Flagler Enactus starts new agriculture program at St. Johns Youth Academy
Jan 5, 2019
by Jayda Barnes, '20
Flagler College Enactus started Harvesting Hope, a project to benefit boys in partnership with St. Johns Youth Academy, a correctional institute for adolescent males. Enactus is a student-led national organization that promotes entrepreneurship and community-based programs.
Harvesting Hope showed the boys how to develop a community garden and raise chickens, while learning important business skills. Enactus plans to teach the boys useful skills while they transition to adulthood. Additionally, the therapeutic effect of gardening and animal care has been proven to lower aggression in incarcerated participants, resulting in a lower chance of returning to the prison system after their first release.
Enactus partnered with Compassionate St. Augustine and Lowe’s to implement this project into the youth academy. Lowe’s also selected Harvesting Hope to be part of their Lowe’s Heroes Project, a program where Lowe's employees volunteer their time to help the community. Lowe’s Heroes granted Enactus $1,500 dollars to use in their stores for any products necessary to start the project.
On Nov. 10, Enactus team members, Lowe's volunteers and students of the St. Johns Youth Academy spent the day building chicken coops and three box gardens. The boys were very enthusiastic about the project, especially the chickens, which they had already started naming. The day became a special bonding experience for all members involved.
“We hope to see Harvesting Hope continue for years to come and possibly expanding to other youth prisons in the future,” said Delaney Colbert, Flagler College Enactus Secretary.