

LaMar McElroy

Jamillia McIntosh

JaMarcus McKinney

GEM (Growing Entrepreneurs with Mentoring) is a six-week mentoring program designed for 10 youth between the ages of 14-19. Ms. Olivia Johnson, the principal at New Horizon Alternative School, chose the students.

Life skills such as respect, self-esteem, decision-making, setting goals, and financial management (checkbook, savings account, checking account, deposit slips, balancing, budgeting) were taught along with gardening skills. With hands-on training in a community garden, Ms. Virginia Ward, Mr. Roy Brown (both of People Helping People Urban Farms), and Luci Davis from Alabama Cooperative Extension Center (ACES) taught the students how to plant fresh fruit and vegetables, market their products, and sell them.

Benefits of GEM:

Learning a new skill builds self-esteem. Enjoying their new skill in gardening and planting vegetables put healthy food in their bodies and developed a sense of community pride. This pride inspired the GEM participants to adorn and beautify their school by planting flowers and trees. They also learned patience with the growing of the crops, themselves, and others. They learned how to focus on their goals whether planting seeds for a harvest or sowing time to improve their grades.



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